I tried living my life and working my recovery with a spotlight on my flaws and my assets. It was tough. I felt lousy when I didn’t live up to an asset, and very guilty when I acted out on my defects. This thing called a “conscience” came alive. Day after day I became more uncomfortable in my life until I had to surrender once again. The words “all” and “entirely” provide a strong message to me. I couldn’t trim weeds from one area of the garden and expect weeds in other areas not to flourish.
They say you should remember your last drink, but I was a messy, blackout, bottle-slugging drunk, so ‘drinks’ were just formalities – things I had in public when trying to convince you that I could drink like a gentlewoman. What I (constantly) did in my own time involved a steady flow of liquor where ‘drinks’ were kind of undefinable. So I don’t remember my last drink. But, as long as I live, I’ll never forget those liquor counters.
Sobriety is wonderful. Books are wonderful. So it stands to reason that sobriety books are uber-wonderful! Earlier this week, we published Volume III of my Kindle series, Think Right Into Limitless Sobriety, which is available for FREE on Amazon through Saturday. Today, we are also re-posting a list of memoirs by sober women curated from the blog at Anaheim Lighthouse.
Early in my sobriety I began to realize that God was the things, or in or behind the things, or had created the things, that I’d loved my whole life. Bach cantatas, all flowers, all birds. The man or woman who suffered and who didn’t complain and who tried to help the next person. Oh—that’s God. The blue heron. The trees that changed color in fall . . .
Having a problem with alcohol doesn’t always mean that your life crumbles into nothingness. It can look incredibly high functioning too. It can paint its nails and piece together super fun outfits, get a promotion or be a busy mom driving her kids to a plethora of after school activities. Alcohol can be all those things and still be an issue.
As I look back to those days when alcohol worked its magic, I can see how it was my go-to stress reliever. I didn’t look within for the source of my stress. That would have violated my personal creed: Only the unexamined life is worth living. All I knew was alcohol rounded the edges of my stress and allowed me to stuff it away. What I failed to understand was this avoidance pattern only intensified my stress and anxiety. What I resisted persisted. So the cycle would begin again after the next day of work. On and on. Finally, I couldn’t drink enough to silence the strident voices of my stress.
When most people talk about seeking spirituality, they are talking about becoming more spiritual or seeking practices that increase their spirituality. My quest is much more basic than that. I am wondering: What does spirituality mean? What is the definition of spirituality?
Throughout the history of music, even recently with the deaths of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, there’s developed a pattern within our entertainment culture. A pattern made up of artists, their demons, and the perpetual narrative of substance abuse. It’s been apparent for years that we glamorized musicians’ partying nature with the notable slogan “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” This mantra itself has become a direct example of how prevalent the drug culture is in relation to musicians and their art. Many artists’ stories have ended tragically, with their demons on display for the whole world to see; their histories, struggles, and depictions of abuse publicized because it’s shocking, and an easy narrative to tell. But similar tales don’t always have to end in tragedy.