Friday, November 21, 2008

"Dying" to "Living"

November 21 - How can you think of wasting a moment doing something for a living you don't like to do" What kind of a living is that? That is not a living, that is a dying! Meditations from Conversations with God, Book 1, page 185
I don't know if any of you noticed that there were no periods between my paragraphs yesterday. I do not know why but I'm doing the same thing tonight that I did last night, so there will either be a skipped line between paragraphs or NOT.
I did a lot of dying during my drinking years. I always said I do not like what I did last night, I am not drinking tonight. That was early, early morning as I went to work in much pain and agony. By 10, I was beginning to feel as though the human being in me might break through. Comfort food at lunch helped it reappear. By 2 I was rethinking my morning commitment to myself. By 3 it was "well maybe just one," by 4 I was on the phone talking to my buddies who were as adamant as I was in the early AM and we were talking about meeting as usual for drink or two and leaving the bar no later than 10 PM. By the time we got together at 9 or 9:30 we had all had a few (conservative for several) drinks at home to ensure that we would only have one or two and then head home. Never mind the fact that that never worked, it just did not cross our mind that failure to do anything but that was just not in our way of life. (Disease was not on our horizon then) Of course, we closed the bar, and at least two or three times during the week, the bar owner invited us to stay for an after hours drinky poo. Sounds like a good idea.
And so many times that meant falling out the door of the bar at sunup and getting on the motorcycle and riding home. AND then the phone call to advise my boss (as Pam Says) I am afraid I to come in. Actually I was afraid to go in, Hell if I showed up at IBM as drunk as I was, I'd be canned for sure. So I called in with an excuse that would have wiped out the Hordes of Genghis Khan.Sometimes those excuses were so bad that I knew I could not go in the next day or so, cause no one ever recovered from that disease du jour so quickly.
So yes, I practiced "a dying" while drinking. Part of that dying was my college education. Dead by failure to participate. Promotions were also part of that dying, dying by failure to participate. IF ONLY I had put as much effort into developing my career and preparing for it I could have done so much better than I did. Why after I got sober, I did become a Director of Human Resources, I did get those great bonuses and those raises. A promotion - no, but my years of experience at IBM I somehow managed to retain and got the job because I could answer the right questions during the interview that got me hired to a job that at which I made my living.
My dying was replaced by my living sober. Things only got better and better. Oh I did have to pay the piper for the wreckage of my presence during my drinking days, but I have moved on from days. Today I don't have to use the IF ONLY expression anymore. It does not apply. What happened to me was not an accident, My Higher Power, GOD, sent me many lifelines which I grabbed but never held onto. When my moment of clarity came I was so ready, I was so beaten, and I so surrendered that I dove in and did a hell of lot of work. I knew that the behavior of the past 32 years was dead. I knew that One Day At A Time I would put time plus new experience strength and hope between me and those days of "dying" and I would live a life that I could never have imagined or experienced if I had not grabbed that last lifeline. Last lifeline, yes, there may have been others, but I grabbed onto that one and I am not going to let it go. I know it will not get any better than that.
Tonight I am grateful for:
  • God, my Higher Power
  • My Sobriety
  • Mamie, my schnauzer
  • My Sponsor (we talked today)
  • Growth (not to be confused with girth)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Y'all

Now you be pretty now, ya heah.


Findon said...

Zane. I agree. No accidents for me also. What happened , happened exactly as it needed to be.. And those excuses, except I still turned up for work after giving the excuse. By the way " Chuffed" means very pleased with oneself. It refers to a childs story book about little steam engines, chuffing up a hill with a heavy load and being pleased with themselves when they got to the top.

big Jenn said...

I've had more jobs over the years that I care to say. Most of them sober! I just left the career I had the longest as a counselor. I have no clue what i'm supposed to be doing so I'm working in our little home town grocery wrapping veggies.I guess that's all I can handle. I'm hopeful though. jeNN

J-Online said...

Did you work for IBM in Houston? If so, I wonder if you know my Dad. I work for the company in Houston with all the old IBMer's! Most of our upper management migrated from IBM to b _ _ durning the 80's.

Your drinking experience sure does sound familiar. I can relate to just about every aspect you described! I felt like I was reading my own story. Have a great weekend!

Scott W said...

Stop that girth talk!

AlkySeltzer said...

Yessss, I identify--who does not? Is not the saying, "I die, to live again" part of all this. I sure died, and (ask anyone) I am sure LIVING again! Of course, it was no overnighter...but it HPPENED! That's what counts.

I just hung in there until the "miracle heppened."

Thanks, Zane, you remind us well!