Keepers: Voices of Secular Recovery

Old 08-28-2008, 01:34 PM
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Is a Generic Model of Recovery Possible?

By Scott N.

CThomas179 wrote:

> I read the Chapter to the Agnostic in the Big Book several times
> the other night. I was wondering about the AA approach, I kept
> reading it over and over, because I was amazed (don't know why)
> that they do say "just keep coming back, you'll get it, that so
> called spiritual experience".

What is perhaps more amazing is that it does seem to happen to many people. Not that there is a genuine spiritual experience, but that many people believe they have had one after hanging around AA for a while.

Drawing on my own experience, I have some hypotheses about how it might come to pass. First, when I first sobered up, I had to deal with the fact that I drank and used during my entire adolescence and much of my twenties. As a result, I missed many of the experiences that mature and integrate a personality during those very important years. I was basically an empty shell of a person when it came time to sober up.

Secondly, I was in a hell of a lot of pain caused mostly by the emptiness and the shame of knowing what I was and how I got that way. I would have believed just about anything if I thought believing it would stop the pain and help me become a person. Then, here are all these people who described being like I had been, who seemed much better than I was who told me I could have what they had if I followed these few simple steps.

Looking back on it, I count myself lucky that I didn't fall into a more mind warping situation than AA. I was certainly vulnerable. At least they let me decide what HP I would choose. I would have ended up believing just about anything I heard repeated often enough.

I can't tell you how much anxiety I felt when I stopped attending meetings regularly. Turns out the quality of my sobriety improved considerably after I quit going.

In retrospect, I was being too open and honest, something else pounded into me. Yes it is possible to be, as a psychologist would put it, inappropriately self disclosing. I was shaming myself. The doubts, the fears, the desires, basically, all the dark side stuff. It turns out that at some point, it is important to put that stuff away and focus on the positive aspects of ones character, not just the parts that are problematic. I guess I had to grow out of AA to fully see that. For me at least, the AA personality I had put on when I got sober ended up being, while not empty, not my size either (not to mention the itchy cloth).

In a sense, many people who have been addicted need to change the way they view the world, and I mean a wholesale change. It is expedient for many of us to have a tailor made version to step into while we get our **** together. I now believe it does not have to be the AA version though at one point I did. I find myself wondering if a generic model for recovery is possible. Most seem to agree on rule number one (i.e. abstinence). I wonder if there will ever be a second rule different camps pretty much agree on.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:41 PM
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That Trip Out of Town

Diane posted:

I have to attend a professional meeting this upcoming weekend, and I am looking for any suggestions people might have on successfully staying sober through it (anything from "Just don't drink!" to arcane rituals will be welcome). I'm sure you know the sticky parts: planes, trains, hotel bars, meeting cocktail hours, etc.

Frankly, this has been something I haven't handled well before (why CAN'T that lady get into room 353? Right room number; ooops, wrong hotel, bye...) and I really intend to succeed this time.

Any tips appreciated.

Mary Ann replied:

Is there a meeting where you're going? Find out, plan to attend it. Skip the cocktail hour, if you have to go then go late (got caught up in work, networking etc...) have a soda, stay away from the bar and people who are obviously there for the drink. Better yet arrive late, bump into someone causing your drink to spill on you (wear light color, dark stainable juice) then you really must leave to change clothes and don't go back. Don't go into the hotel bar. Get a rental car (even if you have to pay for it), drive to a meeting (SOS, AA, NA, Alanon, Alateen). Tips on how to find a meeting: http:/ (SOS), phone book for AA, NA. Call the local treatment center/hosp. is there a meeting, or someone you can talk with. As for the airport, bring a SOS book, have the airport PA system page "any friend of J. Christopher or Bill W." to meet you for a mini meeting. Bring a sober friend with you to wait. Use the phone call someone. Do airport have internet terminals now??? Sign on to SOS Email or Friends of Bill W. chat room. Hey, anything in a tempting situation is worth a try. Keep that last experience (oops, wrong hotel) fresh in your mind.

