‘Old habits die hard’ is a true statement for the recovering drunk, but new habits die even quicker. It’s been a tough couple of months and all the good things that I have learnt over the past 4 years and 11 months in recovery nearly escaped me for good. While having a drink hasn’t been prevalent in my mind, it has certainly been knocking at the door of my consciousness. Remembering to give of my self freely has taken a back seat, and I have been running on self will, manipulating through graciousness and anger, opposite ends of the spectrum but equally damaging to those around me. When at home, the story has been ‘don’t worry, I’ll take care of that…’ and at work, ‘if only they’d do their f**king job properly, I wouldn’t have to deal with this shit’. In both places I’ve been trying to get what I want. Home has ended in resentment for not getting the rewards that I believe I deserve, and work has resulted in projects I was looking forward to, being canned.
I can easily see why nothing is feeling comfortable anymore, why I am resentful and jealous. I had stopped going to meetings, I had decided that I didn’t like the meetings where I now live and that I didn’t need them anymore. I was missing out on the very basics of recovery and living life one day at a time. I had lost my gratitude for the things I have in my life today. So it hasn’t taken long to get to ‘that point’, where it just seemed that the only option was to run away from everything. Maybe find a quiet pub where I could get good and drunk and drown my self-pitying mind.
Luckily there is another way, one that I am incredibly grateful for. So, I called my sponsor (for the first time in months) and asked his advise, knowing full well what he’d say, but hearing it from another alcoholic just makes it that much clearer to me. Get to a meeting and share. Share with another alcoholic everyday, get to meetings as often as possible, stop being selfish and give yourself freely to others, expecting nothing in return. Take care of your spiritual needs, pray every morning, and mediate daily. Eat healthier food, when the body feels good the mind quickly follows. These are the ‘new habits’ that I have learned, and that I ever so quickly let whither and die. The one thing that really sticks out in all the tweets I have read recently and in the sharing at meetings is to restart the day at any point. As my sponsor put it, ‘reset the clock’, so here I am resetting the clock that nearly ran out on me, just because the ‘old habits’ are still in me, my default behaviour, it will take time for the ‘new habits’ to become so ingrained that they supplant the old ones, but who’s in a rush.
Just for today, I have followed my recovery programme, been kind to others and myself.