The Promises (taken from pages 83-84 of The Big Book):
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We will come to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us: sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”
Today I am celebrating FOUR YEARS of AA sobriety! In the AA World, it’s my birthday (not the belly button kind 😉). Exactly four years ago I walked into the rooms of AA, shaking, not knowing what to expect, and scared. I wasn’t sure if sobriety was something I really wanted or needed. They say there’s actually a step that comes before Step 1, and that step is “THIS SHIT’S GOTTA STOP!” I really believe that.
When I went into AA, I had gone from drinking all the time in high school, to only drinking occasionally in college, back to drinking all the time as an adult. I used to get sooooo pissed at my husband for “drinking too much” when we would go out. I didn’t like the person he became when he drank. He wasn’t mean, just obnoxious. However, I didn’t see how my drinking played a very big roll in that.
I’m an angry drunk. I am mean and hateful. I took all of this out on my husband when I drank. It’s true; I can also be a really fun drunk…until I start obsessing over how much everyone else is drinking and worrying that there won’t be enough alcohol left for me to keep my buzz. Sometimes my husband makes comments about how much fun I was when we used to go out and drink, and how he misses that sometimes. Then I remind him of all of the fights we had when I drank and he’s quick to retract his statement 😜
You see, I don’t drink to have fun. I’m pretty fucking fun without alcohol. I drink to feel blissfully numb to everything. I drink to escape the madness in my mind.
People have told me that I just need to learn my limits when it comes to alcohol. No. I know my limits. I know that really, I shouldn’t drink more than 3 drinks. However, it isn’t about limits. Alcoholism is an allergy. When I drink, that phenomena of craving is instant. It always has been. When I used to drink, I could force myself to stop when I needed to, but then my body craved more. I’d lie awake for hours obsessing over needing more alcohol. There is a BIG difference between wanting a drink and needing a drink. If you’re reading this and you think you’re an alcoholic, you should be able to totally relate to that feeling of needing a drink.
So in my four years of sobriety, I’ve struggled with infertility, getting pregnant, having a baby and basically being a single mom, having a husband with two failed businesses and a bankruptcy, having a husband who got arrested for a felony, multiple failed friendships, a sober best friend who left AA, intensive trauma work with my therapist, a job change, a sister with a chronic illness, drama with my mama 😉, and I’m sure a slew of other unfortunate events. I wanted to add this in here because being sober doesn’t mean that life isn’t still hard. Life on life’s terms can be challenging. But because I’m sober, I am able to be present for the good and the bad in life, and I have a toolkit and a support group that I can use when life is hard. I don’t have to numb everything with alcohol. I can choose to do something different today because I am sober. And because I choose to do something different, and I work my program every day, the promises that I posted at the beginning are coming true. It has been amazing to watch this happen in my life. I don’t know if I’ll be sober forever. We are only granted a daily reprieve based on the maintenance of our spiritual program. However, for today, I am sober and celebrating it!
If you’re reading this and you’re a friend of Bill’s, keep it simple today. 💜
PS: My shrink was super adamant that I celebrate today. I’m obsessed with gourmet cupcakes. Today’s picture is from a local bakery. They are seriously the best cupcakes ever. I bought four so I could share, but I may end up eating them all by myself 😳 Yes, there will probably be a post later today about how my anorexic mind despises my healthy mind’s love for cupcakes 😂 #thestruggleisreal