Craig replied:

I am off on a business trip this very week, and for the first time in a while I was apprehensive about booze before I left - I was concerned that being in a small city in Montana at this time of year would be a problem, what with the early sundown and unavailability of the usual outdoor recreational options in this part of the country, as well as the omnipresence of bars in this frosty climate. Well, my concerns were unfounded, I have had absolutely no urge to throw away my life whatsoever. I even turned down repeated offers of beer and wine tonight when I had dinner at a colleague's home - and you know what? The antelope steaks were still yummy, the conversation was still amusing, and neither he nor his wife thought any less of me because I chose not to drink. I had a really good time, and I know that I behaved well enough that they meant it when they said they wanted to see me again. It's a good feeling.

You don't have to drink to have fun. You don't have to drink to be interesting. There are only two possible reasons to drink: because you want to or because you need to. Since you are here, it is pretty clear that you don't really want to. And since you are here, you have probably decided that you need not to drink more than you need to drink. So just keep in mind that no matter what, there is no possible reason that you should pick up a bottle, regardless of what others (be they "normal" or drunks like us) do.

Hugh replied:

Diane and all, I haven't joined in the discussion till now; I've just been eavesdropping, but I appreciate this problem, Diane. I'm a historian and these conferences are REALLY tough tests of sobriety. What I've done is just flat out tell people I have stopped drinking because too often in the past I have gotten knee-walking and I don't want to chance that any more. The reaction has been almost uniformly favorable: people were GLAD AND RELIEVED that I would not be making an obnoxious spectacle of myself. People who didn't know me, didn't care that I didn't drink. And what a difference it made! Instead of returning home with an aching head and fervent hopes that I was not wanted by the local police, I had lots of new, useful information for lectures, etc. and, more important, clear memories of good times with old friends I only get to see at these conferences. I really can't imagine screwing up one of these occasions again for the sake of alcohol. I really enjoy this group and have benefited from it enormously.

Diane responded:

I just wanted to thank you all for the very useful and creative suggestions and support. It has been definitely helpful for me to see how other people handle this kind of situation. I've printed all of your e-mails and will be taking them with me this evening.

I also used your suggestions in combination with a technique in the SOS Handbook. I sat down last night and listed off all of the potential PROBLEM situations I could imagine arising and then matched them with possible SOLUTIONS:

"Liking those little bottles of California Chardonnay on the plane" -- make sure I have something nonalcoholic to drink.

"Going out with a group of former colleagues" -- try just telling them that I stopped drinking -- they'll probably be just as glad; remember that there is no reason for me to pick up a cetera.

I realize that this might sound like major overkill (I even called the hotel to make sure the room doesn't have a minibar!), but this is the first time I have traveled for any reason and I want it to be a success.

Three days later, Diane posted:


I just wanted to thank everyone for all of the advice and support re: conference travel. It WORKED! Had a very nice time (actually remember the content of the sessions! -- laugh), enjoyed seeing old colleagues -- and even attended two receptions fueled by nothing stronger than Diet Coke. (I did skip the invitation to go "brewpub crawling", however -- went back to my hotel and got into the pool instead, then went down for a nice dinner with a good book. I brought all your e-mail with me and it was most helpful to review the suggestions and my plan and to know that I HAD a plan, and options to deal with it.

Didn't even want to drink on the train ride home -- AND got an unexpected bonus from that: turned out my boss was on the same train (unrelated travel) and we didn't know it till we disembarked (by which time yours truly USUALLY would have had at least three of those cunning little bottles of wine ("oh, they're SO small....").

Anyway, thank you all once again, and enjoy a sober Tuesday! (Even if it IS cloudy and Novembery here, it's not cloudy in my head today. And it doesn't have to be anymore.

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Old 08-29-2008, 07:22 PM
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We Can More Freely Tell

by Ben B.

This is an important idea that I couldn't talk about in AA, that we don't all have the same experiences.

When I was six months sober my AA sponsor was talking about blackouts. When I said I rarely had blackouts, he said in a patronizing way "keep coming back." The idea in AA is that because we're all "alcoholics," we all have all the "symptoms" of "alcoholism," so my sponsor thought I must have had many blackouts, and I was just in denial about it. The truth is that our (not just the people on this list, or in SOS, but all people who have drinking problems) drinking patterns were often very different. Many people regularly had blackouts caused by drinking, but certainly not all. Some people got drunk from the first time they drank, and always got drunk when they drank. Others had years of drinking in which they only had one or two drinks at a time. Some got DUIs, some didn't. Some never drove drunk. And on and on...

