“Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics…We learned we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics.”
~The Big Book, Chapter 3
“We therefore arrive at the conclusion that while bondage is an experience, there is a Reality to which bondage is not real.”
High Bottom Drunk
I was a high bottom drunk. In my alcoholic, comparison-based mind in the early days, I perceived that as underachieving as an alcoholic. I had no DUIs, no rehab stories, no arrests… I was a high bottom drunk. But therein lies the key word – Drunk.
Someone early on told me he was a high bottom too, but “just as sick as that guy living under the bridge.”
Bridges for me have always been a beautiful metaphor for a transformational opportunity of simply traveling from here to there, safely above any murky dangers that lurk below. So his comment always stuck– under the bridge… Close enough to see the possibilities on the other side, but unwilling or unable to get unstuck from the quick sand where I stood.
My murky dwellings were relatively nice in terms of material things. I always had a roof over my head, always plenty of food. My bills got paid. I had a beautiful family, a job, a car.
But inside my head there was a darker, sadder, lonelier, gasping-for-air place. Grasping for something spiritual that I was filling with unspiritual things in progressive desperation.
My ability to fake it in the world of appearance greatly prolonged my disease and delayed my recovery. Even though I knew I was in trouble, I read into how I perceived other people were perceiving me and figured if they thought I was ok, then I must be.
Even a doctor once dismissed my alcoholism, despite me admitting I was concerned about my drinking too much. She asked me if I drank every day, to which I admitted yes. She then said, “Well, they say a glass or two of wine each day is beneficial. It’s not as if you’re drinking a whole bottle.”
Yes I was. At least one, and mostly more. But I just smiled and nodded. And kept drinking for a few more years.
I must have had a very high looking bottom at that point. Actually I hadn’t hit my bottom yet. That came a few years later as I approached the prolonged ending of my lifeless, dismal, dysfunctional marriage. But even then it didn’t look like what I thought alcoholism was supposed to look like, based on my memories of growing up with one.
I’m grateful I figured out on my own that I was hurting myself. No one else was pressuring me to stop drinking. Had they, I don’t think I would have stopped. Instead I would have had to show them a thing or two all right.
My attitude was “all in” when I finally walked myself into the rooms saying, “Help me. I can’t.”
My recovery is taking place from the inside out. From there I’m getting strong, resilient, and filling in the façade that was my outer nature. I’m able to deal with life on life’s terms. And more than just deal with it, enjoy it – thrive!
When I cast a kind glance across my past, I marvel at how much was possible beyond my imagination. Now that I have the power of my awareness and the framework of my program, I can imagine the greatness that is possible. First imagine, and then make it real.
1. Name some ways that your life is wonderful today that you could not have imagined possible back then.
2. What is something you would like to see in your future and how vividly can you imagine it?
3. Can you separate yourself from you past impression of yourself enough to become the person you are meant to be?
In gratitude, harmony, and support,