Friday, April 10, 2009

From what happened to what I chose.

April 10 - You can choose to be a person who has resulted simply from what has happened, or from what you have chosen to be and do about what has happened. Meditations from "Conversations with God - Book 1" page 122
Hi Alkies. Today's quote from CWG just really hit home with me. I certainly chose to be something other than what my early life dictated. Even with my alcoholism, I chose to be a "higher class" drunk that my parents, both natural and step. By higher class, I drank the good stuff. I drank out of high class containers (crystal, silver, etc.). It never occurred to me that although I was not a falling down drunk in a low class beer joint in a low class part of town, I was still a falling down drunk in a higher class club in a more cultured and affluent part of town. But the bottom line - a drunk is a drunk is a drunk. Here are some of the differences in parents and me.
  1. Abusive. Them - yes Me - no.
  2. Cheated on spouse - Them - yes; Me - Not allowed by law to have a spouse, but did cheat on my partner but not in the flagrant way that my parents did. Mine were isolated happenings. (cheating is cheating)
  3. Drank cheap wines, beer, hard liquors. Them - yes; me - no. I drank the higher end.
  4. Marked my bottles and had a fight with my partner because they drank out of my bottle. Them - yes. Me - no, my partners were mostly non-drinkers.
  5. Committed to state mental facility for shock treatment for alcoholism. Father - yes; Mother -no; Stepfather - no. Me - no. (My self commitment to a psychiatric hospital was because of Major Depression which started the process that led to my getting sober)
  6. Jailed for drunkenness. Father - many times; Mother - several times; Stepfather - prison. Me - jailed once. (I was just lucky)
  7. Alcohol led to career loss. All of us - yes.
  8. Made an assertive effort to be better off than my parents- father - yes; mother - yes; stepfather - no; me - yes.
  9. I was determined not to let the environment that I grew up in keep me down, or excused what I did because I was abused. Except for my alcoholism, I did accomplish this.
  10. Take anyone's life - Father - no; Mother - killed my stepfather; Stepfather - killed 5 men during prohibition; Me - no (but at 14 my Mother did take the gun out of my hand and shot my stepfather)
  11. I rose above all this negativity in most areas of my life. However, in my alcoholism, I did do a lot of the same types of things my parents did. I lied, I cheated, I stole, I was manipulative, and I was always right.
  12. Became Sober: Father - Sober thru AA last 25 years of his life. Mother - quit drinking at 75 and died sober 6 years later. Stepfather - Mother shot him before he could take any positive action. (I never thought about that before tonight) Me - Sober thru AA since January 20, 1992.

So yes, maybe I am ending up as my father did. Again this is an area I had never contemplated. Dad got sober at 48 and died at 73. I got sober at 50 and whether or not I beat his record is in the hands of God.

So all in all, my life has been quite different than those of my parents. I did not live my life, nor blame my frailties on my upbringing. Thanks to events in my youth beyond my control, I never said I did this or did not do this because of the way I was raised. I was so ashamed of the way I was raised and the white trash lifestyle of my parents, that there was no way I was going to be like them. I might have had silk sheets so to speak, but when it really comes down to it, my alcoholism brought me down to their level in ways I Never could admit. That is the freedom that being a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous has give me. That is the freedom that forgiveness as I have learned in AA has given me. There are many similarities in the road each of us trudged as we got here, but we were all(IMO) just garden variety drunks, whether it was just a dirt garden or a formal garden it still boils down to a drunk is a drunk is a drunk. I'm so glad that I'm no longer a drunk but an alcoholic. As the old joke goes - a drunk is a person who drinks heavily, an alcoholic has to go to those damned meetings. Thank God for those meetings. Thank God for inspiring those men to give us the 12 steps, the 12 traditions, the 12 principles, and the 12 promises. And a way of life that is a daily reprieve from hell. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Tonight I am grateful for:

  • God, my Higher Power
  • My Sobriety
  • Mamie, my OCD schnauzer
  • My Sponsor
  • My Right EYE
  • Being Sighted
  • Only 4 days to the injection procedure on my Left Eye
  • All y'all.

Y'all be pretty now, ya heah.


Akannie said...

Great post, my friend.
Another good one I heard:

"An alcoholic is just a drunk with a conscience"

Gl;ad to see you back...I missed you.


dAAve said...

I can't come close to any of that.
I love going to AA meetings. That must mean I love being an alcoholic. True.

Prayer Girl said...

What a beautiful way to start my day. You describe one miracle after the next in this post.

It is uplifting, fills the reader with hope. You are a miracle.

I'm praying like crazy that God will be in that room in 4 days when the injection procedure occurs (whatever that is) and that He be with your doctor(s), you, everyone involved.


Scott W said...

Well, I skip coming by for a few days and you are posting all over the place! You sound good and with all the miracles happening all around you, who wouldn't be!