Saturday, October 1, 2011

Identification, Not Comparison

But before I get into that, an update on yesterday's blog.

Having gotten a full nights sleep and a day of perspective, I will continue with my Ed. for Lay Ministry Group. Over the summer I had forgotten how noisy, close and annoying it is and after a busy day, I can barely tolerate it. That said, I have to work on my expectations and lower them. I give that course too much attention in my head, I pledge to not take it so seriously and treat it as just a few hours out of the week and that's that. I do about 3 hours of homework a week, show up for 3 hours. And call it done. There. Done.

Everyone in a 12 step meeting has heard the advice, 'identify with others, don't compare'. Yesterday morning I had an important identification. To back up a little bit, I've been going to this open AA meeting for the past 3.8 (I count things for a living) years because I identify with the thinking part of the disease. The static in the attic, the problem between my ears.

Now that I view myself as a controlled drinker rather than a cautious drinker, I identify myself as Carol, Alcoholic, in that meeting. But I've had a hard time identifying with the chemical use of others because I feel like I'm crying over my skinned knee in comparison (there's that troublesome word) to an other's broken leg. Who has not heard the statement, ' I am a REAL alcoholic'?

So, yesterday I got my identification. A man was talking about coming home from work and having a drink that lead to another drink and another. Another wasted night. I, too, would sometimes come home and have a drink. And sometime in the past year, I started putting off the drink because I had become AWARE that after that drink, nothing else was going to happen. I wasn't going to get up off the couch and sweep the floor (provide myself with a pleasant environment). I wasn't going to (nurture my relationships) connect with someone by calling a friend. I certainly wasn't going to take a walk (stimulate my senses or play) or a drive. In short, I wasn't going to do the things that provide for my emotional well being.

Wasted evenings. It doesn't matter whether the quantity or type of substance makes one lethargic, a little drunk, stumbling drunk or wheeled out on a gurney drunk, the point is that it keeps you in a holding pattern, at best. One evening after another because you can't see what is happening.

Getting up off the couch is what's good about today! Ninety five days free of a drink and a drug is what's good about today. Celebrating my father's birthday fifteen years after his untimely death, another controlled drinker, that's what's good about today. Maybe more about him and identification tomorrow.


  1. You shall never NEVER regret these days of your life, Carol. You are on my gratitude list (prayers and meditation, actually!). IDENTIFY!

  2. Good for you, Carol. I see how much happier my wife is without alcohol. It is amazing.