It’s difficult, near impossible, for addicts to see the self-centeredness that has crystallized within the subconscious mind. The pace of the hardening, so slow, goes unnoticed to most addicts. We have left a wake of destruction behind us and still we are looking for our needs to be met. Sadly this is true for us prior to sobriety and for quite some time into sobriety.
We feel entitled far beyond what is rational. Yet somehow our subconscious mind has us convinced that we need all the stuff it demands we receive. We have our-self programmed to believe that situations and people should accommodate our agenda. If we get our itinerary met we can be happy and if not we reserve the right to drink—at you.
This is one factor that creates anxiety for us when we think about abstaining. We haven’t a clue what we are going to do with our feelings about the world not meeting our needs. For us, the consequences of drinking do not outweigh the magnitude of not drinking. A vicious cycle and everyone that loves us gets pulled in with us.
We already have so much, but we mistakenly believe we have so little. It’s a problem of perception. We would rather stay lost in the problem, than do something to get out. We don’t want out. Getting out means we have to change into some unknown identity—that’s too fearful. Our loved ones are screaming, threatening, divorcing, or removing us from their life … and still … we feel entitled. The shift in our perception comes at a hefty price. Sometimes it comes with a debt that can never be repaid. And still we are blinded to our selfishness.
Early sobriety is the relapse-zone. It’s not that we necessarily want to drink. It’s that we just don’t want to feel. We cannot bear our own feelings. We find escape in a bottle. We’ve programmed our entitlement at a subconscious level. We act upon this entitlement consciously knowing we are in error—but still we proceed. We disguise our actions. And we continue to hide until we can no longer endure our self-inflicted torture.
We come to sobriety tortured. If we have been fortunate enough to believe in a better way we are blessed with resources to assist us. If we do not believe there is another way we are stuck—eternally. The ones that make it are the ones who believe there is another way. Not only do we believe there is another way, we are willing to endure the torture of early sobriety because we have faith that there is something to be gained if we face the truth of who we have become.
We are willing to see our skewed perception. We are willing to say we were wrong. We are willing to put in correction. We are willing to help others. We are willing to put someone else’s needs ahead of our own. We don’t get sober when we are ready; we get sober when we are willing. We stay sober because we stay willing to change. Again. And Again. And Again.
We stop complaining about what we don’t have and we start being grateful for what we do have.
We are entitled to nothing for having achieved sobriety, with the exception of sobriety itself. Sobriety is the gift. We are not entitled to a parade, a hero’s welcome, gifts, parties, or accolades. The gift we receive for getting sober and staying sober is a life filled with unsurpassed love.
Wishing all a blessed 2013
If you’re drinking, don’t be driving. The life you take may not be yours.
2012 Best All Around Resource for Sobriety: