Monday, August 6, 2007

10. We continue to trust our reality and daily affirm that we see what we see, know what we know and feel what we feel.

That’s the 10th step from Charlotte Kasl’s 16-step empowerment program. This step speaks to me loud and clear about why I’m living sober.

Part of my descent into alcoholism was about not being able to deal with reality. I don't know if this is true for all alcoholics; I think some people just accidentally drank too much and I think some people were born alcoholic. But for me, the complications, visscitudes and general messiness of life would become seemingly unbearable and drinking became my way of diving back under the covers and staying in bed. Like a lot of people, I had some experiences that left me questioning my reality. Since people around me were saying one thing and doing another it left me feeling confused and distracted, unable to trust my perceptions of the world. So rather than do the hard work of actually figuring out what the reality was and facing up to it, I ducked for cover, figuring that if I ignored it long enough it would go away. I’ve since discovered that a lot of people manage to find a way to ignore reality that doesn’t involve going into blackouts on a regular basis, becoming familiar with the inside of a jail cell or putting other people at risk behind the wheel of a car. I used to feel tremendous envy of these people because that seemed like the goal – to figure out a way to circumvent the hard stuff without hurting anyone. I don’t envy them so much anymore. I’ve come to believe that part of staying really alive while you’re alive involves wrestling with reality, working through the choke holds, sidestepping the sucker punches and letting it pin you to the mat a few times until you finally come to an acceptance of it. I know when I’m fighting with reality now, and I know I will never win by trying to make it something it’s not. I know the feeling because it’s the same one that says, “Oh, Angela, a drink won’t hurt you. Just one.” Sober I have the opportunity to see what I see, know what I know and feel what I feel. Drinking, I don’t have the foggiest clue.

4 comments:

claud said...

Yes, yes, YES!!! I too used to believe that there were people who were more sane than others, and maybe there are a few, but my experience is that most of us are like children just trying to figure out what the rules are and if we want to play by them or not.

Great post, Angela!! And thanks for your honesty.

Angela said...

Sort of changes the equation when we think of each other as kids in grown-up bodies, huh? Thanks,

angela

jennifergg said...

Yes! I don't know how alchoholism happens...just as you say...and maybe it's different for everyone? But I couldn't agree more with the desire to live a life that's fully present, even despite the challenges and the hardship of such a life. It's all we have, and I want to _be here_ for it in the best way I can.

turtlegirl said...

Great job on this. Way to go to the center. Inspires me to peek toward mine.