There, but for the Grace of God, go I…
Every recovered alcoholic knows, in one way or another, of “the jumping off place”, that point in one’s disease when they know alcohol is killing them, but they’re terrified to quit.
Speaking from experience, this is a lonely place.
My sponsor likes to say, when a newcomer happens on our meeting, “Let me welcome you to a new way of life. You don’t ever have to feel like you do right now, again.”
I was petrified when I quit, but I knew something had to give. At only 22, my health was fading fast. If I ate solid food twice in a day, that was a good day. I couldn’t stomach much. The rest of my daily caloric intake went to booze. I had some tests done as a part of an out-patient treatment program and the conclusions weren’t good. Apparently, my liver was swollen, which accounted for the gut I had under my six-pack, and the doctor said I had liver enzyme readings equal that of a 60-year-old chronic alcoholic. I was a drunk with a weak liver to boot. He gave me till 30 if I kept going the way I was. I wasn’t quite done… yet.
Then the trouble with the law ramped up.
I was sentenced to an in-patient treatment center rather prison. I was given the option, of course, but I took treatment (less time). I wasn’t at my jumping off place until I was well into my bout of DT’s (read delirium tremens, or withdrawals). It was only then that I fully understood how far down the scale I’d fallen. It was either quit, or die.
So I quit. I ceased fighting and asked God for help. And I went to meetings. And I won. And I kept winning. And I kept going back. Because that’s what we do to win. And I worked some steps. And I found freedom. Because that’s how it works.
My friends, the jumping off place is a good place for a soon-to-be recovering addict. That ledge is the only place from which I could make a decision to quit. The only problem is the journey to get there. That part sucks.
Keep coming back, my friends. And if you’re new, welcome to a new way of life. You don’t ever have to feel like this again. And, as my sponsor likes to say, if nobody’s told you that they love you today, let me be the first.
Recover hard, my friends.