I like this about the SOS list: that we can more freely tell what we were really like, without having to have done any one thing or combination of things ('symptoms') while drinking to 'qualify' us to be here. I still see (dare I say it...) a little group-think here, but it's a vast improvement over where I spent my early sobriety...
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:27 PM
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Change the Behavior Now!

By Ron C.

Eric wrote:

>Today is 60 days for me! It's been interesting, every day is a learning experience.
>Eric :-)


This recovery process isn't one gradual continuum of felt progress.

My actions and values, especially those I eventually changed in sobriety, were acutely operative in early sobriety.

All of the feelings about myself (usually negative) and all of my learned methods of dealing with the world (usually inappropriate and self-defeating) continued into sobriety.

It is.....the very fact that "every days is a learning experience" that allows me to evaluate and to change my method of living. "That" learning now reinforces my sobriety.

If you notice the emergence of a behavior that you know contributes to your drinking, CHANGE the behavior NOW. That's what learning is all about.

If you notice the the emergence of feelings about yourself that contributes to your drinking, CHANGE the feelings learned to feel that way and you will learn to feel other ways.

I continually remind myself that "the action does not determine the response, I determine the response."

Such is what makes the Sobriety Priority work.....such is what make me responsible for my sobriety and my life.....such is what makes life wonderful, interesting and most curious.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:42 AM
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Ixnay Eagles

By Jim S., Barbara A., Ben B., Larry D., Scott N., and Jim S.

Jim S. asked for advice:

Ok friends I have a serious dilemma and will pose it thus. I've been invited to travel to Philadelphia Sunday for an Eagles game. I am so damn new in this sobriety business that I'm questioning whether I should attend or not. $60 free tickets. One of my dreams has been to attend a pro football game. I had the good fortune of attending a Pirates game in a private box (again, free of charge) last summer and had a blast. I was drinking but still tremendously enjoyed it. […] I (if I go) will be traveling with a drinker. I have considered being the Des Driver.

Even my wife is pushing me to go with the logic that I didn't get sober to sit around with my thumb up my a_ _. It rather shocked me that she mentioned if I slip I can always start over again when I get back Sunday night. That tells me she has not a clue as to the scope of this most insidious problem. I can't fault her for that since she is not and never will be an alcoholic.

We are a group of people who know what it is to be there. I certainly don't want her blessing to drink and would just like some simple suggestions to stay clean at this early place in my recovery. Something someone said on this list is beginning to sink in to this feeble mind. I will give proper credit to whoever it was since you know who you are even if I forgot. "I want to not want to drink". That is where I am at this time. Can I sustain this thinking? Any and all suggestions will be very much appreciated, taken to heart, written down, read and re-read; hell I'll even eat the notes if it will help. Thank you all for taking time to read this.

Barbara A. answered:

Hello Jim, Everyone.

I'm not usually one to give advice, but since you have asked... I'm not a sports fan, maybe because I'm not eating my quota of 1.5 inch steaks, and I'm trying to imagine an equivalent thrill for me that would include a possible return to drinking ....hummm ...hummm. Well, I'll keep working on that. Anyway, when I was first new at not drinking, finding it hard, the AA advice (see, Ben I have remembered to quote my sources) was - if you don't want to slip, don't go where it's slippery. I could pick some holes in that one now, but the basic message still rings true for me. Slippery for me is not so much an environment now, but a state of mind, but it hasn't always been like that.

Why voluntarily put yourself in an uncomfortable, possibly unsafe position, that may lead back to drinking ?

Answers come to mind as - the possible risk is worth the possible reward - or you're making plans to drink again. I really steered away from those "slippery places" when I was under pressure. You seem under pressure to me, Jim - another very new sobriety, work overload, holiday season, wife who won't be too upset if you do drink again, what else...? How much fun will it be to go to that game if you do drink ? How much fun will it be to avoid the game because it may be a risk to your new attempt at sobriety ? You are young, more good offers will come your way.

