“Be grateful. These feelings, no matter how painful, are part of living. Today, we are alive—not anesthetized, not sedated, not passed out. Take control of your feelings and through action, you can change. Today, as every day of sober living, we have a choice.” – Ann D. Clark
EACH YEAR THE PRESSURE TO NOT DRINK got stronger and each year I would tell myself, “This time it’s going to be different.”
And I meant it with all my heart.
But each year I would end up sabotaging myself with an intentional slip. So much for sobriety.
What is an Intentional Slip? Aren’t All Slips, Just that? A Falling Off the Wagon?
I used to believe it was just that and nothing more, but it is always much more. Consider:
- A slip is pre-meditated, planned and orchestrated to ensure maximum availability of the drink. We know what we’re desperate to do long before we pick up the first drink. But for the alcoholic whose mission is to rid obsessive thoughts and feelings of hopelessness and stop the noisy chatter in our head, the only thing that worked with success is to drink.
- Maybe we wait for the best time to get us through the weekend, or the upcoming holiday. If our drink of choice was liquor, we’d wait until the spouse was out of the house and we hid our bottles.
- Some of us switch our drink of choice, thinking near-beer, wine or wine-coolers would satisfy us, but it never did for long. The Recoveryvillage.com does a good job in outlining the differences between a slip and a relapse.
- We’d wait and carried our booze in the perfect container in our cars, in our purse, briefcase into work or pockets either mixed to perfection or straight up. Not all of us had to go to these and more lengths to drink. More often than not, we tried some of these or others.
- When we ran out of booze, our throats would constrict, we would sweat, become anxious, irritable and discontented until we could at once experience the ease and comfort that always came with that first sip, or that first drug of choice..
- We blew our intentions by doing what we always did. We said, “The hell with it.” “It’s too late now anyway.” “The holidays are already here.” “I’ll begin the New Year.” Imagining the holidays without a drink was as fear-producing as free-falling from 20,000 feet.
Some Points to Consider:
If you think you may have a problem with drinking, it could be your sign. Normal drinkers never have to ask because drinking is a non-issue for them. But for us, this is all we thought about.
The pamphlet Frequently Asked Questions and others are free and can be seen by visiting this sites and the one that follows.
The pamphlet, Are You an Alcoholic? can be found by following this link. This is an insightful quiz that looks into our daily habits of living and asks revealing questions sufficient for us to evaluate ourselves. No one can answer this question but you, nor should they. If you are in the Florida Big Bend area, support and answers are but a phone call away. You can call 850-224-1818 and speak confidentially with someone without giving anyone your name or number. This could be the most difficult move you’ll ever have to make to change your life for the better.
Eight Resounding Reasons Sobriety Should be First this Holiday
1.THE FIRST DRINK GETS US DRUNK.
Sounds insane, doesn’t it? How can that be?
Alcoholism is a disease unlike any other. It affects the mind, body, and spirit that must be repaired on three fronts. The first drink begins the cycle of obsession. Not convinced? Step over to the bar, have one drink and walk away. If you have a drinking problem, are hundred, tired or angry, chances are you can’t HAVE just one. Besides, by now your brain is already receiving messages like, “One more will ‘do it.'” Try it more than once. Skip a day or several. Skip a few weeks and how do you feel? Better yet, tell yourself, “I’m done” and move on with your life. See how that works for you. Your answer will take shape in no time.
2. IT’S THE FIRST DRINK THAT COULD KILL SOMEONE.
That’s impossible! Isn’t it?
If you are a problem drinker, one drink will show how one becomes ten. One is too much and a hundred is never enough. And if one is never enough then by the time you get up to go, chances are pretty good you’re either on your way to the next bar, drunk already and/or driving in a black out. The truth is, we have NO IDEA the possibility of things that can happen to us, and the places we can go at this point.
3. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO US OR SOMEONE ELSE WITH THE FIRST SIP.
Unless you are God, or a Higher Power, we have no knowledge or information to suggest we can get drunk and not hurt someone. If you are a blackout drinker, you’re kidding yourself and putting yourself and others in harm’s way if you think you’re in control. Only Russian roulette has better odds before the right circumstance proves problem or chronic drinkers wrong, because it always does! Have a talk with your local sheriff’s office, MADD (Mothers’ Against Drunk Driving,) or a representative from one of our prisons. They will quickly provide more than enough proof as to what it took for someone to become a victim or perpetrator of a crime from drinking.
4. WE HAVE NO INSIGHT INTO WHAT IS HAPPENING INSIDE OUR BODY!
As we age physically; organs, brain-cells, and overall body functioning begins to break down or needs adjusting. We have no way of knowing whether the first drink or the sixth will kill us. People die every single day from brain aneurysms, heart attacks, strokes and more because of drinking. Most often our death certificate will read, “heart attack,” but you can bet, it was drugs or alcohol that induced the final blow.
5. ALCOHOLISM IS PROGRESSIVE.
It never stops unless we do. Drinking kills us insidiously, from the inside out.
6. ALCOHOL IS A DEPRESSIVE
Suicide is an effect of alcohol and consistent drinking often leads to other drugs and dangerous behaviors.
7. OUR DRINKING WILL NEVER GET BETTER.
The cause, the effect, the consequences of our drinking always, without fail, becomes much worse over time. Like diabetes or with some forms of cancer, it is a disease that cannot be eradicated. The only known cure is total abstinence and we do it with much success in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, or at a minimum, always with others.
8. OUR DRINKING ONLY GETS WORSE
Many of us know of people who, although sober for a long stretch, picked up and resumed their addiction and suffered extreme consequences. Although they stopped drinking, the disease keeps going, picking up where it left off.
The effects are almost always death, institutions or jail.
Call 850-224-1818 if you are anywhere in the Big Bend Area of North Florida. Google AA online for your local AA Intergroup office and ask for help if you have to leave a message. Anyone you speak to on the telephone can give you basic information, but it is up to you to move toward self-care.
Meetings are anonymous, what is discussed in our rooms is anonymous and remains in the rooms. Who we see here,what we hear there, stays there.
One reason Alcoholics Anonymous remains so successful is because together, we stay sober. Alone – we are sure to drink and or us to drink is to die!
Lastly, if your plans are already made and you’d like not to drink but don’t know what to do to avoid sticky situations, you may find helpful tips toward the end of my blog, Taking Care of Ourselves During the Holidays
Today is the perfect day to change the course of your life. The hope and miracles in the rooms of recovery will astound you. Anything you do to change will work, if you work for it!
If you liked this message, please share with others who may find it useful, would you? And keep coming back. While you’re here, consider going over to the BOOK menu where you can order Miracles of Recovery, or at a minimum, listen to a few audios that are there for you!