By: Christine R.
Alcohol is a great eraser. Put alcohol on a clothing stain and “Voila!” The stain is erased. Vanished. Gone. In fact, alcohol erases just about everything for us alcoholics. It removes: your job, your driver’s license, your car, your marriage license, your home, your family, your children, your friends, and eventually, your life. Works wonders, eh?
This morning, a newcomer shared the reality of alcohol, the great eraser. He’d lost his home, wife, kids. He’d lost himself. He could not account for the time lost. Alone in a far-away hotel, a friend finally found him and took him to rehab. Once out, the newcomer had the craving to contend with. 30 days is barely the DNA of the head of a pin of sobriety. Yet somehow there’s the sense now the drink problem is solved. “We are unable to bring with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation,” the anguish of even a few days previous. BB p 24.
My first 30 days – everything went swimmingly. New car. New home. New boyfriend. New job. Elated and to celebrate, out came the bottles of wine. Without spiritual tools in my toolbelt, I drank. Over-elation leads to inebriation. The next day my sponsor advised me I had to “start all over again as a newcomer.” Outraged that I was not told the “Rules of the Program,” I started over again. This time angry, hostile, and resentful. And, of course, I drank.
This second round was like a flaming oil rig. No way to douse the flames of craving for yet another drink and another and another. The flames of alcohol consumed my new home, my job, my lover and nearly my life. The only thing to save me was my home group, The Cabin. The one thing I’d done right was to have a commitment and steady attendance there. When I went missing, a member woman came to fetch me. She brought me back and I’ve been coming to that same meeting ever since.
Came, came to, came to believe. First we have to come. Get to a meeting. Know when and where the next meeting is. The home group saved me. Having at least one place where I could tell the truth and listen to the answers from others saved me.
Where is your next meeting? Here’s one hour to put our lives on hold and have the privilege of listening to someone else for a while instead of the constant clamoring for another drink. Always cast for the next lily pad of sanity. As a morning, noon, and night drinker, I went to meetings morning, noon, and night. 90 meetings in 90 days turned into 2,000 meetings. Sometimes, it’s not one day at a time. For some, it’s one minute at a time.
As I came – I began to “came to.” Sobriety began to sink in a little at a time. That muzzy-headed feeling lifted. I began to realize birds sing, not shout. Fears subsided. As I came to, I came to believe.
I came to believe there was a Power to restore me to sanity. The Power was my home group and the membership. Looking about me, I could see people getting well and restored to sanity, to home, to family, to their lives. If they could, so could I. Thanks to the people around me, I was given hope by their example.
Alcoholism makes us say things we don’t mean to those we love. Makes us spend money we don’t have on something we cannot afford. We drink and we lose everything. We stop drinking and we gain everything. One woman said to me, “You aren’t giving up drinking. You are gaining your life back.” Thus it can be for us all. More than that, we have the unique ability to help others who are sinking in the mire of our disease. We can help when no one else can. BB page 89.
Completely empathetic on the phone with a newcomer yesterday, I could hear the disease had her by the throat. Alcoholism was erasing her home and her mind. She helped me as much as I did her. With that conversation I remembered with total recall, the crazy madness, the incessant murmuring, the cooing of alcoholism. The great eraser. Yet, whatever may have been erased, with our Program we can rewrite our life stories in a fine bold print: Sober Today. Just For Today. One Day At A Time.