Even more crucial than identifying your “problem” is identifying yourself. Getting sober is not about deciding “how bad things are” or “if they could be worse.”
Hi: they could always be worse.
Instead, sobriety is about defining who you are in this life. What are the values you will honor in yourself. For what truths will you stand up and be unwavering.
At my side as I journal and write this morning, along with my beloved black coffee and against all discernible odds, is the Big Book. I bought it because even just the title “Alcoholics Anonymous” embossed on the cover in all caps frightened me.
Not that. Please. Anything but that.
But alas here we are. It is that. My addiction is mine. My thing. My beast. My blessing. My angel my demon and everything in between.
I bought the AA Book because I spent a decade terrified to admit that I struggled to control my drinking. I thought my addiction would kill me either way – if I kept going or if I tried to stop. Either way, shame kept me paralyzed and numb.
I know AA is controversial and for good reason. I know it has helped millions to heal their own lives also for good reason. I believe everyone will find their own way, including me. The important thing is I’m open to finding my own way.
Maybe I will read the Big Book word for word. Maybe I will not. Maybe I will take what resonates with my soul, mind, and heart, and leave the rest. Maybe it will help, maybe it will hurt. I know that I will know.
For me right now it’s a triumph I never thought possible just to have this book in my hands.
To trust I will know my path forward whatever it may be. To know it does not include alcohol ever again. To know I’m already 115 days on the other side of a murderous kind of denial.
Because the thing is, it doesn’t matter how much you drink or how often or if you fit a label or a profile or pop positive based on some random online quiz. If you are hiding from yourself you have to explore that in order to find yourself and get free. Without judgement. Without blame or shame or self-cruelty.
Author’s note: If you believe this post can help others and/or yourself please share it. By “help” I mean simply to start a respectful conversation that otherwise may remain in the shadows of frightened minds. We need to be talking about this in new ways. It’s time.