Alcoholism isn’t something you can do an “Eanie, meanie, miny mo” with…We continue to drink, we die…We get sober, we live. There is no in between. Sooner or later we all find ourselves standing at that cross road and it is there, that we must make the choice.
Early sobriety can be difficult because everything is scarey, confusing and foggy. Sure it would be so easy to pick the bottle back up and forget it all, but then tomorrow comes with the same problems and misery. We don’t want to deal with the reality of it all, we don’t want to admit we have a problem and we sure as hell don’t want to feel. So what do we do? We drink. It’s a vicious cycle. When we get serious about our recovery, things start to change little by little and we don’t even really notice them at first. Waking up in the morning is no longer a chore, you start to see things in color rather than in black and white. You find yourself feeling cheerful and healthy. You start to feel better about yourself both mentally as well as physically. We begin to join the human race and life takes on a whole new meaning. We start to realize that no matter how much we screwed up our lives, we can start over and make it right…. We start to feel like we have a purpose in life one day at a time.
All this by simply not drinking? No, it’s not that easy but it’s not that complicated either. All it takes is an open mind, willingness and faith. For some of us alcoholics (such as myself) our “bottom” isn’t as devastating as some, but we hit it with the force of a battering ram and it was enough to shake us to the core. It was that force that gave us the willingness we needed to wave that white flag and ask for help.
As time goes by, but bottle is a distant memory. We don’t crave it but we always have to remember the pain it caused in order not to go back to that place. Now we have to deal with life on life’s terms and drinking isn’t an option no matter who bad the situation may be. It’s not always easy, and at times we have to think about it longer and harder than other times, but it really isn’t an option. Thinking about it is harmless as long as it’s ONLY a thought. Once we cross that line and go from “thought” into “action” we’re doomed. The changes we go through in
sobriety are as progressive as the disease itself IF we work for it and continue to do so on a daily basis. I can’t speak for anyone but myself when I say that even through the occasional speed bumps, I love the life I have today. I’m free of the bondage of the bottle, I see things in a much brighter way, and I appreciate every blessing that has come my way.
As good as it is, it can all go bad in one day with one stupid decision if I neglect to do what I need to do. I can easily go back to my old ways, my old ways of thinking and my old ways of looking at life. It could be all gone in an instant. All it would take is one swig of the bottle and I’d loose it all. THAT is NOT an option for me. I can’t tell anyone in all honesty that I will never drink again,
HOWEVER…I CAN say that I WILL do what I need to do every single day to ensure that I don’t. I will never wake up one morning with halo and a pair of wings, but I try on a daily basis to be a better person than I was the day before. I don’t
think about yesterday, yesterday is gone, I don’t worry about tomorrow, tomorrow is not here yet, nor is it promised. I have today and that’s all I have to deal with. Just today. Life is not boring when you get sober, some people think that their lives are over but the reality is, once we lay the bottle down, our lives are just beginning.
So if you find yourself standing at the cross road, you have to make a choice. Think long and hard because one choice can be the beginning of your life, and the other can be the end…
October 29, 2014
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist.