I’m writing this with a kid in my lap…
And that’s a big deal.
Let me tell you why.
I’ve witnessed the impressive power of the disease of alcoholism and addiction up close and personal lately. And when I say impressive, I mean it in the saddest way possible. When you get sober, you make sober friends. And when you share the story of your disease, you open yourself up to the stories, good & bad, of strangers and their experience with the disease. So, and I say this proudly, I know (and love) a LOT of alcoholics and drug addicts….
If you know anything about the statistics of alcoholism and drug addiction, you know that the odds of all of those people staying sober is zero…. It becomes the norm to see someone relapse. It’s just the nature of the disease. All kinds of statistics are thrown around about how many of us relapse and how many of us “make it,” and to be honest I don’t know which ones are true… It becomes irrelevant when those statistics aren’t just numbers but names and faces of people you’ve grown to know and love.
Knowing the odds are stacked against us doesn’t make it any easier to see someone succumb again (and again and again and again) to the power of their disease. Because consequences don’t keep us sober. And sometimes getting back what we’ve lost doesn’t keep us sober. Hell, sometimes things start going TOO well for us and we don’t know how to handle it and so that doesn’t keep us sober. Sometimes we forget just how miserable we were out there and convince ourselves that it wasn’t that bad and we decide to try it again….
That’s what I did back in 2012. And within just a few months, I was worse than before. I couldn’t go more than 4 hours without putting a substance in my body…. And that’s where a lot of the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting since getting sober are this Saturday morning. Despite knowing there’s another way, despite knowing the answer to their greatest problem, they’ll spend this gorgeous Saturday morning looking for MORE…
More booze, more drugs, more anything to help them farther into oblivion to avoid the reality they have created that they cannot face or accept. Or maybe they’ll spend it in jail. Maybe the hospital. The location may differ but the company will not… Wherever they are, I can guarantee you they are alone. I can guarantee you they are alone because I was alone. This is a disease of perpetual solitude.
And that’s why it’s a big deal that I’m writing this with a kid in my lap. Because it could just as easily be me sitting at a bar drinking whiskey at 10am. It could just as easily be me sitting in jail for committing a crime I can’t remember because I was too high or too drunk. It could just as easily be me sitting in a hospital bed without a soul to call to come sit with me. It could just as easily be me because I am just as much of an addict and alcoholic today as the last day I was using and drinking. My sobriety isn’t a testament to my willpower or strength, but a testament to the love and grace and mercy of The Spirit of the Universe. BUT for the grace of GOD….
I’m writing this with a kid in my lap.
Find more on my blog at unabashedbravery.wordpress.com