17 March 2022

from AFFIRMATION ARISEN FROM DESPAIR to BECOMING UNBROKEN




My First Year of Continuous Sobriety followed 8 Years of Perpetual Relapse. FINALLY, I was able to gather 365 pearls on a string (GEEZ, not REAL PEARLS, lol, a String of Days).

YEAR ONE: "Affirmation Arisen from Despair" is the title of the speech I never gave on the First Anniversary of my Recovery. It was to have included "When I drink, the only world there is, is alcohol" and "After 50,000 drinks, living got in the way of my drinking" and was to have been followed by a lengthy description of my Four (4) Near-Death Experiences: 

1) A roommate who attempted suicide, survived, and then, months later, attempted to kill me. 

2) A year or two later, a random thug followed me home after a drinking binge and proceeded to rob me. That resulted in a lengthy hospitalization and enough teeth knocked out of me by him that I ended up with a set of false teeth before my 50th birthday. 

3) Suddenly, I found a knife at my throat in the hands of my then-landlord's ex-husband. I had exposed him in possession of cop-killer bullets while he was out on parole. 

4) You guessed it; MY FOURTH (Almost) KILLER was Alcohol. 

Naturally, and very likely, none of this would have happened had I been Clean and Sober this entire time. It is easy to forget or minimize the subtle and bold consequences brought on by my addiction. This whole post is so that I never forget the dark places that addiction took me.

What did I have to change?

The answer, of course, is "Everything!"

It came down to moving from being a Victim in my Addiction (with all its attendant insanities) to becoming Responsible in my Recovery. My favorite line from this whole first year speech (which I never delivered despite a dozen pages of notes) is this one: Addiction is "a blind man descending a spiral staircase leading to nowhere." 

This undelivered speech ended with the now obvious: "In Recovery, Life is Possible."

YEAR TWO (Again, my thoroughly prepared crib sheets were discarded before I did finally get up to share before my A.A. Home Group): My favorite part of this Year Two Speech Preparation is how it was to have started: "An avalanche and then forgetful snow. This is how I would die. Death by alcohol. It would comfort as it killed." It sounded great and expressed how I felt repeatedly coming to in the hospital from near-death alcohol poisoning. Another favorite line, which until now I had completely forgotten, is this one: 

"Alcoholism is a war and we've all been wounded in action." This was to have been followed with comparisons of Addiction's Assaults to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

And then this, a Quote from A.A.'s Big Book: "There inevitably ran some insanely trivial excuse for taking the first drink... our justification for a spree was insanely insufficient in the light of what always happened." 

I DON'T EVEN VAGUELY REMEMBER THIS NEXT PART from year two. I had compiled a list of over forty (40) examples of Denial found in the Big Book, not limited to Blaming Others, Rationalizing, Minimizing, Hostility and Anger. Denial is such a Hot Topic for me, even today. Likely I'll keep this copy of forty (40) examples of Denial for another day and a few more years. 

Memory is a Gift of Recovery that I was robbed of by my near daily Blackout Drinking way back when!

I CLEARLY DO REMEMBER THIS FUNNY PART FROM YEAR TWO: In the Big Book's Chapter "Crossing the River of Denial" on page 333. when confronted with her alcoholism, the writer retorts that she could not possibly be an alcoholic because "I used ice cubes, for God's sake" [As any self-respecting social drinker can tell you, alcoholics DO NOT USE ICE CUBES!] followed by this Classic Line from the Big Book's "Flooded with Feeling" Chapter: "I sometimes drove a car when I was too drunk to walk."

OMG, YEAR TWO EVEN HAD A THESIS! If you are not reaching out for help and you are not reaching out to help, then you are in Denial. THEREFORE: If you are not active in your Recovery, you are headed towards Relapse. 

JEEZ, I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD IT IN ME: Here's a little gem I wrote in Gratitude for my A.A Sponsor, Mac. I wrote: "Wisdom is Kindness Intelligently Expressed." He inspired that. He embodied that.

(Hold onto your hats!) Let's SKIP to YEAR EIGHTEEN: Very soon, (on June 18th), I will Celebrate my 18th year of Continuous Recovery. I can sum it up in Four Words! 

I NEED MY PEEPS!!

It took me around 5 years to admit to myself that Social Connection is what brought me back to the Human Race. I began to understand that my most profound inspirations were offshoots of my human experiences, refined in isolation, perhaps, but learned and experienced in real time at moments of Human Connection (including Science, Literature, Music, Art and all the Humanities).

AN EPIPHANY: "A drink is the most disturbing company I have ever kept."

TODAY is Day One of Another String of 365 Pearls. (GEEZ, not REAL PEARLS, lol, a String of Days).

"Everything Old is New Again."

Strive on!

[Thanks for letting share a bit of my experience, strength and hope. Celebrate each day in Recovery.]

*****

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 
(Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 

(Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)


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