Step 1 thoughts

After a non-motivated Sunday morning and afternoon yesterday, I had a “oh holy shit! I have about two hours left to do eight hours of work!”-style Sunday night, plus all-day Monday of doing “next right things.” O, holy am I. ;))

Honestly feeling great though…

The kids keep me very, very busy lately, since a couple of them are lately home sick, and home schooling; that along with the three online courses I’m doing, and a few other family things, and it’s birthday season for us… and I am glad for all of this, and extra glad not to ever have to make the decision, in the tired evening, around dinner-cooking time: “shall I have a glass of wine.” The honest question was in fact, should I have chosen to properly frame it: “shall I have a half a bottle of wine, or perhaps a whole one, depending how many hours after the kids are in bed I choose to stay up grinning to myself over sloppily-written(-by-me) poetry.” Or, the question also could have been, “shall I have a single glass of wine? And then think all the rest of the night about *not* having another.” (Yes, that sounds like fun! Err… not so much…)

One decision per day, first thing, it’s all it takes… although it becomes unconscious again; I don’t think of it. What I do think of is something bigger than me, something beautiful, something that is always there, always loving, no matter what we look like, no matter what we feel like…

There really is love out there. True, unconditional love. And it doesn’t have negative side effects, like wine does…

And I literally mean “out there”…I have witnessed it. I see it in the AA groups I’ve attended. Their consciousness at the beginning of each meeting; their moment of silence, their prayer, “for the ones that still suffer.”

And that’s a very comforting thought. Whether we suffer from alcohol or anything else. That someone is out there thinking of us, praying for us, wishing us well, touching us with their spiritual heart in their minds.

I was hoping to do a detailed step-one write-up today, but Step One is not a simple step for me, since I didn’t have a clear “unmanageable,” this time around. And I am so so tired…

Ah what the heck, let’s give it a try.

So step One in the AA 12 steps goes like this:

“1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

(And in place of alcohol, I say we could fill in whatever else, substance, thought-pattern, habit or otherwise that we find ourselves toxically addicted to.)

…but if I were to sum it up in one sentence, and specifically with regards to alcohol… there was a particular ethical line I finally crossed, this time around again, which suddenly did make my life indeed feel unmanageable. I made a promise one of my kids, after several glasses of wine during family movie night, out of some kind of grandiose wine-bubbled big-heartedness, that when sober I realized I wouldn’t —or shouldn’t—be able to keep.

That was the line crossed for me. It was something I wouldn’t have promised while sober, and/or if I’d promised it while sober I would have been “together” and “adult” enough to manage the consequences, because I would have thought longer and harder about it first, and also consulted others who might be affected.

So crossing that line was the deciding factor for me, to return to sustained total sobriety. I felt so much shame and remorse for making plans *to a kid* — and one of the most important people in my life no less — that wasn’t truly reasonable for me to keep under our current circumstances. And it would have been a commitment that I felt would affect the entire family. In other words, it was an irresponsible promise, made spur of the moment, in the spirit of true love for others in the community, and in a spirit of giving. But promises made by a drunken philanthropist are worth how much exactly?

Two-penny thoughts and plans. Don’t we have so many of those, while under the influence?…

I apologized sincerely to my son, the next day, saying that I felt I’d done an awful thing in making such a promise without thinking of how it might affect everyone in our family, and that I’d done that due to having drunk too much.

He good-naturedly said forgetabout it, he’d thought it funny, and that he’d figured it was the wine talking anyway.

Egads. What kind of example was I setting? That was part of the “step one” (again) realization for me.

And the other part was this: Who’s talking? Who’s managing my life? When it’s the wine… it truly isn’t fine.