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Got it all together?

Addiction, Recovery

I love words. Until they reveal the truth about me.

I remember hearing that very first step. “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.”
I didn’t like the word powerless and I hated that word unmanageable. These are usually fine words — as long as they describe the guy on the side of the road with a cardboard sign.

But when I got alone to meditate on that first and most vital step, I took special note of that word unmanageable. It burned into my retina and carved its way down deep into my soul.

See because it’s kind of difficult to keep holding on to the idea that you have it all together when you find yourself in rehab.

I was that guy who always loved having my crap together. I had a picture-frame family and a meaningful career. My dreams always eventually came to life. If I had an idea I could make it happen if I wanted it bad enough.

But now I had a new appreciation for those wielders of cardboard signs. As I broke that dreadful word down, I realized what “unmanageable” had come to mean for me. Un… Man… Age… Able. Addiction reduced me to a man who was un, able to act his age.
Alcohol took me from a grown-ass man who made grown-man money to a guy eligible for handouts.

A person doesn’t usually wake up one morning and say, “Yay I think I’ll become an alcoholic today.”

It’s a slow, subtle and imperceptible sequence that occurs in stages. And you don’t have to have a genetic predisposition for addiction either. It can come through the sheer volume of use over time and anyone is eligible. Anyone.

Managing your life doesn’t come to a screeching halt either. As drinkingincreases slowly, over time, the ability to manage life decreases slowly, over time.

But recovery gives it all back to you… slowly, over time. Once again we become able to “intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.”

In recovery, we get the thrilling joy of facing our challenges and taking them on with renewed resolve. Confidence eventually makes its way back home to your mind. Yep. You get your grip back. You get a fresh appreciation for being able to act your age and then you can sport that pair of big-boy pants. And they fit.

But all bets are off if we fail to embrace that very first step. It’s the grandaddy. All of it: “Admitted” we were “powerless” and life had become “unmanageable.

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