Happy New Year to all btw.
In the last few days I’ve been seriously reminded why I’m glad I don’t drink anymore and that I’m able to sustain my recovery in a manner where I feel safe.
Firstly I recently heard someone who had returned to AA after a good number of years out of it. They had managed well over 10 years of sobriety, much of that outside of AA. However, in December they decided to drink. It doesn’t really matter what caused this but it was a collection of things happening that led to them facing a court case and the worry about that. The consequences of that worry were clearly a factor that led them to pick a drink up. Guess what they found out? In hours
- they were buying more
- back out of control
- back to exactly where they were when they stop drinking all those years ago.
Luckily they have dusted themselves off, stopped drinking and come back to AA again.
Secondly another person who I’ve seen struggle to maintain any semblance of a long term sobriety for many years has found themselves arrested for drink driving, spent a night in the cells and up before the court in a few weeks. Also social services are now involved as they had one of their children in the car with them when arrested. Terrible situation and potential consequences are clearly very worrying for them. Inevitably when I saw them they were smashed again as the only way they can cope with all that concern and emotional pain is to drink.
The second case shows how when someone who knows they cannot drink safely continue to drink, something goes wrong – badly wrong – and they still can’t stop drinking, if anything they are worse now than at any time I’ve seen them before. The first who knows the sequence of events that led to their court case isn’t directly due to drink but … they had suffered considerable personal stress through bereavement prior to the events that did. Then they pick a drink up – because? They simply can’t cope.
Actions and consequences.
For me today I’m sober and I’m not contemplating drinking and I have a support network of friends in AA. Why are they important to me? They are people who understand alcoholism intimately, indeed intrinsically like me as well. They don’t judge me when I state how I might feel about something, they don’t tell me that I have to do a or b or c they might suggest things or simply tell me how they have approached similar events themselves and their perception of how that approach was successful for them or not. I’m left then to consider my actions in light of those suggestions and support and in line with the underlying tenants of the AA programmes about honesty, humility and care.
To nail it down – I am sober today and not facing court or in so much emotional pain that drink is the only viable option for me to continue surviving in the world because of a very simple mantra that I heard as soon as I entered AA and that I say to newcomers, returnees and oldtimers alike.
DON’T DRINK AND GO TO MEETINGS!