Put Out the Fire!
Why? That was my great obsession. Why am I like this? Why can’t I drink like others? Why do these things keep happening to me? Why do I continue to screw it up at the worst possible time, time after time? Why me?
What I discovered was that (especially at that time) why didn’t matter.
If you came home one day and saw that your house was on fire, any sane person would rush into the solution. Call for help, grab a hose or fire extinguisher. Any of these make sense. You might briefly wonder why did this happen? But the clear need of the moment is to start putting the fire out. Right now, getting the fire to stop burning is urgent.
The reaction of an alcoholic/addict to their disease tends to be different. Having been the one with the substance abuse problem, I know first hand that I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out why. I guess I mistakenly thought the answer would be the solution to my problems. It’s not.
Family does that too. Why does he drink so much? Why can’t she just control herself? Again, thinking that the answer to this mystery will magically solve everything.
For me the answer came after the action. By the way, the answer was the problem… and the answer didn’t really matter compared to how I reacted to it. I just needed to start by putting the fire out. The answer (for me) as to why was simple. The answer is because I’m an alcoholic. What to do about that? Stop drinking. Ok, how? For me, intervention, rehab, and then a life of joyful recovery.
Why doesn’t really matter. What I do about it makes all the difference. I am an alcoholic, now what? Stop drinking. Whatever it takes. Figure out how to not drink in the first place. My life is full now. In recovery, I have solutions to all the problems I tortured myself over for so long. I’m faced with a happy, sober journey for the rest of my life.
But to start, I just had to put out the fire.