What if my alcoholism is my greatest asset?
Not when it was alive, active, and devouring me––no. But when I came to my senses long enough to catch my breath. More like the moment it became my reality check, and then the climb back up from that.
If I hadn’t hit the place where I was able to admit that my life had become unmanageable (and was showing NO signs of righting itself), I would likely never have done the depth of work on myself that is requested/required in The Steps.
Discomfort, anxiety, fear, shame, guilt, and denial slowly and steadily continue to this day to be offset by an ongoing expansion of serenity, peace, honesty, trust, pride, and self-respect. Basically learning to experience––and even enjoy––all feelings, instead of wildly trying to stifle them out of fear that they might be unpleasant. Which inevitably made things way worse. And sensing I can now (as The Promises promise) handle situations (and feelings) that used to baffle me, (or paralyze me, or take me to dark places…).
So I can be grateful for my alcoholism because I never would have related to myself and to others the way I do now, in this new way of being. And even this, learning to do that perspective shift, i.e., looking for the golden seed in a situation. Every situation, even the darkest, has one. Some are not evident right away, but I have come to believe it will show itself, eventually. Even if it’s subtle, it is no less profound.
The best skill of ‘em all for me––“what is my part in this?”––defuses the resentments. It develops compassion along with a self-awareness that works like a softly-lit mirror (not the harsh kind in the public bathrooms with the atrocious fluorescent lights ––those are uncalled for.) But a chance to look openly––gently and kindly––at myself, and, by extension, look at others that way, too.
Today before I mentally pounce on someone, I’m noticing I am better able to shine that mirror on myself first. This usually changes the conversation, and the outcome, IF I’m in fit spiritual condition.
And making amends. What a thing that is. Talk about dissolving resentments––many of which are not even remembered in the same way by the “resentee.” I see people all around me working so hard to keep old resentments alive. Or to generate new ones at the slightest provocation.
Not me. I let my alcoholism be my teacher and my asset, and life these days is good.
In gratitude, harmony, and support,