I am the type of alcoholic that gets the AA symbol tattooed on my body because I need that physical reminder every day. A reminder of where I have been, where I am today, and where I can end up… I can remember a while back having a conversation with a great friend of mine in recovery that I could not understand why anyone would ever quit going to meetings and most of all that would NEVER be me. Cause I have not learned the lesson of the word never. Obviously! I sit here tonight after my first meeting in over a week, feeling better than I have in days. Somewhere over the last two months I have started down a very dangerous path of complacency and recklessness. Despite what I have learned over the past twenty three months, I really thought I could do this my way. Oh how I was wrong.
Since the first of August I have moved to Athens, Georgia, started at a new university, and started a new company. All of this, which was entirely too much for me to take on, took a front seat to my recovery. When I first arrived in Athens I was going to different meetings every day and got a new sponsor. Yet none of the meetings had the substance I was wanting. Maybe I was not looking hard enough, or should I say I was not listening hard enough. Inevitably, as the weeks have turned to months my participation in my AA program that has brought me so much peace and serenity has dwindled into nothing. Along with my participation many other parts of my life have dwindled into nothing including my happiness. That whole in my chest that I thought I had finally closed has seeped open again like a cut on my knuckle that cannot stay closed from how my finger bends. Finally, I have ended up wallowing in that pain that I was not ready to see return. I have not been to the gym in a month and the overeating has slammed into me yet again. The really weird thing is I have been watching all of this happen, knowing what the cause was, and yet, not willing to do what I needed to fix it. Finally in the last few days I started to see a relapse on the horizon. This reminds me of how sick I really am, and anything but constant diligence in all aspects of my life will lead me to an early grave.
Today I got a call from a lifelong friend who shared about his continuous struggle with alcohol and opiates. It was a painful conversation to have, but it was one I so desperately needed. As I spoke with him sternly, my words resonated loud into my ears. I repeatedly told him to get his ass to a meeting, and he spoke of needing help and ending it all. Then after a few minutes of back and forth about nonsense he asked me if I thought my sobriety was a God thing. At this moment I realized that it was a God thing and this phone call was about me as well. I was getting a glimpse of what lies ahead for me if I don’t get back on track immediately. Then he asked me to pray for him. I recognized that sound in his voice full of pain, anger, fear and hopelessness. Of course, I said I would pray for him, and in my mind, I thanked God for answering my prayer this morning.
As I go back and reread the words above, the reality that I am a real alcoholic and drug addict sets in. Only a person like me would quit taking their medicine allowing the sickness back in. This is not something cancer patients or people with any other fatal disease do. It is complete and utter alcoholic behavior to do such a thing. To think that I can do this all on my own and have no need for the medicine that keeps me whole is madness. The best part about my whole day today was that the meeting I went to tonight ended up being a 1st step meeting. I was exactly where I needed to be, starting at the beginning with people just like me.