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A New Perspective by John

My sobriety date is October 17, 1984, which means that in just about 4 weeks from now, I will have 31 years of continuous sobriety.

If I don’t drink, that is.
Or hurt myself.
Yes, indeed. Life is truly good.
No, seriously! It is good……now.
Let me explain.

A few weeks ago, I suffered some serious emotional pain that I was not ready for or equipped to handle.  See, I had just been coasting along for while…  Anyway!  This pain was serious, and it came down the pike at me at, like, a 150 miles an hour!  At least 150, maybe more!  Sure, now that I think about it, coulda’ been more!


It was the usual crap: job stuff, relationship stuff, you know.  Oh yeah, all that and a big, huge side-order of bat-shit CRAZY, “to go, please!”

Anyway, the point is, it ate me up whole.  I could not think of ANYTHING ELSE all day!  Ruminated about my failure(s), then went to a meeting (because it was better than SITTING ALONE WITH MY HEAD), then ruminated some more.  Hell, I marinated in it, this gooey, stinky stew of fear, self-loathing, shame and guilt.  All day and all night; it was huge fun!

And yes, I admit it, fear and self-loathing, shame and guilt are my strong suit.

But this?  Seriously, this was off the scale.  I actually thought about doing a back flip off of a tall building.  And I am afraid of heights.  But it sounded like a reasonably good plan for a little while, anyway.  What an accomplishment!  Thirty years of working on myself, going to meetings, sharing, writing, working with others, and now this?

So, self-pity oozing from every pore, at least I kept going to meetings (and ruminating); talking to program friends on the phone (and ruminating); then home for more ruminating!!

But, as we know, all good things must end!

And then, s-l-o-w-l-y, ever so slowly, I began to get my emotional equilibrium back.  (I love the word EQUILIBRIUM because it has the word LIBRIUM in it!!  A good addict to the end…)

I saw a therapist, learned to acknowledge that just MAYBE my thinking could be, dare I say it, distorted?  What, me?  Distorted thinking?  No way.  Way! Funny story.  Turns out I make my everyday reality using a sick brain that relies on distorted thinking!!!  Ha!

Earlier today, as I was journaling (a really, really great tool!) and writing about my angst, it suddenly became apparent to me that my pain and suffering was possibly somewhat self- centered! I mean like, who would ever…? And then, unbidden, came this thought:  “There are at least one million human beings on this planet RIGHT NOW, that are unsure how, or even IF, they and their families will be able to survive the next 24 hours!!!”
Yes, survive. No room for any more self-centered bullshit than that, just raw survival.

So, I ask you, how NICE is it that I have the LUXURY of worrying about my little feelings and can endlessly obsess over some small insignificant failure.  A failure that I have blown way, way out of proportion, because that IS WHAT I DO.

How good is my life now, you ask?
It’s frikken Tony-the-Tiger GGGGRRRREAT!! That’s how it is!
How about you? How you doin’?


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