The topic last night came out of the Daily Reflections and our Completely Random Big Book reading. By completely random, I mean it. We flip to a page and read, so it’s extra special when the readings from two different books, and one being random, both manage to line up and center on the same theme (it happens frequently).
So, sticking to my story.
I was a very rare kid early in recovery. 96% of us don’t make it, we go back out to see if we’re really an addict. Two weeks into an in-patient treatment center, after having a minute to look at what my life had become without the haze of being drunk or high, I was mortified. I entered treatment with the intention and commitment of doing my time, then relapsing the second I got my ass out of trouble. After the first layer of fog lifted, I changed my tune.
I asked God for a deal; I’d give sobriety everything I had if He’d just help me get through it. My crushing urge to drink was lifted by the time I woke up the next morning. I can’t describe the relief on waking up that morning – I can’t do it justice, anyway. 26 years later and I still get a little misty thinking about it. I hadn’t felt freedom in years.
After leaving treatment, I didn’t go back out. I didn’t relapse. Much to the surprise of my parents, I asked for a ride to a meeting. I went to another the next day. And the next. And the next. I went to 90 meetings in 90 days, then I did it again, just to make sure I got it right. I didn’t fight recovery, I let it cover me like a warm blanket on a snow day.
When long-timers gave me advice, I didn’t push back. I took that advice and used it. I surrounded myself with people in the program and I got right into the middle of the wagon – it’s easy to fall off when you’re on the edge of the wagon, almost impossible when you’re in the middle.
I’ve lived four lifetimes sober and I’m working on the fifth (I drank for six years before quitting, so six drunk, 26 sober…) and life is so good, I can’t imagine how it could get better. Experience in this way of life has taught me one thing, though; if I keep coming back, it will get better. It always does – and the idea of that is indescribably exciting.
I got here because I had been beaten by king alcohol and drugs. I had no more fight left in me, so I gave up and asked God for some help. When that help showed up, I used it. It’s as simple as that.
A man survived a flood, but the water was rising rapidly. He prayed to God to send him help. As the water was cresting the first step on his porch, a man in a canoe went by and asked if he wanted a lift. The man refused, saying that he’d prayed and God had his back, he was okay.
A short while later, the man was on the second floor to his home, looking at the water just outside the window. A fella in a rowboat went by and asked the man if he wanted a ride to high ground. The man waved the boater on, saying God was going to save the day.
A few hours later the man was on the roof and a helicopter flew overhead. I rescue worker was lowered down but the man refused assistance again, saying that God would be there for him.
Thirty minutes later he’d drowned and was standing at the Pearly Gates. On his intake interview with God, the man asked, “I asked You for help! What happened?”
God responded, “Shit, I sent you a canoe, a row boat and a helicopter! What more did you want?!”
I just have to make sure and take the canoe when it shows up. I don’t want to wait for the helicopter.