When we come into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous they ask us "Are you willing to go to any lengths to get sober?" Of course we all say yes. That's the answer they are looking for right? Have you ever really considered what that question is asking? ANY LENGTHS. Any. Gosh that sounds so dramatic. Thank God AA doesn't really require much to work the program. Just follow a few simple instructions, go to meetings and DON'T DRINK NO MATTER WHAT! Considering the lengths most of us went to to engage in our alcoholic (addict) lifestyles, this program really is a piece of cake.
Sure when I was new I was ready and willing. I went to (what felt like) a million meetings, and read that dang big book over and over. The thing that was the hardest, however, was not drinking. I love drinking! It was what I did, how I spent my life. How could I possibly not drink when that was my all-time favorite activity?! Eek! Sounds scary huh? Well my friends, I have found the key to not drinking:
For me, the miracles of the program were not enough during my first go-around. My life dramatically increased in several ways once I sobered up and began working the steps. But I had what just may be the most dangerous thing an alcoholic can have- a plan B. I kept drinking as a back up plan. It brought me comfort to know if things got bad enough, I could always get drunk.
So the day came, after 9 months of sobriety, I picked up that cursed bottle. OMG it was horrible! I drank like never before. Boy did I go big! I partied and drank like there was no tomorrow. But I had the miracles of the program under my belt and I knew I wanted to be sober more than anything in the world. There was only one problem-I couldn't stop. It was the most miserable thing ever. I desperately wanted my AA life back, but -the tiger was let out of the cage, as I put it- and I just couldn't stop. The mental obsession and physical craving had completely taken over.
Then the glorious day came when I saw beautiful red and blue flashing lights in my rear view mirror. I was free at last! I was hand-cuffed and towed away to get another chance at sobriety-and life. Ironic that I would refer to sitting in a jail cell as freedom, but I was finally free. I was locked up and away from King Alcohol. So then I hit the rooms of AA running and haven't looked back since. I needed that relapse. I had to go try it one more time just to make sure.
In these past four years of sobriety, I have not once wanted to drink. Sure the euphoric memories return, and my disease won't let me forget how much I love that three-beer-buzz. To be honest, any time I entertain the idea of a drink, it flees as quickly as it came.
I got done.
I drank until any desire, beauty or fancy notions were gone. I am so blessed. There is nothing alcohol has to offer me today. I am done.
I must add that although the compulsion, desire and obsession is completely gone, I am and always will be an alcoholic. I am never immune. I am safe though, as long as I perform God's will on a daily basis and stick close to the program and the solution I have found in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. This disease is sneaky. It wants me dead. But just for today, I will not drink.
I do it because it works.
I do it because I live a life of recovery.