I have taken inventory of my thoughts and actions over the last several months. Believe it or not, I am happy with myself. While the average person was trying to cope with an elusive enemy called COVID-19, I was busy fighting that virus with the added twist of mastering that while staying sober. I am not here to brag of my accomplishments, quite simply to pay any small I can amount forward.
For years I resisted any help with sobriety. It seemed I was losing an uphill battle and collecting bumps and bruises along the way. When the physical marks had gone away, they were replaced with my old friend’s self-loathing and eventually utter despair. It is a battle that you do not have to fight alone.
Take my email address and write me a short note; I will email you back with my phone number, and we can chat. I do not purport to have a magic potion to stay sober. But perhaps I can show you how I stayed drunk and emotionally unavailable for the better part of forty-five years, think of it as sort of a scared straight for alcoholics.
A friend gave me a poem one time. To me, it described a man who was the polar opposite of me, and I really could not see her intent. I told her that I did not see myself in that poem at all. Her response was simple; she told me, “That is you; all you have to work on is thirty-odd years of dust, abuse, and poor decisions, and you will shine.” Straightening out my act seemed like a very tall order, so I headed for the liquor store, picked up another bottle and contemplated what she had said for the next twenty years.
Invictus By William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years.
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Today I am the captain of my soul, well, at least the first mate. (lol) This post will be relatively short, but pray that it was at the very least informative. I wasted a great deal of my life in an alcoholic fog, and it is my sincere desire that others do not follow down the path I chose. Alcoholism can confuse even those who believe that they have all their ducks in a row. Personally, I like to think that I have all of the tools needed to navigate this life. All I really needed was a treasure map to tell me where I stashed them.
I searched for answers in Alcoholics Anonymous and could not find them. I would never try to discourage anyone from seeking answers in whatever space they choose. Remember that alcoholism will never be a one size fits all kind of disease. Much like alcoholics themselves will never be a one size fits all. Just please do remember that the condition is alcoholism and not alcoholwasm.
And for those who believe you are just heavy drinkers and not alcoholics, I urge you to take this little test. Put the plug in the jug for one month; no cheating now. Suppose you can not last one month, then you are likely more than a heavy drinker. If you are nervous and can not wait until the month is up, then you probably have a problem. If you get through that month with neither of these side effects, I have only one question for you. With alcohol at such a high price, why the he** are you still drinking?
At any rate, if you believe that you have a problem, I urge you to reach out and ask for help. If someone you know or love needs help, then steer them in the right direction. Support is always near, so; please keep an open mind and heart.
Wash your hands, keep your distance, and wear a mask. Love Art