If you would have asked me 869 days ago if I was grateful to be an alcoholic, the answer wouldn’t have just been “no”, it would have been a violent “f**k no!” Today, however, the answer has done a complete 180 degree turn and it is a “yes!” My gratitude level for my alcoholism has actually increased since COVID-19 hit. I am one of the blessed few to be part of such an amazing, powerful, creative community.
It’s funny to me because when I was drinking, I am the last person you would have called on outside of work to help with something or be on time for an event. My assumption, based on hearing other people in recovery share their stories, is that they too often shirked responsibilities. Now? I have been able to be a part of couple of worldwide recovery conferences that were not only thrown together last minute, but organized so well and always run on time!
Being an administrative assistant by trade, I have sat in a fair share of meetings and I wish that the corporate world would take a look at what the people in recovery do and mimic that! Dear goodness, what a difference it could make! Schedules would run on time. Cross-talk would be a thing of the past. And dare I say that respect for the presenter would return?! Such a wistful thought! And all coming from a major binge drinker who found a better way.
The unity I’ve found in the conferences is due to the fact that each time a new speaker shares, I hear my story over and over again. One major thing I’ve learned in recovery is to “take what I need and leave the rest”. Therefore, I feel more able to “connect” with the speaker and actually pay attention more when someone is sharing.
The other day while on a Zoom meeting, I realized that I had tuned out and was meticulously picking apart what the speaker had shared because I disagreed with what they were saying. When I realize what was really happening – my ego was being bruised because someone wasn’t saying what I wanted to hear – I was able put some duct tape over my ego’s ever running mouth to listen to them share the rest of their story. Did I still have an opinion about something they said? I did; however, I was able to let that go and hear the rest of the message they were sharing instead of getting stuck in my head.
Someone mentioned in another meeting – I’m fairly certain it was Judith R. talking about Emotional Sobriety and you can listen to that audio here, click #22 – that our feelings aren’t the things that are being hurt; it’s our ego. That was the first time I had heard it put that way and I wholeheartedly agree. Becoming aware of yourself makes it easier to realize this when it’s happening. If I’m self-aware, I’m able to stop my head from spinning and going off on 27,396 different ways of building myself up while tearing the other person down before it happens. Self-awareness is FREEDOM!
Not drinking is the easy part of my program now. Keeping my ego in check is much more challenging. I have to put others before myself and, being the baby of six siblings, that is a bit out of my comfort zone. When I’m uncomfortable, however, I’m growing and making myself a better person.
That’s all I’ve got today!! Sending love and socially distanced kitty kisses to you all! ♥
Oh! Before I forget, if you need a meeting this weekend, I’ve posted some flyers throughout this post as pics! Super looking forward to the Emotional Sobriety deep dive on Tuesday, April 7!