Sober Horse Thief
When I first sobered up there was an old timer who always used to say, “You know what you get when you sober up a drunken horse thief?” At the time I did not know the answer to the question, but now I do. The answer is if we “put the cork in the bottle,” without spiritual awaking gained from working the steps we are going to be the same miserable woman we have always been. Another way to say it is that we are “dry” as opposed to being sober. Today I am not willing to settle for being dry, I want to be sober.
¶ 3/29/2005 02:24:00 PM9 commentslinks to this post
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
I do not know why but lately, the inbox of my email has been filled with offers for drug and alcohol rehab. The colorful offers are sandwiched in between my other junk emails offering mortgage refinancing and “natural enhancement.” I have been blessed enough to have a few 24 hours so I usually just delete these emails along with their refinancing and enhancing brethren.
Today however, I decided to open one. “Rehabilitation is just around the corner,” they claimed with their bold graphic and impeccable web design. One page showed a movie usher in vivid uniform pointing at the reader in an “Uncle Sam Wants You,” stance. The marquee over his head read “Now Showing Your Results.” The website went on to promise trademarked methods only used at this west coast treatment center. The site also promised rapid detox with rapid results. I do not know maybe their claims are true. What bothers me about the E-mail is that it reduces sobriety to a product and a way of life to a quick fix. If I have learned anything it is that there are no quick fixes.
¶ 3/23/2005 09:27:00 AM0 commentslinks to this post
I got sober at a time and in a place where there was lots of treatment around. That was the way it was in the summer of 1989 in Minneapolis. You could hardly swing a dead cat without hitting a treatment center or a chemical dependency counselor. On my first morning in the treatment center one of the nurses asked me which treatment this was for me. When I said my first she got this surprised look on her face.
Its not like that anymore. HMO have turned CD treatment into a thing of the past for most alcoholics and addicts. Yet we trudge forward.
I think those of us in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous have a tendency sometimes to deify Bill W. Bill was not a deity or even a saint. By some accounts, he was not that likeable of a guy, even in sobriety. What he was however, was a thoroughly fallible thoroughly flawed person who stumbled upon a solution for alcoholism.
Are We Ready
We were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character. Step Six
And when Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time he asked him, “Do you want to get well.” John 5:6
Am I ready, do I want to get well? No I am not always ready. At least I am not always entirely ready. I am often secretly fond of my defects of character. Even if I am not fond these defects I am at times very fearful to have them removed. These defects serve in some way or I would not be hanging on to them. After all where would I be I tell myself without my ambition, in my case another word for greed or my perceptiveness in my case another word for being judgmental? My addiction was one thing, it was painful and it was killing me but what about my envy.
If I am honest I will tell you that my character defects separate me from my creator as much if not more than my drinking ever did. I will also tell you that on those days that I actually sincerely pray to be relieved of these named defects. I know a joy and a sense of security that nurturing my defects will never bring me. Am I entirely ready? All I can tell you is just for today I pray that I am.
¶ 3/13/2005 03:10:00 AM1 commentslinks to this post
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Slips and Coming Back
I am always very thankful to people who come back to the rooms after having a slip. The longer I am sober the more thankful I am for these courageous soles. I am especially thankful for those who had amassed some significant time before going out. My gratitude is purely selfish, I can learn from their slip without having to experience one myself. I can learn that the disease does indeed continue to progress even though we a sober. I can learn that it does do "push up in the parking lot while waiting for us." I can learn that about the “agains” and the “yets” all from the comfort of my folding chair with a cup of coffee in my hand.
¶ 3/12/2005 04:46:00 PM0 commentslinks to this post