Last night while reading my new favorite blogger’s, Maggie Shores, most recent post I was completely inspired. I started to comment on it and could not stop typing! So with her permission I’d like to share with y’all her post and my answer to her question. Maggie and I have a lot in common and of course share a passion for recovery and giving away what has so freely been given to us. I hope you find her share as enlightening as I. I bet you will ;0)
You can follow Maggie at http://sobercourage.com/
Here is her post…
NOT YETS VERSUS NOT AGAINS
I originally wrote this on my other blog (Sober life), but today I was actually talking to someone struggling and this popped in my head. Being that the stressful holiday season is in full force here, I thought this may be helpful tool right about now!
There is this saying in the rooms when people with high bottoms refer to the consequence from drinking that have not yet happened to them, but they still could if they drink again – they call them the “NOT YETS.”
But last night at the meeting, the leader talked about her “NOT AGAINs.” She talked about how the “not yets” are hard for her to measure. Since she doesn’t know what they could be, they just don’t seem real to her. But the “not agains” she knows very well; if she picks up, all the AGAINs will happen… again!
She went on describing her thought process: again she would think she has it all under control, and she could just have a few drinks, again she would end up drinking way more than she intended, again she would probable make an ass of herself, again she would wake up with a horrendous hangover, again she would stumble to make it to work, again she would be waiting anxiously all day to have a drink, again she would get drunk with no intentions to do so, again she would be hangover… AGAIN she would have done something stupid, and again she would feel shame and guilt! And again she would have to crawl back to the rooms and again she would have to start over! ”NOT AGAIN!” She exclaimed at the end.
I know I can’t capture the power of her lead here, but I tell you, I was in tears! Seriously. I still have some “not yets” I am sure, although I had several serious consequences caused by my drinking. But we all have some not yets, and yes, they are hard to imagine sometimes, because I tend to think that, well that can’t/won’t happen to me! But the “not agains,” OMG, I know all of those! I’ve been there many times, it doesn’t get any better, it’s just the same vicious cycle, over and over and over again, except each time it gets worse! I have never heard anyone say, oh “I relapsed, and it was fabulous!” I have to remember that alcoholism is an incurable, progressive, fatal disease. It does not get better!
So on the flip side, I am going to end with this:
I am so very grateful to not have to drink again, and that I am feeling happy again, and that I never have to feel hungover again, or be stuck in shame and guilt again, and that I am sober again!
What AGAINs are you grateful for? ”
Written by Maggie Shores
“Oh I relapsed and it was fabulous!”
Yup, never heard anybody say they wanted to start the recovery process cause their life was just awesome. Myself included.
Maggie you had me crying then belly laughing! Wonderful post and I believe you captured the meeting moment perfectly. Granted I wasn’t there.
Years ago after I had just gotten clean and was attending a fellowship based on addiction, I relapsed on my 90th day. After going to a meeting, I made a conscience decision to drink. I only had 1 & a 1/2 glasses of wine. Proof that 1 is too many for this alcoholic/addict I did something that broke one of my personal morals. I then went to a meeting the next day, as if nothing had happened & months later falsely picked up a year chip.
Shortly after I moved back to Jackson, WY and the fellowship I had attended didn’t exist here. I started attending (against my will at that point) the fellowship based on alcohol. I initially hated it. I couldn’t relate. I was so focused on the differences I was not seeing ALL the similarities.
I had no bottom on alcohol. My ego would not stop thinking every time someone shared, “ugh booze, really? My disease would so kick your diseases ass!”
It wasn’t until I started working steps out of the BB with my sponsor and doing some 12 step calls that I saw the light. I realized that being addicted to alcohol was no joke! My perception was way off. I saw the similarities between the addiction to alcohol and my drug of choice.
But…I was still constantly obsessing about, if I could drink again and not end up right back where I left off with my choice of destruction. Then it hit me…
‘Normal’ people probably don’t obsess about whether they can drink & not end up high on crack cause they burned a whole in their septum from snorting too much cocaine previously!Cue angelic choir singing in unison…
Yeah, I probably don’t need to do that and I finally accepted that I was in the right place
For myself, well until I forget, (I have a built in forgetter, which is why meetings & service are top priority for this girl) my ‘not yets’ are VERY clear!
- I never again have to pick up any mood or mind altering substance, yup even booze… Hehe
- I never again have to be a slave to my addiction.
- I again have spirituality
I pray and turn my will and my life over to the care of my higher power.
And if I forget or take my will back, as I often do…
I can start my day over… AGAIN!
- I have faith that the God of my understanding wants me to be happy, joyous, and free.
I trust that God is in charge, I’m not, and he’s got ‘it’ covered. (Yup, doesn’t need my help at all, just a bit of cooperation on my part)
- I again have freedom!
- I have freedom to do the next right thing
- I have freedom to choose how I react
- I have freedom to search for a solution and ask for help
- I again have loving and healthy relationships
- I again can practice love, trust and faith and be free of fear
- I again SLEEP and EAT
- I again FEEL MY FEELINGS and not have to drown them if they are uncomfortable as I again know that they WILL pass
- I again am TRUSTWORTHY
- I again am not constantly thinking of myself and what can I get out of the world? But what can I give?!
- I again am a productive member of society!
- I again can find gratitude in the smallest of things
- I again can see miracles happen right before my very eyes!
- I again can see the change I wish to be
- Most importantly…
I AGAIN , AM ME, Clairey G.
Thanks again Maggie for sharing and reminding me that there are no small miracles. Grateful that, just for today, I am high on hugs and not on drugs!
I am very aware that my misery is refundable. So guess what?
I think I’ll keep coming back
Maggie Shores says
This is so nice of you to share and I love that you added your comment!
I forgot about sleep and eat! Lol! I have been doing those so well now, that I forgot how I used to go for days not doing either! Ahh… Sometimes it’s the little things, huh? Sobriety has been good. Not always smooth, but when I go back and think about those agains, well it sure puts things into a perspective, doesn’t it? Sometimes you have to look at your life from like above, just to see the many changes, so amazing!
Ps. It has been no more than 29 degrees here all day and it was freezing. I don’t know how you do it with 0 and below —- must be all those hugs! 🙂
Clairey @ High on Hugs says
Agreed! Glad you liked my share. I feel so many times that life sober hasn’t changed that much from my life in active addiction. Well some obvious factors are clearly different! But the life stuff, it still happens. Pain, loss, grief, joy, peace…they all happen. Sometimes they totally suck but you know what?
They suck better SOBER!!
P.S. you’re too cute. Yes hugs help but also it is way drier here. 25 degrees back east feels like -5 here!!