Recently, somebody asked me if I still consider myself an alcoholic and asked why I still go to meetings. Well, that’s easy. It’s the thinking, not the drinking that still causes me angst. I still have alcoholic thinking even though I am not drinking anymore—and have not been drinking for a long time—5359 days, to be exact.
The stopping drinking part was actually the easy part. Well, after I surrendered and gave that part of the obsession to God (He did the heavy-lifting on that end.) The hard part for me is that I still have crazy thoughts that may lead to crazy behaviors, if left untreated.
Yes, that’s where the meeting part comes in. Going to a meeting is my treatment to keep me in sobriety. I can sit with others and hear them express some of the same thoughts that have been rolling around in my head. It makes me feel like I am not crazy and I am not the only one with those dangerous thoughts.
Like, maybe after all this time, I am not really an alcoholic and I can just have one beer.
Who am I kidding? I have never had one beer in my entire life! That’s where the replacement phrases come into my head because I have retrained my brain, like— “You can’t get drunk if you don’t take the first drink”
I believe there is a force out there that wants to not only trip us up, but make us fall flat on our faces in utter defeat. I heard this story about a Cherokee brave and it reminds me of how I handle my sobriety:
One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. “
My dear one, the battle between two ‘wolves’ is inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The other is good. It is: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a moment and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”
We need to monitor our thoughts each day. All of the thoughts that make up our thinking that cause our behaviors.
Here’s how I feed the Good Wolf:
• Decide to do something for my sobriety each day
• Stay in gratitude
• Think about how I can serve or reaching out to someone who needs help
• Call a friend in sobriety
• Go to a meeting
• Pray each day—throughout the day
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
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