One foot

Published May 29, 2013 by Johanna

Kiki’s reaction is totally normal, as long as she doesn’t give in to a drink. I felt this way too, still do often. It’s part of the game. Do I hate AA? Of course I do! I’d love to be able to drink like anyone else and not make a mess every time it happens. But I’ve accepted that fact about myself. I’m an addict. I can’t stop even if I wanted to. The only safe way is the sober way.

One step after the next, I gotta hold on. Can’t turn my life around with only one wish. Many times I look back, wondering what would come my way if I kept drinking and using. Only misery. Only pain. Memories vanishing deep into a blur of violence and self loathing. There’s no viable solution to this but the one I found two years ago when I stepped foot into these rooms. Going to a meeting only helps if one’s ready to listen. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.

I wasn’t ready at first – none of it made sense. The jargon, the steps, having a sponsor. I hated all of it. But every time I asked myself whether I’d be a happier man if I kept drinking, the response was always negative.

And it still is. I don’t care how much of a bad day I’m having, drinking will always make everything worse. I think Kiki doesn’t like the meetings I’m going to. Maybe they’re too structured. Maybe they impose too many rules. Maybe they’re too restrictive. Maybe they brainwash people into becoming zombies, who can’t feel anything but their addiction.

Can I replace my addiction with another addiction? Can I ever feel free from all this pain I used to feel? I yearn to belong to the world, be part of something bigger than just me. Kiki enjoys being weird. I don’t. There’s nothing enjoyable about being different.

Praying to my higher power, I wonder what I could say to Kiki to convince her the program works. Kicking and screaming are a logical part of her recovery process. Even I can’t claim I know all the secrets on how to successfully get sober. Two years are a mere drop in the pond. There’s so much more to learn. Preachers won’t achieve anything if behind the curtain their actions speak less loud than their words – a truth I’ve witnessed way too often. So many behave like saints, but truly they haven’t changed one bit. They remain liars, cheaters, afraid to face the truth and stare at their reflection in the mirror without wearing the hypocritical mask they so adore to display for the whole world to see. I could never stand hypocrisy. And recovery takes a lot of honesty, too much sometimes.

It’s hard to embrace the truth. And I realize Kiki is entitled to feeling pissed all the time. Fighting her recovery is like fighting the desire to grab the first drink. It’s a battle of every second. The mental peace doesn’t come right away. For certain people, it never even comes. Fear rules our lives. The fear to beat our addiction overcomes the fear of relapse. We self-destruct constantly. Success doesn’t mean much when all we know is failure. But we can win. We can be free at last. If we really want it, we can have it.

Do I want it? Yes I do. I never desired anything else so much. Even in my wildest dreams, I never pictured I could accomplish so much in so little time.

Kiki is only at the beginning of the journey. A couple of weeks sobriety will make people react this way. I felt mad at the entire world my first year. Many times I ached to burn the big book and walk back out. Picking up a drink seemed the best solution to all my problems. Until not picking up made the most sense of it all.

I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Never in my life did I believe in something like this, but it makes perfect sense. I let go of the obsessive control. My insanity isn’t the one to show me the way anymore. I can’t trust my flawed judgment, but I can rely on my instincts. The universe has a purpose for me. No need to call a higher power God, for I am an atheist. If I walk inside a church, I pray. Doesn’t mean I follow the bible like a blind dog. There’s too much I question for me to believe blindly.

But there are things I will always relate to. And AA offers such solutions. Kiki will understand these concepts soon enough. I have faith she’ll know when the right time has come.

No need to overstress and live under pressure. NYC is a pressure cooker already. Staying sober in this town isn’t hard given there’s so much more to do than drink. How can people get bored and rely solely on booze to stay entertained?

I never drank for the sole purpose of drinking. Alcohol gave me the luxury to shut down completely, forget my thoughts and let go of the control. When I drank, I didn’t try to control my addiction. My addiction sat behind the steering wheel and drove me home every time. There are too many memories I’d rather forget. Too much depression, and self-loathing. Questioning my existence since I was a child. Doubting God’s presence until becoming a believer again. Praying for forgiveness and not admitting my wrongs. Feeling righteously justified to do whatever it took to get things done my way. Selfishly seeking my purpose, and being inconsiderate to every one around me. Hating more than loving. Despising myself to the point of forgetting why I should be willfull in the first place. Not trying to understand the world because I knew everything there’s to know and no one would teach me anything worthwhile anymore. Letting go without letting go. Lying to myself. Living in constant denial. Repeatedly expecting a different result while not changing any of the patterns that drove me insane. Staying angry, breaking things, beating myself up, wanting to die.

Simply wanting to end the pain.

Will Kiki understand she has a choice? Because that’s all it’s about. The decision to stay sober is ours anytime of the day or night. Even when I think everything’s lost, I focus on the positive. Nothing’s worse than drinking when I have cravings. One day at a time, one foot after the other, until the road that takes us far away from our addiction seems like a long forgotten feeling. The feeling wakes up every once in a while, yet with time, it becomes weaker and weaker. Long forgotten memories of a dreadful time. One foot in the right direction, and everything will get back to normal.

To be continued…


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