There is this saying in the rooms when people with high bottoms refer to the consequence from drinking that have not yet happened to them, but they still could if they drink again – they call them the “NOT YETS.”
But last night at the meeting, the leader talked about her “NOT AGAINs.” She talked about how the “not yets” are hard for her to measure. Since she doesn’t know what they could be, they just don’t seem real to her. But the “not agains” she knows very well; if she picks up, all the AGAINs will happen… again!
She went on describing her thought process: again she would think she has it all under control, and she could just have a few drinks, again she would end up drinking way more than she intended, again she would probable make an ass of herself, again she would wake up with a horrendous hangover, again she would stumble to make it to work, again she would be waiting anxiously all day to have a drink, again she would get drunk with no intentions to do so, again she would be hangover… AGAIN she would have done something stupid, and again she would feel shame and guilt! And again she would have to crawl back to the rooms and again she would have to start over! “NOT AGAIN!” She exclaimed at the end.
I know I can’t capture the power of her lead here, but I tell you, I was in tears! Seriously. I still have some “not yets” I am sure, although I had several serious consequences caused by my drinking. But we all have some not yets, and yes, they are hard to imagine sometimes, because I tend to think that, well that can’t/won’t happen to me! But the “not agains,” OMG, I know all of those! I’ve been there many times, it doesn’t get any better, it’s just the same vicious cycle, over and over and over again, except each time it gets worse! I have never heard anyone say, oh “I relapsed, and it was fabulous!” I have to remember that alcoholism is an incurable, progressive, fatal disease. It does not get better!
So on the flip side, I am going to end with this:
I am so very grateful to not have to drink again, and that I am feeling happy again, and that I never have to feel hungover again, or be stuck in shame and guilt again, and that I am sober again!
What AGAINs are you grateful for?
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