Ben B. answered:

It's certainly true that we don't get sober to live a boring life and never get out to have fun, but you appear to lack confidence that you can stay sober through this event. If you choose not to go, what would be an alternative? Try figuring out how much you spent on alcoholic beverages (and don't even count possible peripheral expenses such as increased risk of car damage or a DUI assuming you drove drunk, or more intangible expenses such as reduced job performance/ attendance and strained personal relationships). Figure out how long it would have taken you to spend $60. Maybe a month? Now, when does the football season end? If the season ends before you save up $60 that you would have spent on drinking, then how about next year? Will the Eagles play again in Philadelphia? I've heard about these football teams relocating. (Are the Eagles the Philadelphia team? I'm not much of a sports fan myself) The Falcons have been in Atlanta for 30 years - I happen to hear the sports whenever I watch the TV news, and the Falcons are (ahem) not going anywhere. Again, I've never been a fan and never been to a Pro Football game - perhaps the Falcons are why :-) I think you get the idea - one of the rewards of sobriety can be doing something you've always wanted to do, even if you have to pay for it yourself. If you plan to go to a later game when you'll feel more confident, you'll have time to find another sober fan to go with you.

>... "I want to not want to drink". That is where I am at this
> time. Can I sustain this thinking?
Only you can actually answer that, but it would certainly be easier at a later time in sobriety.

Larry D. responded:

Hi Jim, I've really enjoyed your accounts of your early days a lot, and I'll take this chance to say something back, and add to what Barb and Ben have already offered. As much as we are pulling for you, I don't think many people on this list would feel comfortable trying to tell you what you have to do to stay sober. For better or worse, the SOS program forces each of us to apply the sobriety priority to our individual situation and personality --- whatever it takes is what it takes for you to stay sober, not for me. If for you that means football games, then don't look back, it's bye-bye Eagles. For now, anyway. But if that doesn't include football for you, then Go Eagles! That kind of freedom can be a great to a person who has some sober experience, but I can see where it might be a little overwhelming to somebody new to the game.

Although you don't have to swear off football for the rest of your life, would it make good sense to take a rain check on this one? If it was me, I think a lot of my decision would hinge on the friend I would be going with. If he was a person who already knew I was not drinking, and I knew that he would support me in that even if he was drinking himself, I might not feel too vulnerable. But if I haven't felt comfortable sharing my decision with him and would be faced on my own with a whole host of subtle pressures to drink, I would figure I would either succumb or be miserable, and I would avoid the situation like the plague. And treat myself to the biggest consolation prize I could think of, to ease my temptation to feel sorry for myself. I've never been to a pro football game in my life, so it would be really easy for me to say no. Maybe to you it is more of a once-in-a lifetime thing, and to pass it up would make you feel really deprived.

Of course, if you knew for sure, or even thought there was a pretty good chance that you would drink, your decision would be an easy one. You have a lot invested already in those thirteen sober days, and as you pointed out, your wife's reassurance that you can always quit again, however well meaning it was, just doesn't make any sense in light of that investment. Not only does staying sober get easier with time, our increasing investment in sober time also makes it easier and easier to convince ourselves not to throw it away and have to start all over again. I remember saying to myself many, many times "I sure don't want to have to go through that again!" And I never did have to, once I quit for good.

Reading over what I just wrote, I sound even to myself like a big mugwump, but I don't think I can do any better. Anyway you slice it, it is your call. The sobriety priority can guide you, but you will find a lot of different translations of that principle even among our group. Good luck to you!

Scott N. posted:

I don't know what will work for you, but when I gave up drinking and drugging 10+ years ago, I also quit hanging around others who drink and drug. That was necessary for me at the time to stay sober. I also changed jobs and professions because the stresses and temptations of my old life were a threat that I chose not to dance with. I also moved 30 miles down the road, went into treatment, served 2 years probation rather than a quick 30 days in county that was offered by the judge. I could go on, but my point is that I had to do what I had to do to stay sober. Sobriety was my first priority and in order to keep it, I knew I had to be willing to give up anything that would seriously jeopardize that priority. What I found out is that through giving up my old life so completely, room was made for me to start a new one that was and continues to be enormously more rewarding. I have paid to see both Astros games and Rangers games in the past two years and enjoyed them intensely. Went with my sober wife and son. Hope this helps.

Jim S. responded:

I would like to thank you all for the helpful advice. I will spend the next day or two hashing over options. This is one of those things that I need people to tell me what I don't want to hear. That is the important thing for me. I can justify just about anything given the opportunity. Is that not a trait of alcoholics? Thanks again and keep posting!

