The first part of Bill’s story in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that really spoke to me was when he was talking about being the throes of his addiction:
“The remorse, the horror, and hopelessness of the next morning [after a drunk] are unforgettable. The courage to do battle was not there.”
How well I am sure we alcoholics and addicts can relate! He is basically saying that his life had become unmanageable. It’s not just that I identify with him about yet another morning of self-condemnation, loathing, remorse, and hopelessness. No, it’s that it is a reminder of where I used to be in life.
For me to be successful in recovery, not only do I have to keep close friends in Acceptance and Gratitude, but I must always remember my history of madness as an alcoholic. Bill’s simple sentence is a reminder to me why I can never drink.
And, if I ever find myself harboring resentments about not being able to drink–sound familiar?–I would do well to remember this one simple sentence.
I am missing nothing by not drinking. I am not going without. I am not depriving myself of anything. What I am doing is fixing my mind and body. What I am doing is living a life of sobriety that does not include chaos and remorse. What I have is the courage to do battle with life on life’s terms.
What I am doing is beginning to see that I am worth this journey, that I have a new life and it doesn’t include alcohol. I don’t have to remain a prisoner of the feelings that kept me chained in front of my television.
Yes, Bill’s simple sentence may not seem to say a lot, but it says a lot to me. It is a reminder of the madness I pulled myself out of. Think you want a drink today? Put Bill’s sentence on your bathroom mirror and be mindful of it…always.