Thursday, August 15, 2013

To the Parents, Friends, Lovers, and Passersby

I am always trying to be clever with the titles to my entries.  As a writer I know how important the title can be.  Sometimes it is a writer’s only first impression.  As much as I want my titles to be catchy and engaging, I also want them to have some weight.  I sat here at my desk for a few minutes reflecting on my day like I do and I was considering my inspiration to write tonight.  I have been to a big book study the last two Thursdays.  Tonight we started on the chapter “To the Wives”.  It is this discussion tonight that got my wheels spinning.  This chapter of the AA big book is a look at what happens in an alcoholic relationship.  The sins that are committed on both ends out of love, pain, sickness, fear, from the depths of hell and addiction. These words were written in a different time, a time when most alcoholics were only men.  Several decades later, these words transcend the outdated gender roles, and hold true to those of us that have traveled this path.  Some us have been on the hurting end, some the receiving end of the brutal sword of this disease, and some of us have been both the punish er and the punished.  I have never been a wife, therefore I thought it best I title this post the way I did.  To the people I know or may not know that I have hurt.  Even if I have no conscience memory of a specific path of destruction, I am sure there are several roads I leveled along the way.
I can remember saying a thousand times, what I do does not hurt anyone but me.  Looking back now, that is so shallow and selfish.  Reading the chapter To the Wives as well as having been in a relationship with an alcoholic, I can now see clearly the pain that I caused.  As much as I would like to say that I am a point past the shame and guilt, I cannot.  When I think about what my mother and sister must have felt like when I refused to answer their calls for weeks at a time and only calling to be rescued from yet another self made catastrophe, I am ashamed.  Now that I know what it feels like wondering if I will get the call from jail or worse, I am ashamed.  It is a terrible feeling, trying to let go, knowing that death might be the next thing I hear about the alcoholic from my past.  As the tears run down my cheeks, shameful of my past, I must remember the way this feels.  I have learned in the last 640 days I have lived sober, that I cannot regret or forget my past.  The shame I feel tonight from my past actions will subside for the most part, but a bit of this feeling I must carry with me.  I am typical drug addict and alcoholic with a devious memory, a memory that only wants to remind me of the times that were good when I was out there in the streets up to no good.  I can NEVER forget that bastard I use to be, as soon as I do, I am a dead man.

I have learned over the last two years that I surely have another drink or drug in me.  What I do not have is another recovery in me.  And neither does the people that love me the most.  Staying sober is a lot easier than getting sober, and I know I won’t make it back here before what is waiting for me out there takes my life.  So instead of continuing to be a selfish prick and abuse the love I am so generously given by the wonderful people in my life, I will stay on this path of spiritual growth.  I will continue to pray for Gods will and the power to carry it out.  Even if all that is, is just staying sober and helping others, one day at a time.

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