Ill Equipped

I can do a lot of stuff. I’ve learned how to do a lot of stuff and I’ve taught myself to do a lot of stuff. If I decide to get something done, more often than not, it gets done. I set fairly high standards for myself and typically live up to them. I don’t lack drive or willpower, it’s who I am. However, my willpower simply does not apply to alcohol.  This was tough to take. My willpower is null and void after I’ve taken a drink. But remarkably, that applies even before I take a drink. I cannot control how much I drink once I have started. I can’t even keep myself from drinking in the first place. Regarding my relationship with alcohol, I am Ill-equipped.

I have a construction background and because of that, I am painfully aware of how important it is to have the right tool for the job. Some projects are virtually impossible to get done without the right tools. I need what I need to get the job done. And sometimes I don’t know what that tool is until the job shows itself. Then, I adapt and overcome… I figure it out. I find a way to make it work. That’s how things get done.

From the outside, it would appear that I did ok with life. But on the inside, I felt ill-equipped. I just didn’t have the right tools for the job. My baseline behavior was frightened. I was overly concerned with not looking foolish and with what you thought of me. I didn’t understand things like paying bills on time, or how to say I’m sorry. I didn’t understand how to be supportive of someone who’s having difficulties, or a tragedy. I didn’t understand being properly insured. I sure didn’t understand saving money. I didn’t really understand automotive or home maintenance… I constantly compared how I felt with how you looked like you felt. Everyone else appeared to have a better handle on things than me. 

Before recovery, I was very much like a pinball. I was always bouncing off of people and circumstances. just living a life of reaction. I never had a plan, never wondered why. I always kept the engagements brief… it’s safer that way. Safer if you don’t get to know me too well. If I don’t let you. Safer if you don’t see that I do not have my shit together. Unprepared… I was ill-equipped for life without booze and it was worse while drinking.

That’s all changed now, in my sobriety. That scared guy is still in there, he’s not completely gone. But I’m more comfortable in my skin than I’ve ever been in my life, by a long shot. I feel like I am capable of life, and that recovery has given me a spiritual tool kit with everything I need for the task at hand, whatever that may be. Like magic, I have learned acceptance, compassion, and serenity. I can and do help. I have the tools, ability, and willingness to use them. In my life of recovery, I am ill-equipped no more.

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