Beouf Hache or Through the Mincer :
That’s what I’ve been doing to myself for the past few months. Cutting myself up into tiny little pieces then feeding them through the mincer.
Sometimes, it’s an electric mincer, but mostly it an ancient hand mixer.
The electric mincer is fast and messy. The hand mincer churns out more regular artisanal style pieces, but the end result is the same: little shreds of me that need to be stuck back together. These shreds will never make a whole solid steak, but they might make a decent hamburger.
My problem has been another person’s sobriety, or to be accurate, lack of it. I managed to convince myself that I was responsible for their descent, and therefore responsible for getting them back on their feet again. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t think of an argument or a solution that would speak to them. This conflicted me: I have been told that I am a bit of a sobriety legend, an AF ninja, so why couldn’t I help my friend?
The answer is pretty simple, if not totally obvious.
I had fallen into the trap of speaking, but not listening, of knowing without understanding.
I had become so used to being supportive, back patting, ego building that the blindingly obvious no longer held any meaning for me:
You have to do the work yourself.
The only person that stands between you and a life that is so drenched in alcohol that you run the risk of dying a very early and extremely painful death is you. It’s that simple.
Yes, I can encourage, I can support, I can hold your hand, but at the end of the day, you are the only one who can stop yourself. You are the only one who can ensure that not a drop of alcohol ever passes your lips again.
We all have bad days. Very, very bad days. On those days it is important to remember that you are not alone, that you can ask for help, that accepting it is not shameful.
Several months ago, I realised that despite my total belief in myself, I wasn’t done with drinking. It was a shock. I lost my halo and was ejected from the smug zone. This was a lesson that I needed to be taught. My darling friend and companion on this journey is to be much blessed for holding me up thus preventing me from leaping over the edge into the chasm below.
In the months since it has dawned on me that I have not done myself or those who I have tried to help any favours. I have tried to be gentle, kind, understanding and supportive. I advocate acceptance which I truly believe is an effective way forward.
What I failed to understand was that we are the arbiters of our own fate. There may be many mitigating factors such as our personal history and our body chemistry, but we have minds, we have choice, whether we choose to pick up a drink or not is down to us. As human beings, we can overcome anything, if we have a mind to.
The most twisted sentence I have heard in recent years has was ‘alcohol gave me the strength to …
I started writing without knowing where my words could lead me, so let me try to sum up succinctly:
If you haven’t done so already, please buy Charles Deemer’s book ‘Staying sober without AA.’ On Amazon. It cost pence, yet it is the most powerful book I have ever read. Somehow I missed it in early sobriety, possibly because of the title. There is such truth in it, the type of truth that we all need to understand on a cellular level.
If you have not already one so also please check out the Rational Recovery site: rational.org. After being sober for a month and projecting myself into all the drinks that I would never have using the tools it provided totally removed the longing and consolidated my belief in myself as a non-drinker.
I know that it is not easy, I know that we are not the same, I know that relapse happens; I relapsed daily until October 2013. You can switch off the rinse and repeat cycle as long as you remember that you may be done with alcohol, but alcohol may not be done with you. Your job is to make sure that you stand at your door with a pitchfork or a shotgun if you prefer, and keep the little fucker away.
Eliminate the word BUT from your vocabulary: a but is what you sit on.
Hold your head high and walk forward. It won’t be easy. Believe whatever you want, just know that your sobriety is in your hands.
You can read Charles Deemer’s sobriety e-book `Staying sober without AA`for free inside of the Boozemusings Community BOOM Rethink the Drink at this link Thinking About the Price of FreedomYou can find more of Erica’s writing on her Word Press blog and Medium Blog or here on the Boozemusings Blog
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