As I write this I am remembering what it was like to get to a place where I was physically and emotionally ready to stop drinking and drugging. I had started before the age of 10 and I came from generations of alcoholics who never considered quitting except for a few hours on some mornings after too much the night before. They never talked about any problems they might be having, and I guess to some it looked like they didn’t have any problems. Certainly, any problems inside the house never got outside unless a fight spilled out into the yard. What happened in a family was family business and other folks didn’t pry.
I was heading down that path with a song of loneliness playing in the background of my life to a certain and early death. Others had tried to get me to quit and some had the power to force me for a while. It never stuck because I worked too hard and complained not enough and employers were not interested in what I did in my spare time unless it affected my job. They certainly didn’t pry.
There did come a day though when I could not get drunk or high and I could not, not keep trying. I was down to 3 choices. Die now, die later or quit. I decided to give quitting just one more try. Well I came to miss my drinking and drugging soon enough. Not because I actually missed it all that much although, I did. It was really about the hole that was left inside of me that was full of anger, full of sadness and despair and empty of hope. I remember thinking, “isn’t sobriety great!”
That place where I was ready to stop didn’t appear for several months. I was ready to give up and either go back to my old, familiar ways or just disappear from the few people who might actually care about me. Then I found that place. It was in the hearts and minds; the endless despair and crushed dreams; the sad burned out eyes; the loneliness and heartache of the dying spirits of others. I found that place when I closed my mouth and listened to someone else. It had been in me all along.