Oh yeah, if living sober was easy, more people would be doing it. It was simply easier and far preferable for many years to just say “poor, poor (pour) me another,” and I could then spend a little while in the stellar vibrations of my own echo chamber…reminiscing about the victories and proud battles of my youth as I scrolled back through my photo albums and scrapbooks of conquest and glory. Then, it would end and life would push it’s way right back into my path again…usually in the mornings, unfortunately, which was terribly inconvenient.
The operative word for applied temperance actually forms a rather poignant acronym too: S.O.B.E.R–Son of a B*tch, Everything’s Real!!! Oh, drinking was fabulous for a while… It really was. It was entirely effective at blocking out the pain and discomforts of breathing. And thinking, ruminating, digesting, worrying, fulminating. The only problem was to be found in the fine print rarely, if ever, seen: “may cause serious side effects, such as losing everything…or allergic reactions, such as breaking out in handcuffs…” Don’t you hate the caveats on, otherwise, popular medicine?
But, quitting drinking was super easy whenever the occasion called for it. Living sober, however, would be a different story–as I found out. It takes a whole heckuva lot of work. I never had a problem quitting until quitting too became a habit. Yes sir, I kept quitting just about every day. Eventually, I was informed of an emerging pattern to which I *might want to pay some attention. It was interesting, to be sure, but I really didn’t pay it much mind or give living “right” much effort–until literally nothing else was left.
I then began to take it seriously. I wanted to work on the right side of my brain right away, because absolutely nothing seemed right; the left side was also a problem, *because I think my wife left with that when she left me. The preponderance of evidence all pointed to the same conclusion: Let GOD do for me what I had obviously failed to do for myself… Get a little serenity and seek his will for my life!
One thing that “everything real” also revealed rather instantaneously was that GOD was fed up with my insistence to drive the “bus” (in the figurative sense). Time to hand him the keys; give him his job back. Time to step aside and turn things over. My best thinking had run its course, and there was little to show for it. I was not going to save the world or solve all of its problems. Okay, whew! That was a big burden to be carrying around–especially for someone who did not create the universe nor is certified to perform miracles. I had clearly not been adequately vetted for the job of “Lord Steve.” Nope, not qualified. Lacking a few of the more important prerequisites, I’d say…
So, the journey into sobriety had begun, and I had no choice but to accept it. (To Be Continued…)