And a day later, Jim S. posted again:

Well, I decided to not go to the Eagles game Sunday. I thought very long and hard about what you all wrote and of course you're right. Why chance a slip on a slippery slope? I told my wife of my decision and to say she was ecstatic would be an understatement. She mentioned how "nice" I've been these last couple weeks and would hate to see me blow it. After all the ******** I've put her through these last years she has every right to be selfish yet she is not. I can in fact watch on TV and quaff a few diet Squirts. Funny, I was thinking about one of my 3 older brothers the other day who is nonalcoholic (as are the other 2) and he used to ask me rather nastily if I was that thirsty would I be drinking a 12 pack of Pepsi? I think not. I didn't lie to the gentleman who invited me but told him politely that something important had come up that I had forgotten about and could I take a rain check. No problemo. I do not feel deprived in the least as I did feel uncomfortable enough to ask for advice. In the past that would not have happened - trust me on that one.

I used a model I found in my desk drawer this morning. On one side the blank section had possible benefits of drinking and on the opposite the possible problems or risks involved. Guess which side had the most writing in it? […]

Thanks for the support's what I needed, when I most needed it. I really didn't expect to be confronted with this dilemma in the first place. Some people take my gregarious and outgoing nature behind the counter to be the "real" me. I'm a very good actor. I guess you could call that a very important retail skill. I've been offered jobs as sales director, stock broker, you name it. I tell people that I just can't lie<G>. Like hell, I've lied so much during the drinking that the truth became nonexistent. I'm getting better though. Even my employees have noticed a big change in me in this most early stage. They like it better. A sober Jim beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick any day!

Best to you all this fine evening. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Eve and I will lovingly wrap all your hearts safely in bubble paper and give thanks for what I've received from my new friends.
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Old 09-07-2008, 05:53 PM
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Thirty Days Sober and What Do You Get?

By Jim S.

Thirty days and what did I get?

I found my self-respect, so long lacking.

I found my business again and am enjoying it.

I found people no longer antagonize me.

I found money in my pockets.

I found much, much, more time on my hands.

I found my real friends are still my real friends.

I found my "alcohol abuser" friends are still alcohol abusers.

I found myself jumping out of bed full of enthusiasm.

I found my employees talking to me about important life matters.

I found I'm a very productive person.

I found the beauty of books once again.

I found I'm not nearly as stupid as I look.

I found that not everyone pukes daily.

I found chocolate.

I found dinner to be special with my family.

I found that my wife does/did not hate me ... just the booze.

I found my kids really do love their dad in spite of my faults and foibles.

I found I can be there for them.

I found my paranoia was unfounded.

I found poetry.

I found creative writing.

I found how to fix things heretofore impossible.

I found comedy to be funny.

I found the people in my wife's church are not all hypocrites.

I found Christmas shopping to be a joy rather than a burden.

I found the damn cats like me sober.

I found strength in numbers.

I found happiness and peace.

I found no pink cloud, just honest to goodness sobriety.

I found I need not project nor forecast the future.

I found (from Pigpen in Charlie Brown's Christmas) "Frankly, I didn't think I looked this good."

I found tolerance of others views.

I found I'm not always right.

I found others are not always right either.

I found there are some very good people in this world.

I found there likewise to be a not-so-short supply of evil.

I found I can enjoy life rather than merely survive it.

I found you folks.

I found some great slice of strength you all seem to possess and exhibit.

I found I never announced anniversaries in AA, as I tended to look to the future with the attitude (or maybe I just never "got it") that most seemed to treat their time "clean" as time "deprived". I don't want to fall into that trap again.

You get bit the first time it's the dogs fault, the second time its your own fault.

Love and friendship to all you fine people.

I don't think, or maybe I do, that this is the first month of the rest of my life.

Chaos bless, God bless, Buddha bless, Zoroaster bless, Great Spirit bless, oh and lets not forget Jean Dixon!

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Old 10-29-2008, 12:02 PM
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:14 AM
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Reach Out and Touch

by Jane D.

Spent my Xmas with family -- some of my most dangerous buttons. Got through it. And it really was OK. The same old conflicts, a bunch of new ones. I didn't drink and didn't have much problem with it then even though this is the first holiday season I can remember (literally) having been sober.

So, I'm on Amtrak coming home and I'm not sure whether or not it was that the relief of getting through the holidays wasn't coming fast enough to suit me or whether it was that I was feeling the need for a reward or boredom or what, but my lizard mind started rationalizing. One glass of wine wouldn't hurt. After all, I didn't drink when my buttons were pushed; when the pressure was on, so one glass of wine couldn't hurt now. My seat was less than one car down from the club car. That made it very convenient.

