Back to the Basics….
Wow, it’s hard to believe that this year is almost over. It’s flown by so very quickly. This year has been one huge roller coaster of emotions, struggles with acceptance, and adjustments. I’ve experienced a great deal of happiness and sadness as well. I’ve dealt with extreme loss and adjustments. Change of any kind is not something I easily deal with. I’m a creature of habit. Throughout this year, I’ve had extreme highs and extreme lows. All of which I have been blessed to maintain my sobriety. God willing, I’ll be 45 in just two months and I’m working on my 5th year of sobriety. It’s the longest time in my life since I was about 12 or 13 that I haven’t had a drink or a drug in my system. Looking back, I literally wasted half my life pounding down booze and sniffing up lines. To say I’ve been blessed would be a HUGE understatement.
I’ve been living in “high gear” for quite some time, and I feel the need to pump the breaks just a tad. Why? Because I have to admit that in this past year, with 4 years under my belt, I’ve had my occasional moments where my train of thought would drift to, “Well, I’ve been sober long enough, I could probably handle just one.” An alcoholics mind is a very twisted and complicated thing. After all, Public Figure or not, I AM an alcoholic and I’m NOT exempt from having the same crazy thoughts as the rest of them. I’m not special or different by any stretch of the imagination. My past experience has taught me that testing that theory would surely cause irreparable damage not only to myself, but to a great many others. The minute the thought hits my twisted little brain, I know what needs to be done and I do it. No questions asked. As long as the thoughts in my head remain nothing more than a thought, I’m good. When I start to entertain those thoughts (and that does happen on occasion) I know it’s time for me to get back to the basics of my recovery program before those crazy thoughts become a reality. The good thing is that I recognize those thoughts to be nothing more than pure madness and I can do something to divert my train of thought. Unfortunately I can not tell you I will never drink again. That’s a promise I can’t make to anyone, not even myself. What I can promise, is that I will do my damnedest to maintain my sobriety by using the tools I’ve been given. I have another relapse in me, what I don’t have is another recovery. I will drink myself to death and that is not an option I wish to entertain.
One of the biggest misconceptions of one who suffers from addiction of any kind is that after a certain amount of time, we’re cured and have reached the point where controlling our usage now becomes a possibility. Yeah, ummm……not so much. Hell, if I could learn to “control” my drinking, I wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with! LMAO I’m an alcoholic and control as far as our drinking is not only NOT possible, it’s NOT a word that’s in our vocabulary. LOL When I start to have those thoughts in my head, it’s a warning. It tells me I’ve drifted some away from my own recovery program and that I need to get back before I drift too far. It’s not hard to let “life” take over and engulf you. I have times where I try to take back my control or my way of thinking. My self will runs riot and my best thinking got me in this situation to begin with, so entertaining my old ways is NOT a good idea.
Sometimes when you have a significant amount of sobriety time under your belt, you lapse. You don’t go to as many meetings, you don’t contact your sponsor as much as you used to. You tend to forget the pain and desperation that brought you to your lowest of lows. It’s those actions, or should I say lack there of, that will get you into trouble if you let it. The radio show, the teaching, the sponsoring, the blogging, it all keeps me in touch with my inner demons so that I don’t forget where I once was. Even with all that, if I’m not careful my old ego can try to tip toe it’s way back in and I need to grab a hammer to plow down those horns. Being able to recognize the signs is like a safe net. LOL In order for me to maintain my humility, I need to return to the beginning willingly before it’s gets to where I have to because I failed. I have to follow my own recovery 1000% before I can help anyone else with theirs. Back to the meetings, back to my sponsor, back to my literature.
I know to some, this all may sound like a chore. Please believe me it’s not. I’ve gotten to the point in my recovery that it has become second nature to me. I can’t fix what’s broke unless I recognize it and thank God I instinctively recognize the dangers long before they become a potential problem. I have no plans on taking a physical trip down memory lane. I’m gonna keep moving forward and doin’ what needs to be done. I’ve been blessed with a life I can be proud of, I can look in the mirror today and be proud of the reflection looking back at me. I am now comfortable in my own skin and my life has purpose. Why would I want to go back? I’ve come this far and you can best believe I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I continue to move forward. The longer I stay sober, the stronger my alcoholism gets. It’s a demon that never goes away and is very patient. It’s always gonna be there waiting in the wings for the opportunity to snatch me right back up. It’s up to me to make sure that doesn’t happen. You can trust me when I say I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that does not become a part of my reality again. I don’t want to shamefully stroll back down the road to the beginning, therefore I’m going to willingly skip down that road in order to avoid the problems that lay ahead if I don’t.
October 2, 2014
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist.