My mind is all over the place tonight, hence the title of this entry. Hopefully I will be able to find the words to get it all out... Tonight there are thoughts about fear, the truth, self realization, and detachment. Throw all that in with a new sales quota, eight days into quitting smoking, and starting an extreme exercise regiment that includes playing soccer and I have a full plate!
So I guess I will start with the fear. Tonight on the way home from my Ala-Non meeting I realized that after what I have put myself through with all the drugs and booze, there is nothing life could throw at me to fear. I can remember two nights that I thought for sure I was having a heart attack. I was so high, I thought for sure, I was going to die. Left arm hurting, pains in my chest, blurred vision, and was too scared to call 911. I don't think I have ever been more scared than I was at those moments. I have been so messed up on LSD, I have hallucinated things that were not there and could not speak English, only French, or at least I thought. I don't know any French... Or at least I did not at the time. The only time I saw Jerry Garcia I thought all my friends were cops and I thought the top of the Omni in Atlanta was a spaceship, and it was going to take off. I was terrified out of mind. I cannot think of anything that could occur in life to ever be scared like I was at those moments. Drugs and alcohol kicked me harder than anything ever has, and today I have grown to look my fears in the eyes and realize that they are just a feeling and not as real as I think those heart attacks where. It feels so good to be able to KNOW, I no longer live in any type of fear. I have beat my addictions into submission, before they had the chance to take my life.
Now that I have the fear out of the way, on to the truth. We drug addicts and alcoholics are the best liars I have ever met. We are masters at hiding everything from everyone that loves us, including our selves... I lied to my self more than I lied to anyone. And I lied to everyone everyday in one way or another. After, some time sober and the fog begins to clear and some of these lies start to come to the surface, it is almost like freeing a political refugee. The weight that is lifted, is amazing. I think this is why God allows us to get that feeling in our stomach when we lie. It is a burden to carry around. And Lies come in all shapes in sizes. If you don't ask and I don't tell you, knowing that I should is still a lie. I was talking to a fellow alcoholic last night who shared with me about coming clean about a relationship with her parents. She had only allowed them to see one side of it for a very long time. After a few hours sober she realized it was time to "come clean" and set the record straight. Now everyone is on the same page and that is a relief. It is always a wonderful thing to see the light slowly come back on in people in recovery. The truth will set you free....
Last Monday at five pm, I smoked the last cigarette in the pack on the way home from work. On the ride home, I stopped and bought the patch, and have been smoke free now for eight days. Just like drugs and alcohol, I realized I am powerless over cigarettes and my life had become unmanageable. My life for a long time had been influenced by my smoking. I am sure all you smokers understand what that means with out me having to type it all out. Anyways, as of Monday I had had enough. I was going to quit. Plus, I knew that soccer practice was starting this past Saturday, and if I wanted to play and enjoy it, I had to quit. So, just like quitting drinking and drugging, I made up my mind and quit with some help. I have followed the guidelines to quitting successfully on the cancer.org website and slowly but surely the cravings are going away. But cravings or not, I don't smoke anymore. I don't know what feels better, knowing that I will never smoke again, or feeling my body getting healthier everyday. Here is where the self realization comes into play. I have tried to quit smoking more times than I can count. At best, I would make it three days... So what is different today you might ask. Today, I have a faith in a higher power that I have never had. "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." This is why I KNOW I have smoked my last cigarette, just as much as I KNOW I have tasted my last drink and ingested my last drug. Never again! I am free!
The last thing I am going to share about tonight is detachment. Learning how to detach my self with love from my the people that I love, friends, family members, potential sponsees that are alcoholics. I have several relationships with alcoholics today, some of them are very strong, and very important to me, and yet I have to learn not to let there disease rule my life the way I tried to rule the lives of people in my life during active addiction. Now of course, the alcoholics that I have relationships with are in recovery, but that does not mean the "Alcoholic Behavior" disappears. We are sick people and will be for life and it takes a lot of work to keep our selves in check, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. So for these reasons I have started going to Ala-Non. Tonight, I learned that even though I want to help the person I love the most, or even be a part their life, I have to get out of the way, and let them figure it out on their own. I cannot be a distraction, and ultimately, I have to mind my own business. I have to learn to be selfless and love from a far for a while. This will allow the healing to run its course with out distraction or influence from me. Sure it is hard and painful but it is something that I must learn how to do... Once again, and this is for you Susan, the goal is progress, not perfection.
I will leave you with this.. A friend of mine who is a fellow alcoholic and drug addict said to me tonight and I quote; "Yes, Erin, you are an anomaly. The reason this program works for you is because you ARE a raging alcoholic and a raging drug addict, and God made this program for people just like you. And you get it. Through this program you will have success and with out it you WILL DIE!"
AA has saved my life and I am so so so very grateful today!
God night and God bless!
Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It
does not imply judgement or condemnation
of the person or situation from which we are
detaching. Separating ourselves from the
adverse effects of another person’s alcoholism
can be a means of detaching: this does
not necessarily require physical separation.
Detachment can help us look at our situations
realistically and objectively.
Alcoholism is a family disease. Living
with the effects of someone else’s drinking
is too devastating for most people to bear
In Al-Anon we learn nothing we say or do
can cause or stop someone else’s drinking.
We are not responsible for another person’s
disease or recovery from it.
Detachment allows us to let go of our
obsession with another’s behavior and begin
to lead happier and more manageable lives,
lives with dignity and rights, lives guided by
a Power greater than ourselves. We can still
love the person without liking the behavior.
IN AL-ANON WE LEARN:
• Not to suffer because of the actions or
reactions of other people
• Not to allow ourselves to be used or
abused by others in the interest of
• Not to do for others what they can do
• Not to manipulate situations so others
will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not
drink, or behave as we see fit
• Not to cover up for another’s mistakes
• Not to create a crisis
• Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural
course of events
By learning to focus on ourselves, our
attitudes and well-being improve. We allow
the alcoholics in our lives to experience the
consequences of their own actions.