07 Mar Keep It Simple
Written for, anyone who’s been affected by drugs and/or alcohol. To inspire hope. By Stacy Lew
I got clean/sober on April 21, 2001 and am grateful that I haven’t found it necessary to do more research since that day. I share this not to gloat, guilt, shame or claim anything. I share this so the reader understands that it is possible to put down the bottle/needle/pills or whatever you stuff your pain with, and never pick it up again. Although, I didn’t think so at the time.
It doesn’t matter how we get here, or what brought us here. All that matters is that we stay.
I remember having 18 days clean. I worked full-time, had a 2 year old, was married and was just dropped off from work. I was in a rotten mood. My kid was pulling on my skirt wanting attention, then the husband came home with a commentary about the length of my skirt and questions about who I wore it “for”, and I was obliged to go to meeting. (I failed to mention that I got a DUI the month before so I lost my driver’s license, got a court card and was now required to go to meetings!)
So I pry the kid off me, tell the husband to pound sand and off I go. Me and my attitude pedal all the way there. I throw the bike down, walk in and sit in the back. Then it happens, “and today’s topic will be GRATITUDE”. What?!. The hands go up and sharing begins. “Hi, I’m Suzie and I’m a grateful alcoholic, hehe”, “Hi, Joe, addict, I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve been on a total “pink cloud””, “Hi, I’m Ginger and I just wanted to share some “gratefulness”. My blood just boiled, the longer it went, the madder I got. Then this happened.
Focus on the similarities, not the differences.
The leader asked, “Are there any burning desires?”. My hand shot up and so did I. “Stacy, alcoholic! You people and this grateful freakin meeting are full of it!” And I began to point. “You, there’s no such thing as a “grateful alcoholic”, you’re a walking oxymoron!”. “And you, yeah you, the one over there decorating your pink cloud! Pink cloud, my a$$. “And you, seriously, gratefulness, isn’t a word! Look it up!” “You people are wack jobs, with your signs and clichés, your slogans! I have to go to work, come home, be a mom, a wife then ride my bike to these stupid grateful meetings! I’ve been doing this crap for 18 freakin days! When the hell is this roller coaster ride going to end?! Thanks for letting me share! I sat down.
The room roared with laughter. Yeah! They laughed! I couldn’t believe it. I just puked all over their grateful little meeting and they laughed. Talk about confusing.
The roller-coaster ride isn’t going to end, but isn’t it better than the merry-go-ride you’ve been on?
The meeting ended and an old-timer walked up to me. What he shared impacted the rest of my life. He said, “Stacy, the roller coaster ride isn’t going to end, but isn’t it better than the merry-go-round you’ve been on?” Naturally, my first thought was, “what the hell did you just say to me!”. Then I saw it. My life was “here”, then I’d go all the way around and end up right back “here”, only to do it again and again. He was right, I wanted off the merry-go-round.
The roller coaster has it’s highs and lows. In the beginning, the highs are very high, while the lows can be very low while going from one extreme to the other, like a light switch. It all levels out.
I learned early on what precedes a relapse. I did a ton of research, by interviewing those who relapsed. They all said the same thing. They stopped going to meetings, stopped being honest about what they thought and/or did, and stopped being of service.
I keep it simple. I go to meetings, share my truth, have a sponsor and help others. I haven’t relapsed. And I’ve become, a “grateful” addict/alcoholic. It works, if you choose to work it.
Love and Light,