“There are no coincidences in life.” I think I might have learned this in my first few years in Alcoholics Anonymous before I took some time away from it. I also think it is one facet of spiritual recovery they told me about. Most of you know, if you’ve been following me here on Ask Recovery Rob or over at Pat Moore Foundation, that I offer addiction advice…not a true and tried method of anything. Although I’ve been sober since 1992 I didn’t always hang out at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and I don’t toot that specific horn on everything. But, what I do love is their sense of community, their sense of structure, their sense of life.
Another integral part of Alcoholics Anonymous for me was hearing the quote, “Take what you need. Need what you take.” It was perfect, as I couldn’t even imagine a life of rules. Rules, breaking rules and being an addict is what got me in trouble in the first place. So, I took what I needed…and for me it works. And to me THAT’s what AA is all about.
Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe I am a poster child for ANYTHING. I do know what works for me; even if some of those things that work are facing painful memories and making amends to people I care about, and don’t care about. If AA taught me anything it is to work to keep my side of the street clean while also being there for others if they need a hand to tidy up their side the way they want. It is not about judging how others run their recovery program.
For me, there is no moderation in drinking or drugging, but I don’t believe my path is the only path to be discovered or walked down. I personally tried moderation, but it felt like I was controlling my intake of alcohol. It’d work out fine for a bit, as I didn’t get wasted every time I drank. But, every once in a while I’d go on a bender night or a weekend and regret it immensely. I finally decided that I was just trying hard to keep myself from facing reality.
I can’t drink safely. I can’t control drinking. I can’t, and that’s okay.
I can wake up without a hangover. I can laugh at funny things. I can go out to bars and drive home safely. I can love. I can dance. I can experience the world before me through my own eyes…and that, my friends is what life is all about to me.