I was just thinking about the intense ? Anger, resolve? that I felt about wanting to get well when I was new. I was chatting to a former Sponsee's, Sponsee (about her first Sponsee as it happens) at a local exhibition the other day and she said I reminded her of Dirty Harry in the way I described my initial resolve to get well. Funny. I haven't seen the film (not being a big Clint fan), but I think its useful to know that this kind of 'cornered rat desperation' has its uses in the beginning. I definitely was very sort of angry and intense about wanting to get well. Inwardly. I have no idea what I looked like to others when I was new. As far as I know I did not appear to be angry when I was new. I did not have any antisocial behaviors in that I was not acting out in an angry way. Mad? yes. Antisocial? no. What I'm describing is an inner condition.
Anyway, sure enough I was reading about Kenny's THIRD AA anniversary TODAY!! (Ah bless his cotton socks), and he was describing a very similar thing. Of basically this VERY intense faculty that took over regarding getting well. I just completely related to it.
I think back then, I felt SERIOUSLY ! pissed that after following recommendations from what seemed like all the 'right' people, (therapists etc), that I was in an UNBEARABLE emotional state that I could NOT get out of. It really WAS like the 'quicksand' analogy that Bill talks about in his story.
It wasn't that I wanted to give myself 'one shot', Its just that I felt like this was as close as I EVER wanted to get to losing my mind and wanting to die. This was as close to the edge as I could get. I just felt I had no option but to see if AA would work. I really believe that I owe my life to AA. I just do not know how I would have endured that state much longer without some relief.
I love that 'gift of desperation' thing. It works! Intensity has its place in recovery. It is often required for the bits where we need to go to any lengths. I LOVE a tough, gritty approach when its needed.
By the way I HAVE seen people get well who did NOT have this thing. People who kind of 'floated' into AA by mistake very early on in their drinking careers. So don't think that this means that only people who feel this get well. I'm just saying getting well is a DAMM SITE EASIER if you have this thing. Otherwise you have little or no sense of urgency, and any half hearted attempt can cost you DEARLY in either relapse or !! HUGE ! pain. But I tell you, those people are REALLY ! hard to sponsor. It CAN be done, but it is HARD work! Basically, they can think you are being a bitch when you tell em to do things. (Bitch? Moi??) Heheh. People who have been brought to their knees, or are just 'ready' to take suggestion, just kind of listen. Who knows how the damm thing works. But suffering sure gets our attention!! and makes us listen!
Anyway, Have a LOVELY Monday.
And Happy Anniversary Mr Kenny! London won't be the same when you head off to Dublin!
- An Irish Friend of Bill
- I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.
Monday, April 16, 2007
The gift of Desperation: Remembering the intense, angry, determination to get well when I was new
Posted by An Irish Friend of Bill
Labels: For Newcomers, Relapse, Sponsorship, Step 1
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I know that I was not only anti-social because of being a loner but I was empty (or so I thought) when I went to my first Al-Anon meeting. I was desperate to understand and make myself feel better. I didn't care about the alcoholic at that point or whether she got fixed. I had no delusions about who I wanted to get well--me.
I'm just too tired to play cops and robbers with the police. I might as well get clean and sober. Maybe I'm too old to play anymore.
I think the last paragraph is dedicated to me :) I hit many bottoms the first time, but I always questioned myself (as if being a bulimic and self injurer and enduring OCD did not give me clues of symptoms of the Dz) and so I seeked desperation again. Today, at this moment, I am grateful for the past month of HELL. I have 5 days of sobriety now and am doing things differently thanks to that gift of "desperation."
I enjoy reading about your experiences, I am open to hearing many messages today.
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