I've heard it said that a nonalcoholic will change their behavior to meet their goals, while an alcoholic will change their goal to meet their behavior. That thought seems absolutely insane when I see it in writing. But that exactly how I lived my life for many years. When I was in college, my classes started to feel too early. So I made all of my classes start later. Then there were too many of them, so I had to lessen the load. Finally, there were no more classes to get in the way of my drug use.
I decided to start therapy again this week and I had a terrible first experience with a therapist. She had the belief that alcoholism is a choice. Right. Like when I was 5 years old I couldn't decide whether to be a ballerina or a DRUNK. Sometimes people don't understand that this is a disease and not a moral issue. So it's up to us to have our own backs and take care of ourselves when it comes to outside help.
What does that have to do with the gift of desperation? Nothing. I'm in no mood for segues right now.
About 2 years ago, I had a relapse. It's hard for me to categorize a relapse as "not so bad" but in this case, that's what I'm doing. What made it so was that it only lasted about 3 weeks. The truly awful part was that at the end of those 3 weeks I was actually thinking about killing myself. I knew I couldn't live like that anymore. It stopped working for me a long time ago. So when I called my sponsor, I was a mere shell of myself and I was willing to do anything and everything she told me to do. If I had to listen to techno music in order to not feel that empty, I would have done it. Luckily, her prescription didn't involve hideous noise. When she told me to finish my 4th step within 2 weeks, I did it. When she said she'd pick me up at 7am for a 7:30meeting, I said yes. If you know me at all, then you know that 7am is not a time when I like to be awake. But again, the alternative was not something I was willing to feel again. When she told me to take a commitment, I took two.
I did these things because I had been given the gift of desperation. I had let things get so bad, that I was willing to do anything to change my life. And that meant taking direction from others because my best thinking is what got me into that desperate state to begin with. It's been said that your "bottom" is when the last thing you lost meant more to you than booze did. I had to hit a few of those. I hope you don't. My one regret is that I was too stubborn and proud to learn from other people's mistakes.
For more on the gift of desperation, listen to this episode with James S.
Sorry I haven't written in so long. I hope this helps someone.
You can hear Dayna's Radio Rehab Show on iTunes & Stitcher Radio: