I’d like to say “I just decided I wanted to get sober so I did.” Sounds easy enough. I’ve heard it said before “I picked up one white chip and I’ve been sober ever since.” How amazing…..for THAT person! This was not my experience even though it may have been nice to have happened that way! Nope not for me, I had to squeeze every last ounce of “incomprehensible demoralization” out of my alcoholism and addiction that I could possibly bear…or not! I remember praying for death and truly believing it would be the ONLY way out.
I get it. I get the sadness, depression, hopelessness and despair of that bottomless pit. I remember thinking to myself that I’d do anything! Anything BUT…..you see there was ALWAYS a BUT. If not just one, maybe two. At the time I didn’t even realize I was the problem! Somewhere deep in my soul I thought I’d be the exception to the rule. Not openly or even on purpose, but somewhere there was that gnawing that I could do this by myself. I didn’t need THOSE women, I didn’t need a sober house, I didn’t need to go to a meeting every day, I didn’t need ALL the steps, just a few and so on and so on and so on! Looking back I realize I thought I could pick and choose what I thought I needed.
It wasn’t until a very wise woman said to me at my 6th or 7th treatment center “If you knew what you needed you wouldn’t be here.” When I quickly rebutted (as I often did), she said “Don’t tell help how to help you!” I think it was at THAT very moment I became teachable. I had been told year after year, white chip after white chip to “get out of my own way.” How absurd I thought and how stupid does that sound? Finally, and just that quickly, it all made sense.
I had been doing what I wanted to do my entire life, running the show as they say. It was time to let someone else take the wheel and it was my job to eat that humble pie, swallow my pride and ego, find something to be grateful for and follow direction – ALL of them, not one, not some, not a few, but ALL of them! Then and only then did my life begin to change! So, I had to begin doing what I didn’t want to do every single day until a few days ran into a few months and a few months ran into a few years! I finally surrendered!