Step by Step
Monday, Nov. 16, 2015
“I remember the day when I decided to drink myself to death quietly, without bothering anyone, because I was tired of having been a dependable, trustworthy person for about 39 years without having received what I thought was a proper reward for my virtue. That was the day, that was the decision …when I crossed over the line and became an active alcoholic. …(w)ith a great sense of relief, I no longer had to pretend. I was giving up the struggle.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Lost Nearly All,” Ch 11 (“He Who Loses His Life”), p 531.
Today, when I crossed from compulsive to alcoholic drinking, was I “giving up the struggle” or giving in? Had I reached a point when I justified drinking because my ego had become so twisted that I thought other people, life itself, hadn’t appreciated me enough to give me my just due? For me, whenever I crossed the line between compulsive drinking and alcoholism, I was not “giving up the struggle;” I was giving in. But what difference does it make now? Whenever and whatever the force that drove me to alcoholism, AA tells me it matters only if it fits into my program to clear out the garbage, to reconcile my past with my present and my hopes for my future. And if, indeed, I was one of those who drank out of some deranged belief that I hadn’t gotten what I thought I deserved from people who didn’t praise me, perhaps now I should be grateful that I didn’t get what I deserved. Today, I am an alcoholic grateful to be in recovery. Why I became alcoholic doesn’t matter anymore because knowing the reason won’t “cure” me. But the program will. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2015