A Simple Choice
I was sitting at a coffee shop today (go figure) waiting to be inspired by something, so I could write my daily blog. I began searching through my day, but I was having no luck. I started going through a specific blue book, then an inspirational, spiritual book. I looked online; searched through Facebook; looked through pictures on my phone; even listened to some music. I was getting...
The thought crossed my mind that maybe I just didn’t have anything that I needed to “work through,” and that maybe my HP was done working with me for the day. I mean, why not? Why couldn’t I come to a place where I was just flat out okay? Maybe I’m not supposed to write about a problem that I’m working through, because just maybe, an hour is an hour away, tomorrow is tomorrow, and I have nothing to work through right now.
Or could it be that I’m staring so hard at the tree that I just can’t see the forest in front of me?
So I stepped back. Way back. Maybe today my blog isn't supposed to work through a problem, but instead see the over all picture and decide which way to go, and then go. Maybe today I am supposed to offer someone some experience and hope (I love that word, "hope"); it isn't all about me after all.
And then I found this:
“Many people say, "Well, I'd love to make a decision like that, but I'm not sure how I could change my life." They're paralyzed by the fear that they don't know exactly how to turn their dreams into reality. And as a result, they never make the decisions that could make their lives into the masterpieces they deserve to be. I'm here to tell you that it's not important initially to know how you're going to create a result. What's important is to decide you will find a way, no matter what.”
When I was drenched in my alcoholism, and I simply wanted it to be over, I dreamed all conscious time away thinking about how it “sure would be nice” and then simply put the bottle to my lips, waiting to drown.
At that point, it was unfathomable to me that I could stop drinking. The thought brought about disgusted laughter and self-hate. I had given up on ever being sober again after the umpteenth-hundredth time of trying and praying -- sometimes earnestly, sometimes daily, sometimes threateningly, but always wholeheartedly and truthfully -- “God please, take away this affliction! Remove me from this miserable life! Make me stop or make me die!”
In my wet-alcoholism, I had grown to hate this God I'd grown up with and who we hear about in The Rooms. It was a major problem for me at the time, and I refused to bow to a damn god that wouldn’t answer the anguished, soul-jerking prayers of not only myself, but my late wife, my dead uncle, and all the others suffering out there. What made me such a jester that my life should be an expense for God’s pleasure in my suffering? I mean, why else was I able to survive the destruction I bestowed upon myself? God’s only plan for me was a joke. I hated him; yet I continued to pray.
I’ll never forget my last drunk. It was misery, in such a way that it cannot be described in words, though I’ve attempted to. I’d tried to die before, many times, but this time I was determined to succeed – yet I failed again. Instead, I was taken to a treatment center. I was going to leave the center inside of the first week; call a taxi, come back home (hundreds of miles away), and just do myself in. But before I could get phone privileges, which were due to me that day, I had to go to a lecture. Begrudgingly, I went.
I sat through the speaker's ramblings, uninterested and wishing for it to end, until something caught my attention. It was explained to me how alcoholism/addiction works on the inner brain and our survival list; how and why it worked the way it did. Someday, I’ll get into more detail on this, but I owe it an entire blog of its own, so please take my word for it when I say that it literally changed my way of thinking.
For the first time, I had a glimmer of hope. I had a tiny little light in the dark, and small as it may may have been, I could feel its heat in the cold, dark world I’d thrown myself into. And for the first time in my eighteen-plus years of drinking – I actually made a decision to do something about it. I didn’t know how. I had no clue what was going to happen to me, I only knew that I was done. Done trying to die. Done trying to make sense of it. Done fighting my way through everything in my path to find my way out.
What I had failed to see in all the self-created delusions and misery was that I needed some simple action; meaning, of course, not picking up the bottle, but reaching out for help, seeking to find a way to stop. And it was here that I now realize, with nearly two and a half years of sobriety, that my prayers were indeed being answered – just not as I had expected them to be.
I made a decision that day, that although I could not do this entirely on my own, I knew it was something I wanted, and something that I now believed was actually possible. Even though my understanding back then of how it was possible has drastically changed, it didn’t matter what I had thought about how or why, only that I chose.
As I look back over my toddler-like two-plus years of sobriety, I see that I’ve made a lot of changes. And all of those changes were based off of many little decisions and choices which were sprouted from one single choice – a choice to not die. This was all the action that was needed – a decision. One, simple choice; and the World of Wonders has been creeping open ever since.
What’s the view in this new world?
Success is loosely defined: A person that accomplishes a desired aim or purpose with a favorable outcome.
So How? How does one do that?
Make a choice – and take action.
If we’re living day-by-day, just 24 hours at a time, I’d say the key is to simply decide to make it through the day; don’t worry about how, leave that to our Higher Power; just decide, and then –
Turns out that the very desires I was praying for all those many years wasn't as much of a hoax as I had thought God was playing. The Creator is listening; she’s just waiting for us to make a move – we are being trained after all.