Last week I had a really shitty day. I got yelled at by everyone from my girlfriend to my boss to some jerk driving down the road. I knew my problems were going to solve themselves, so I didn’t need to be clear-headed, but I sure as hell wanted to stop thinking about it. Everywhere I looked I saw “Shitty Life”, and I really wanted to block it out. I pulled into a store that sells beer and took out my wallet. I had better than $50 in it, enough to get really toasted. I needed the money for other things, but I could always make an excuse, pay late, re-prioritize….
I paid for my cigarettes and left without any beer. I do that pretty much every day.
The week before I had a really GREAT day! Felt like I was on top of the world! Everything I did worked out perfect; I felt like the Golden Boy again. I wanted to celebrate, be in a great mood, be around people who were ready to laugh… I pulled into a store that sells beer and took out my wallet. I had plenty of money, and more was on the way! I bought some cigarettes and went to a meeting.
Before that I had one of those days when absolutely nothing mattered. Seemed like the world didn’t give a shit that I’d even gotten out of bed. Nothing fucking happened. Everything just coasted along and I felt like my life was a big assembly line, I wasn’t in control of anything, and everyone made decisions for me as I passed by. I wanted to DO something! I wanted to DANCE (figuratively). I wanted to MAKE something happen: something happy, something angry, something fast or loud… It didn’t matter. I just wanted to change my environment so the world knew I was there. I wanted to wake it up out of it’s coma and teach it to laugh. I pulled into a store that sells beer and took out my wallet. I didn’t give a shit if my bills got paid or not. Sometimes you’ve just got to do something WILD! I bought some cigarettes and a soda and went to a meeting.
It’s OK to say “I’ve got 14 years of sobriety!”, “I’ve got 3 years without a drink.”, “I’ve been sober for 3 months this time…”, but none of that really matters. It doesn’t matter if I have 2 days or 20 years; for me to NOT take a drink today is an unnatural state. So if you went down a street where they sold alcohol today, If you were in a good mood, a bad mood, or no mood, if you had feelings of being restless, irritable or discontent, if you were horny, angry, lonely or tired, if you had a dollar in your pocket (or were bigger than, faster than, or smarter than the person next to you) and it’s after 8 A.M. and you didn’t have a drink today, a miracle has happened in your life.
I didn’t even think about taking a drink. That tells me that the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is working in my life. If you DID think about taking a drink, and STILL didn’t have one anyway, that tells me that the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is working in your life.
And you didn’t do one goddam thing to deserve the miracle. It was given to you without any effort on your part. And you OWE somebody for it. You don’t owe ME, I didn’t do anything. But you owe somebody. I don’t think you can pay back the guy who gave it to you free-of-charge, so you need to do the next right thing. You need to come to a meeting tomorrow and tell a newcomer that you didn’t have a drink. And you need to come again the day after that and do the same.
If you stop and think about the nature of the miracle — what a huge thing it is — you’ll see that you have a hell of a debt. To someone. You went one day without one drink. There were times that I didn’t think I would ever be able to do that. That’s right up there with: “I used to be in a wheelchair, and now I just ran a marathon”. It’s a damn miracle. Don’t leave after the miracle happens.