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[ Personal Narratives ]

My drinking problem isn’t fixed

Editors note: SoberJulie is a fantastic writer and recovery advocate, her blog has been recognized by nearly all publications in the digital recovery industry: Check it out

I entered into my first 12 Step meeting wanting to fix the problem I had with drinking. As a logical thinker, I was scared to death because I’d just accepted that I was completely incapable of stopping on my own will. I knew I was very close to the moment when the pervasive cloak of shame would completely take my life. I’d woken to find a suicide note I’d penned during a blackout and couldn’t evade the reality that I was an alcoholic.

The thing is, I had no real idea of what an alcoholic was. I didn’t drink daily, could a binge drinker qualify? 

Thankfully I as I sat in the plastic chair in that musty church basement quietly weeping, the words spoken within the room permeated my grief. Each day I returned to that chair, I sat and mumbled the qualifying introduction with a quick “pass” escaping my lips. 

Over time I became slightly stronger; to the point where my chin began to rise again as I accepted that I am indeed an alcoholic. I could look around the room at the folks who were telling my stories with their experiences. I learned what humility was, how to keep my thoughts in the moment, how to begin to let my worries go and to focus on being of service to those in my life. 

I began to learn how to live with clarity. My soul began to unfurl, my spiritual connection began to strengthen and I was soon living recovery.

I didn’t enter that room to learn how to live but I most certainly have. I didn’t learn how to fix my drinking problem in the sense I’d hoped but I did learn who I am and how to breathe and experience joy in that knowledge. 

I’ve accepted the fact that I won’t ever be able to fix my “drinking problem” and that my life today wouldn’t be what it is without it…now there’s a wild thought. 

This recovery program hasn’t just been about a book, about steps or traditions…for me it’s been a journey of many people, experiences and events which complied have become as essential to me as oxygen. 

These days I may not sit in that plastic chair quite as often as I once have but I have shed the cloak of shame and am walking with my chin high, knowing that my recovery continues and those chairs are still there.