May 19, 2014

Dealing With The Down Side of The Sober Boredom

Sometimes in sobriety we get in a funk, and wonder what is all this work for and when will we finally be happy, joyous and free? And when will we be able to just live like normal people!?

Oh, can relate to his feeling! This happens to many of us in sobriety, and often for no reason in particular! It's the blahs, the mehs, the fuck-its! Yes, there are several names for this feeling!

Sobriety often feels like lots of work, and it may feel like the end is nowhere in sight. Things just don't seem to get better fast enough for u,s and we wonder if we really have to do this forever. Ugh! We often feel like we just want to say fuck-it, I am done with all this sobriety crap, I am done with learning about myself, and reading all the literature, and keeping my side of the street clean, and going to the meetings, and staying connected, and on, and on, and on! I want to just be, and do nothing!

The good news is that this feeling is normal, and it will pass too! "Believe it or not, you are right where you are suppose to be!" - my sponsor usual says. Sometimes, I hate when she says that. Lol! I know it's true but I don't want to hear it. She says that, because she believes that this is the time before the next growth spurt. She often reminds me that this is not a race, and there is no finish line. It's just like brushing you're teeth, you do it everyday so your teeth won't fall out! LOL!

The other good news is that if you're getting tired of waiting for the big changes, don't lose hope! One day you will stop thinking about drinking, one day you will stop craving it, one day you will stop missing it. One day not drinking will be normal to you! And one day it will just happen, and you won't really know it, till something triggers it, and then you're gonna be like, wow, I haven't thought about drinking today! As a  matter of fact, I don't know when was the last time I thought about drinking! Wow!

This will happen! I don't know when, but it will happen if you stay sober.

As far as forever, I never was able to think that way. I still say, just for today, but maybe tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and I am like, well, maybe another day. What keeps me going forward now is that I don't want to start over! That is way more work, than continuing to move forward in sobriety. :)

May 13, 2014

AA Step Nine - Made Direct Amends Part 2

- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. -from AA Twelve and Twelve, Step Nine

Well, it has been a couple of months since I posted the AA Step Nine - Made Direct Amends, and I have been able to make several amends. YEY! What surely had seemed like a tall order and gave me several sleepless nights has turned out to be a great relief and a huge eye opener! This time I chose a group of people who I seemed to have just discarded. I used to think that I was actually protecting people by not being around them when I was drinking, but that was not the reality, that was not really what others saw.

In my late drinking years I kept to myself, I stayed away from most people because a. I didn’t want to hurt anyone anymore with my drunken stupor behavior and b. I didn’t want anyone to know how much I drank or interfere with it. I would literally lock my door, hide the keys, turn the phone off, and sit by myself, on the couch, and drink! There were family events, birthday and holidays that I missed but at least I was not getting crazy and inappropriate at anyone’s expense! Right?

Well, come to find out that my absence was seen as un-loving, un-caring and quite confusing. It was seen as condemnation! Wow! Was I really that selfish? So selfish that all I really cared about was booze! I think so, because when I think back, the a. point was an excuse and the b. point was my only truth. UGH. Maybe that’s why it was so hard to make amends with this group of people. They were not the ones I hurt directly, where I could just explain what happened; you know like… I was drunk and out of control and I want to make it up to you. These amends seemed to be much more pungent! I had to admit that at the time, alcohol was more important than they were and that all that mattered in my life was drinking. Ugh. That is where my addiction took me. But, how do you make amends for avoiding people?

This took a bit of thought, I Googled "amends" and found this cool article called  from wikiHow.

6. Resolve on some solutions. Expressing your genuine regret will mean a lot more if you provide measurable promises to change. Start by offering ways to provide restitution. For example, if you broke something, offer to buy a new something; if you called a person terrible things, give them a long list of all their positive attributes and explain that you felt jealous of their accomplishments; if you ruined an event for them, offer to stage another one to make up for it, etc. Whether it is money, time, expertise, attention, etc., that you can offer to make things better, then do so. 

I tried to remember the times in the past that I was supposed to see them, or do something for them, or what I was supposed to be a part off and what event I did not show up for. I decide that for  my amends I was going to offer babysitting, house/yard work, and help with cooking and organizing a holiday gathering – and whatever else they ever needed! And I promised to always show up when invited! The people I made amends with seemed very grateful that I was able to explain why I just disappeared, I think it gave them a certain peace of mind, in a sense that they understood that it was nothing that they did, it was me and my drinking. And that my addiction itself was just so powerful and selfish. Yes, all that was important to me was alcohol! Scary. Ugh.

And for me… I got to get some clarity too, I got to offer myself, I got to clear the past crap and drop some more of the rock (Drop the Rock- "DROP THE ROCK" AA based talk by Sandy B.). I feel more grateful and thankful that these people are still in my life and that they were still open and willing to give me another chance. Now that is amazing!

Click HERE to read the AA Step Nine.