Work kept cutting into my alcohol abuse!
Work kept cutting into my alcohol abuse. I didn’t really have much going on in my life, other than drinking, and work. For a long time, I was pretty good at both. I never lost a job or even got in trouble due to my drinking until I tried to get sober and slipped… lol. Truth be told, I was getting praise and receiving bonuses in my construction management position right up until the end. I even won an award called “Above and Beyond” while drinking at work every day, enforcing a strict no drug and alcohol policy. I felt like such a hypocritical piece of crap. Even with regularly called-in sick days, they thought I did a good job. I suppose I tried to compensate for how terrible I felt about myself by doing more when I could. It just kept getting harder to pull off. I never got a DUI, never got a divorce. Mark that up to luck and an extremely patient (co-dependant) wife. Most assuredly, I was on borrowed time. We call these the “yets.” I was just getting by… just. That being said, life sucked. Hopes and dreams were concepts that completely eluded me. I lived trying to get through the day. Everything else was overwhelming. My life was small, frightened, and addicted… bleak.
As bad as it was, the fear of change was worse than the pain of staying the same. What started my journey of recovery was an intervention by my wife and our marriage counselor, (who was also a drug and alcohol counselor, but I was too drunk to notice.) Due to the courage she gained in Al-Anon, without question, my wife saved my life. She did for me what I would assuredly never have done for myself. I don’t believe I ever could have humbled myself enough to ask for help. The saying, “I didn’t think much of myself and I was all I thought about” really applies to me. I knew in my heart I was never going to get sober because I had tried everything I could imagine and I failed miserably at not drinking. I was not one of those guys that could live sober. Maybe sobriety worked for you, but I was different. A tragic kind of different. I was going to die of this disease. Or sooner, by my own hand… I was starting to think about that more and more. Until she stepped up. The fear of losing her as well? That was too much. I became willing to change. To try a life of recovery.
It worked! I think I’m more surprised than anyone. I mean it really, really worked! Way better than I could have dreamed, even if I had been able to. Today (just like yesterday) I woke up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and sober AF. These are the best days of my life! Life is really good, for the most part. Sometimes life is hard, but that’s no longer due to me being ashamed of myself. When I wake up, if I pray and meditate right away, I live in a state of grace. That’s all I have to do to start my day off right. It’s a good deal. A “deal” implies that I give something to get something. What I give compared to what I get is a really good deal. When I miss the mark, (which I still do regularly ‘cause I’m human and prone to make mistakes) I try to make it right, right away. Living in recovery has helped me repeat my mistakes less frequently. The only thing I dislike more than being wrong is promptly admitting it, but I can’t fudge on that so I just try to be wrong less.
Not only has the obsession to drink been lifted, but recovery has turned me into a man for whom drinking holds almost zero appeal. Even more shockingly, now that alcohol isn’t my focus, I even get to choose which thoughts I pursue. That was inconceivable when I was stuck in the “groundhog day” of my active drinking. That I resisted the idea of recovery as a way of life for so long is tragic. I very nearly missed this entire “Part 2” of my life (by the way, the sequel is way better than the original). For me, it just doesn’t get any better than living in recovery.
What a great deal.