Saturday, September 10, 2011

I've been thinking a lot about the first step: powerless and unmanageable, specifically. The first time I saw the first step I was in my first AA meeting.  And it struck me to the core: YES-I am powerless over alcohol and my life was
unmanageable in the face of my powerlessness. At that time, I had just done something drunk that I would never have done sober. Something that put the way I lived my life in question.  Oh all right-I respect that people have the right to be coy about the dirty details, but I'm always curious, so I'll just spill it.  I slept with my best friend's cousin while drunk.  Deliberately took him back to my house, that I shared with my fiance who was out of town, slept with him in our bed.  I had done a number of other humiliating and chaos creating things while drunk, but this was the first time I had really done something that would put life the way I knew it in jeopardy.  This was back in the early 90s, for the record.

With that event, I was sufficiently horrified.  I already suspected that I couldn't control my consumption, but with that little number, I was officially fucking up my life.  So when I went to my first AA meeting, with no frame of reference on AA other than that's where people with drinking problems got help. Game over with the alcohol for 7 years.

When I relapsed I immediately knew I was still powerless over alcohol.  But unmanageable? That took another 11 years to get to.  Even as I started crossing a few lines I never thought I'd cross, I still thought it was manageable. It's amazing how puny that line in the sand looks when you've crossed over it. Hey, I didn't drop dead or get a DUI, I thought, so fuck that promise to myself. More wine!  Let's toast to my diminished integrity!

A friend of mine recently posted on a discussion board we both participate in that she was processing some dismay over how long it took her to get sober. I spent all of my 30s in my relapse. I'm not sure, though, what I would have done differently other than not be so fucking miserable. I didn't have the recovery I have now in Round 1. It took every day of that relapse to get where I am today. It even took that second Day 1 to really make this sobriety stick.

BTW-it's 17 months today. 

If we were on Wheel of Fortune we could have all the letters of POWERLESS turned over and only
have one letter showing of UNMANAGEABLE. Who would ever guess the first word
would lead to the second based on this: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ E _ _ _ E?


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