Happy Memorial Day! Thank you so much to all the Veterans, families of Veterans, friends of Veterans and the caretakers of our Veterans. Without your service and sacrifice, none of us would be in the position we are in today. So thank you from the bottom of my heart and I wish you the best that life has to offer. If I can ever do anything for you please do not hesitate to reach out.
After my call to Wayne I started to contemplate the twelve steps, what they meant and how was I going to go through them with my sponsor.
I am a huge supporter and advocate for the steps. I wish the whole world would be required to work the steps at a minimum of once in their lifetime. The world would be such a better place. As I say to my sponsees, “Work the steps until they work you.” Which is exactly what happened to me and continues to this day.
Wayne and I decided to meet every two weeks to discuss the step we were on. I would write out my thoughts and then we would discuss them.
Everything was changing very quickly since the letter to my Mother. I was still on my pink cloud, I had a full social calendar, still hanging out with the original crew and my business was really started to get busy. It was getting busy somewhat because spring was quickly approaching but I was doing things differently, I was clear headed and actually trying to do the best possible job I could.
I was beginning to understand what a special business I had, the special life I had and to think at one point I was ready and in the process of throwing it all away.
Wayne said, ” Please start on step one and we will meet in two weeks.”
Step One- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (Our Addiction) and our lives had become unmanageable.
I decided to throw in addiction after alcohol because in my experience: an addiction is an addiction is an addiction and there is very little difference from someone dealing with alcohol, drugs, sex, exercise, overeating, gambling and a myriad of other addictions.
As the counselors and experts say and I believe, the actual physical addiction is about ten percent of the problem the rest is physiological.
Honestly, step one was pretty easy for me. It was very obvious to myself and everyone else who bothered with me that my life really got off tracks with alcohol as a teenager and I promise you wouldn’t get an argument with anyone in my family, friends, girlfriends or anybody else for that matter.
I drank alcoholically from the start. I never ever had a drink to be social or for the taste. In fact, I really couldn’t stand the taste of alcohol. Maybe a little wine tasted okay with a big meal but other than that it was a means to an end and it is just that simple. I was a blackout drinker from the beginning as well. Even as a teenager there were nights I didn’t recall and that only got worse as the years progressed.
Being told that you were the life of the party was not a compliment when it was addressed to me.
In the final year of my drinking I started waking up around 5-6 am and had to have a few beers or any kind of alcohol just to stop the shakes and feel somewhat normal. They call this maintenance drinking. That obviously started off the day in a bad way. The final three weeks of my addiction I drank for two hours passed out and drank for two hours passed out, over and over the entire three weeks without eating a thing.
So it was painfully apparent that I was powerless over alcohol.
The last part of the step was a little more difficult to swallow. My life had become unmanageable.
I remember driving about a month before I entered the program and saying to myself, ” self I have a great life and wouldn’t switch with anyone.”
What an egotistical grandiose load of crap that was. There wasn’t one positive thing in my life and the edge of the cliff was approaching rapidly.
I have gotten into discussions with people about the difference between a functioning addict and a non- functioning addict.
Personally, I believe if you are an addict you are not functioning, at least not functioning to your best ability no matter how much you want to argue the point.
As I contemplated the step I finally came around to the idea that my life, when I was active, without question was unmanageable and even in my newly sober life was unmanageable.
I came to understand that I have no control over people, places, and things and once I fully grasped that concept I was able to move forward and understand that with the help of a higher power my life could become more manageable as long as I stay out of the way.
I met with Wayne and we discussed step one and he told me some of his story and how his life had become unmanageable and how powerless he was over his addiction.
Wow! An aha moment! One person reaching out and helping another. This sponsor-sponsee thing might just work. It was extremely helpful that Wayne opened up about his life and experience as well.
Maybe something was getting through this thick head.
Wayne went on to say,” think of AA as a living room, where we come together and discuss how we used to deal with things and now we have found a better way. Learn from those ahead of you who have achieved success in the program. Emulate the winners in the room. They have found or on a mission to live life a better way.”
Once we had finished I really felt a sense of freedom and it just intensified this pink cloud that I was riding.
I want more! I want what the winners had.
It was easy to look around the rooms of AA and see who had crossed the threshold and were now living a great life and those who were still struggling. There was an aura around their heads that I could actually see. They talked and acted differently. In AA you can actually see the transformation physically and verbally take place. It is a true metamorphosis and miracle, which I have been blessed to have witnessed on a number of occasions.
I started gravitating to the winners while reaching out with what little knowledge I had to those struggling.
“Our court case is tomorrow,” said my lawyer.
“Bring the last three years of your taxes,” my new CPA said.
“Your mortgage is due in full since you have missed payments,” came from the mortgage company.
“Your child support payment is behind,” came from the Texas Division of Family Services.
“We need to set up a repayment plan,” came from my distributor/manufacturer.
“Ruh ruh,” as Scooby Doo or Astro from the Jetsons would say.
What happened to this great new life? Aren’t I doing well and shouldn’t everyone just back off?
To be continued