I think I have finally figured out what it means to learn from the mistakes of others. Over the past month or so I have been hearing a lot about relapse, death, and misery. I want nothing to do with any of these things. Sure death is inevitable and bad shit happens to everyone. But I don’t have to be the cause of it by not doing what I have learned over the last 16 months. As I watch these people leave the program, talk about their relapses and all the other chaos and bullshit that is out there waiting for me, I realize that does not have to be my story. I have two choices, do what is working and stay on the path of success and happiness. Or go back to living a life full of shit!
I know there are plenty of stories of bottoms much further than mine, but my bottom works just fine for me. As much as I hate to see people in the rooms struggle, come back in after a relapse, or share about the death of a friend from this disease, it brings me a bit of pleasure. That pleasure comes from hearing about what not to do. When I think back on my life while I was out there using and drinking I can remember the pain that I lived in. I was completely miserable, lonely, and desperate. It finally got to the point that all I had in my life was drugs and alcohol. I would like to say that I still had the music, but even that had turned into a playground for my intoxication. I had zero hobbies, I did not do anything without a bag of blow in my pocket, and my health was on a rapid decline. In the Big Book this big pile of crap is called the four horsemen. They are described as terror, bewilderment, frustration, and despair. These four words summed up my life completely. There was no other way around it; I had officially reached the status of a coke head. I was living in filth, pushing the boundaries of my mortality, and saw no way out. Misery and death were my future.
After figuring out that if I wanted to live my life had to change and I stopped digging that hole and got help. That help has taught me a way of living that I never knew existed. I have learned to let go of that control that I never really had in the first place. I have learned that as long as I stay sober and help others, especially other drug addicts and alcoholics; I will get everything in life that I need. The voices in my head have quieted down to a whisper that I can barely hear, and I can actually see the time where they will be gone for good. I don’t fight any more. I am no longer the center of the universe. Today, my serenity and peace are way more important to me than being right or even being loved for that matter. I am content alone, and for the first time in my life my goals are attainable and I am focused and motivated. I work these 12 steps to the best of my ability and work on keeping in conscience contact with my higher power. I do this simply by asking for his help throughout the day, and thanking him every night for another day sober and alive. For the first time ever I have gratitude and peace. Thank God!
It is unfortunate that not everyone gets it. I am so grateful for the stories of the ones that don’t make it. It reminds me quickly of where I will end up. So since I have a choice today, I am going to stick with what I have been taught and continue to work this wonderful program of recovery. Thank you all that share your stories of fucking shit up over and over again, you have no idea how you help me stay sober. I will continue to pray for those that still suffer in hopes that they too might see the light, stop fighting and find peace.