It’s Hell in the Hallway

“I don’t think I can keep looking at this stuff, Buster,” she informed him, handing the camera to her brother. “It makes me want to drink either more alcohol or none, and I can’t imagine either possibility.”
― Kevin Wilson

Although it’s been many years now, I remember what it felt like to pace back and forth in my head, as the thought of sobriety was making me crazy. I saw myself standing outside the meeting, hearing all the laughter and watching all the smoke  (back in the day, everyone smoked), and wondered just what in the hell were they doing in there? Being so near, but yet so far, produced a high-anxiety that this alcoholic couldn’t shake by herself. It was hell in the hallway

One of the wonderful aspects of a 12-step program is that we don’t have to come up with questions or answers anymore by ourselves. Prior to recovery, I made up every answer it seemed that kept me in that hallway, as I interrogated and terrorized myself right smack out of the need to get sober. If you experienced the level of fear and anxiety I did, who in their right mind would ever recover?It's Hell in the Hallway

That being said, it’s easy to see how out of my mind I was when I drank. Thoughts like these were commonplace. And of course, more followed. I stood on the edge of insanity…

Questions I used to Stay Stuck:

  • What would happen to me if I tried getting sober?
  • I HATE change!
  • HOW would this change me?
  • What would be left of me?
  • What could I expect?
  • Will friends think less of me, call me names and chastise me?
  • Would I get sick?
  • Shouldn’t I leave for a month to some rehabilitation center where drunks dry out?
  • Would I get a raise at work for getting sober?
  • Would my family forgive me?
  • Could I forgive me?
  • What would I say to people who know me?
  • Would I have to tell my doctor, my wife, my husband, my children, my boss, my clergyman, his boss?

As I walked back and forth in my head, I’d ask myself these and other questions and each question produced more stress, which produced the need to drink more. I saw I had a thinking problem! Every time I began to think, I would drink! It was the perfect excuse needed to let these and other questions go for another day. This scenario played out repeatedly for years.


So far we’ve established that many of us using or drinking have a thinking problem. I also had a self-sabotage problemIt's Hell in the Hallway2

We set ourselves up with these questions and others, rationalizing to justify ourselves how much easier it is to stay “right where we are.” Sitting at the bar, or alone drinking is what we know. It’s comfortable, we tell ourselves, even safe. There are no surprises, and we hated surprises. Surprises represent fear of the unknown, even change!

But a tiny voice still tries to break through our consciousness by making statements like:

  • Get up out of the hallway and get into that meeting! You know you can’t stand not knowing how all those people could be laughing, at what?
  • What do they have I don’t?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if I could feel that good just for one day?
  • Could that happen for me?
  • You deserve this chance at getting this.
  • How are they happy? What did they use to get there?
  • They’re no one better than me, so if they could, maybe I could too?
  • I can’t loose any more than I’ve already lost. Why Not?

So What’s the Big Secret Then? How did THEY Quit drinking/drugging?

They got OUT of the hallway, came down from the fence, and,

They Took Action!

If you’re ready to quit pacing and move in a direction that will change the course of your life in ways you can’t begin to imagine; if you’re ready to take a leap of faith like those laughing in the rooms of recovery, then click here,Ten Things to do To Not Drink and you may be amazed. Because these ten things breaks recovery down into ten manageable small things you can do just for today.

Please tell your friends if you liked this blog and come back often. Your miracles have yet to begin.


Has this been helpful to you? Please share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.