Endigar 91

Earlier in my recovery, I wrote an inverted paraphrase of the 12 steps.  It is the page entitled, “The 12 Steps of Addiction.”  It was inspired by one thought that seemed valid at the time.  In reality, I am and have always been working a program of self-improvement.  That was the thought; whether I was drunk or sober, I had been working a program.  Before I entered the 12 step program of recovery, I was working a program of alcoholic integration and chemical empowerment.  I recognized the hard work I had invested in making the alcoholic oblivion work for me.  I needed to be able socialize with confidence.  At times, I needed a little bit of extra social courage.  Alcohol would do that for me.  I needed to be able to get over intense emotional pain or I was going to off myself.  Alcohol did that for me.  I needed to free myself to attempt more creative boldness.  Alcohol did that for me.  But it was like Frodo’s use of the Ring.  It was short term empowerment with long term costs.  In order to make alcoholism work for me, I had to find ways to minimize the impact of the consequences I was experiencing.  I had to find a way to deceive myself on a regular basis.  That is hard work.  The inverted paraphrase outlined pretty accurately for me the work that I would have to invest in order to make the alcoholic booster shot a viable solution.  But I did not realize that there is a point of diminishing returns with the progression of the disease.  I also did not realize that what I learned under the influenced seemed to remain hidden in a pocket of my brain that I could not access without alcohol.  So if I learned something to enhance some element of my creativity while I was drunk, I had to be drunk to access and use it again. 

The 12 Steps of Recovery have allowed me the opportunity to deal with emotional pain rather than hide from it.  I am also learning to express myself creatively, without passing out during the process.  And what I learn stays with me.  And I am beginning to love who I am, and this gives me a lifestyle of social confidence rather than flurries of social bravado.  When I talk to someone on a real level, I remember what I talked about the next day.  This allows me to build relationships. 

If alcohol or drugs works for you, I am not here to judge you.  I don’t want to change you.  If you find that you are experiencing diminishing  results and overwhelming consequences, I understand that as well.  Be true to yourself.  I am being true to myself, and honest with you, when I tell you that I enjoy being sober and learning how to get what I got back then, and KEEPING IT.

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