About Me

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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.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Perhaps you think you're "Not that bad": 'Yets' and The PROGRESSIVE nature of this illness

if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you will be able to do WHATEVER you need to do to get well. But when people don't grasp step one very well, they can be a bit ambivalent about the programme and have no real sense of urgency about getting well. They can still see some options or mileage with drinking.

In many ways I was a very ''high bottom' when I as new. I was not at a point in my drinking career where I needed to drink every day, or even every month. I could stop for long periods like the 'carpet slippers and a bottle' fellow in the big book. I had no physical symptoms. My liver hadn't packed in. I wasn't incontinent. But I HAD reached an unbearably agonizing emotional and mental rock bottom and I was willing to do ANYTHING to get well. Nothing you could suggest would be more awful than what I was feeling, so it wasn't a problem.

Sometimes people need to suffer a bit more before they start taking this disease seriously. Sometimes people can only acknowledge its power when it takes EVERYTHING away from them. Including their job, and their ability to earn a living. Often the job is the last thing to go. It's the thing that convinces them that there really IS something horribly wrong.

With some newcomers, their ability to earn a living gives them a false sense of security (especially if they are reasonably professional) and make them think they're 'not that bad'. Ie they won't lose eve-ry-thing. they wont lose their ability to earn a living, mind ! or control of their bladder. That happens to 'other' people. Basically, the more skilled they are, the more they struggle with grasping their GREATEST weakness, their inability to stop or control their drinking. Or in cases like mine, how they fall apart and lose everything with or without alcohol. (That's the insanity option by the way!)
(It doesn't ALWAYS happen like that though. I have spoken with park bench homeless old men (for instance) who thought THEY were 'not that bad', so its a fairly universal condition! Denial is the same, no matter what your personal circumstances!)

Anyway, the reason I say this is because this is a PROGRESSIVE illness, and those things are 'yets' I'm afraid. Yes. Even for skilled, competent, intelligent, professional, capable people. For everybody! I know SO many VERY ! skilled VERY competent people who were brought to their KNEES with this thing. Reputation and intelligence don't put this disease in remission any more than they put cancer in remission. So those things, although nice to have, will not save you.

I am COMPLETLY powerless over the point at which people 'see' the grave nature of this disease. I would LOVE to be able to 'make' people have a 'proper' rock bottom. But it's NONE OF MY BUSINESS when that happens. Oh well. I find step one the MOST hard work with Sponsees. REALLY hard work! There is a LOT of work to do in terms of understanding what the implications of having this disease really means. Its a VERY bleak prospect if you really understand it. Step one is a downer really! But I always see that as a really healthy sign. Personally I think an incomplete understanding of the implications of the illness makes for a VERY shaky foundation to the programme of recovery. But that's just my view of what I've observed working in myself and with others.

Whatever! Have yourselves a cool Thursday!


ArahMan7 said...

I used to think it could never happened to me too.

Thank you for another awesome lesson.

Syd said...

It has always seemed to me to think of the idea of "how low can you go" as being almost a necessity. After all, if you aren't willing to do anything to quit drinking and your ego isn't sufficiently crushed, then how will you get to the point where you work the acceptance steps. I was surprise to hear a psychiatrist say on the HBO program about Addiction that the idea of having to hit "rock bottom" isn't true. In fact, the shrinks would prefer that someone come in earlier before that occurs. My sponsor has told me that comparing stories is not helpful because it doesn't matter how bad off you were or how many years you're in the program, the pain that you feel is the only one that matters.

Anonymous said...

Again all that you write is so truthful. How I can grow from what you write.

I got sober, went to Casa Dee Las Amigas in Pasadena in June 2005. I heard the others, their pain and stories. I played the comparison game for I had many "yetz" to experience. Was I a true alcoholic. Deep within I knew I was based on my obsessive personality. Sometimes I felt not worthy of being there, but I hurt.

So I tested out this theory again come last month. Insane yes, cuz this is my life I am playing with. There is so much truth here, and I love that you share it. Progressive, Hell Yes it is.

May you continue on your path knowing the right thing to do. Working with others, thank you for offering yourself. II know you do it to remain sober and connected to your HP. However for soemone being a "newbie" again that hand of help mean so much. It is life saving!

Anonymous said...

You pass on a strong message and when that new troubled soul or one who has relaspsed can hear it, they will, and they will bless you for it. Stay with it and pass it on, it works! !With thanks. Lw

ArahMan7 said...

Enjoy your weekend, my Irish Friend of Bill.

Mama Dukes said...

last night I listened to a 27 year old who got sober when he was 21. It was wondeful when he said he hadn't hit a bottom by losing everything cause he didn't ever have anything and if he continued on that path he would never have anything to lose.

there were lots of newbies, young ones there--so glad they got to hear him.