The power went off. They had to get a diesel to push us to a new power line. But the power was only enough to run the engine -- no heat or lights. A three hour trip took me six-plus hours. As the hours grew, and, as I couldn't smoke on the train, my lizard got stronger. The line to the Club Car got long. As they passed me, I noticed a very young, very harassed mom with baby and started to talk. I offered to get her what she needed so she could sit down with cranky babe in tow. She took me up on it. I got on that line still debating on getting my booze and wanting it real bad by that time. Bought two waters, walked extra cars to find and give it to her. Took the baby in my arms and walked her for an hour or so up and down the aisle; her under my coat to try and give her some warmth in the cold.

As I walked her, that small child reminded me how precious life is; mine included.

That was my small holiday miracle. Happy New Year!
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:40 PM
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I'd Just Rather Be Me

By Bill McD.

Howdy Everyone:

(A few Mozart-induced thoughts of a gray and drizzly morning)

"to be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." (e.e. cummings)

This appears on my "Zen a day" calendar for last Monday, and I have been thinking about it, on and off, for the rest of the week. It seems to me that cummings, while addressing a more general, "condition of man" kind of thing, may as well have been speaking directly to those of us fighting addiction.

After all, we are all of us on a search for self, something we touched on last week a couple of times, if memory serves. All of us, to some degree or another, lived lives that were not our own, in which we followed the dictates of alcohol and/or drugs and, all too often, the whims and fickle vagaries of some rather questionable companions. And at some point, we all decided that this was not a healthy way to be. So we have this great commonality, but at the same time, we are more diverse. We were, I think, much more alike when we were still using, and what a sorry lot I daresay we were.

Sober, we have a diversity of opinion which is rich and lively, sometimes fun and sometimes angry, by turns profound and mind-numbingly plebeian. All of this is good, and a far cry from the sameness we once exhibited: Thinking ourselves "terminally unique," to borrow from AA, we were the proverbial dime-a-dozen. Every barroom had a number of us in there, talking **** and meaning it and forgetting it and returning to hold forth some more the next day. Too many living rooms had one of us, watching bad television, cursing our luck in the world and dreading what the next day was going to bring down on us. Cheers!

What binds us now, it seems to me, is something greater even than our common fight for sobriety. Knowing what we were, seeing, possibly for the first time, what each of us has the potential to become, we feel a need to encourage the growth in each other, even when it means we know we're gonna argue, sometimes even viciously. We are helping each other to become individuals, something we were, for the most part, excruciatingly bad at before. I think we see this mostly in newcomers, who are still fighting the idea that maybe their old "friends" aren't the best people in the world to hang out with anymore, that maybe they shouldn't have whiskey in the house or go to happy hour, that the "just one more" bug is poisonous and horrible and wrong. The using society is a hard one to leave behind, for the very simple reason that we got a sense of self, however warped and mangled, from that society.

As we move on toward sobriety, we find that our minds and our souls feel lighter and more free; we become more capable of looking critically at things which once were not only acceptable but even desirable, things that now seem to be stupid and harmful. As we explore that mental/emotional freedom, that new-found critical ability, we slowly, slowly, discover who and what we are.

And it is not easy. It is the most difficult thing most of us will ever do. Because there are some demons in there, deep in our pasts, which have shaped us, and they are not pretty to look at. But they are us, to some degree, and as such have to be accepted or killed off and replaced. We can do that, now, either one. This is a part of becoming "nobody-but-yourself", I think. When we were a part of that drinking/using "everybody else", our arguments were loud and crude and meaningless; that which we cannot remember is not a valid lesson, or a valid point. And they were the same arguments, night after night, pounded on again and again because we were so woefully misunderstood and the world just didn't get it. I myself had EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM IN THE UNIVERSE SOLVED. Absolutely true. 'Course, I have no idea what my solutions were, but I'm sure they were great.

Somehow, I think I'd just rather be me. Wrong, right, whatever. At least now I know that if I **** somebody off, or if I make them think or laugh, I'll remember, tomorrow, what I said, and know that I meant it. And that it was me doing the talking and thinking, not thirteen Bass Ales and a multi-colored shooter with a very strange name….
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