“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.”
I have been careful about who I speak to about my struggles with alcoholism. The one person in the Bay Area who I talked to and trusted the most left me, in part, due to my addiction. I understand–and have come to terms with that reality. My first few weeks of sobriety were a bit lonely–which is a big reason why I started attending AA meetings. I felt alone–and wanted to communicate with people I could relate to–who understood the self inflicted pain of alcoholism. I needed advice, guidance, support and a network to lean on. A strong support system, whether AA, family, friends or a partner is essential for the recovery process. Or at least it has been for me. It is also important to realize that it’s not just you going through tough times–and those in AA (my support system) depend on you to listen and provide insight, even if they are 30 years sober. It’s a life-long process accepting that if you make the choice to drink just one sip of alcohol–you will fall farther and harder than ever before.
I look back to my darkest moments and realize that I was selfish in many ways–and in others I was selfless. Selfless as a parent–but selfish in the sense that everything had to be done my way, on my time…if not, I was going to moan and groan like a child.
If you are on the road to recovery–I do hope that you aren’t trying to do it alone. If so, just keep in mind that there is a strong network of people willing and able to teach, guide and listen–people who are on the same journey.
I spoke to a fellow AA member last night who always puts things simply–and as a parent his statement hit home: “I have to be here (in support groups) to be there.” “There” meaning for his children. It took a moment for his statement to register–but once it did, I was like “I completely understand.” I find that the last five months have been filled with reflection–really digging deep to look at myself, accept my flaws and for once seek to address my root problems. I am so grateful for Lila, my job, my family and friends–the good always outweighs the bad…it really depends on your perspective, your vantage point.
Life doesn’t always have to be complicated–and there are many solutions that can be found in the simplistic. I, as an alcoholic and person had a tendency to over-complicate. One of my goals is to continue taking a simple approach to being successful in life and not drinking–listen, be a good father, show up to meetings and help when I am called upon to do so.