Tuesday, August 25, 2009
(part 199) STILL CLEAN AND SOBER
As you read this, I would remind you that I'm not telling you I'm right or wrong. I am telling you what happened to me and how I handled or, if you like, mishandled it.
In the aftermath of the humiliation of failure and blame, I fought to stay clean and sober through it all. Whatever success I had appeared to have had earlier on, was now gone. I was wiped out completely.
The expectations and moral demands laid on me by others, and how I should handle my emotions and thinking, was something I failed miserably in accepting or doing. It was not them who had lost it all, nor did they carry the dark history that I came to the program with.
My biggest problem was me, and my old ideas of complete capitulation in the wake of an all too familiar sense of disgrace. The old demons rose up inside me, and I found myself engaged, night and day, in a personal war with the old Bobby Jameson.
The world around me faded into the background as I wandered aimlessly from AA meeting to AA meeting in search of help. Too many times I ended up at the same one as my ex-girlfriend, and the whole painful mess would replay in my mind all over again.
Feelings of loneliness and worthlessness ran my life 24-hours a day. While I sank into a mire of self pity and self recriminations, I did not drink or use. To me the only real mistake I could have made at that point would have been to get loaded and/or kill myself.
Many were the times that I sat alone in fear of God and other human beings. I isolated myself behind a wall of AA sayings and phony emotional disguises to ward off the preaching of others.
Rather than deal with the real issues of a total sense of lack of self worth, abandonment, and failure, many had the tendency to mouth one liners like "Let go and let God" as their only notion of support.
God at that point was the last thing I dared or wanted to rely on. In my mind it had been my reliance on God in the first place that had led me down the path to the slaughter house. I didn't expect any agreement on the issue, but for me, letting go and letting God scared the shit out of me.
I existed for as long as I could in this make believe world of denial. Bur eventually, it was my anger at people and their various versions of the facts that caused me to snap.
The phony role playing in someone else's scripted version of the events is what I finally rebelled against. For anyone to say that what had happened was nothing more than "God's will" to my face, was the straw that broke the camel's back.
The condescending attitudes of the "Holier than thou" was eventually met by me fighting back and yelling, "Well fuck off! Who the hell needs a God whose will is always that I lose everything?"
To say the least, this was not welcomed by more than a very few, and my reputation for being quick to anger and slow to forgive, added to my difficulties.
I struggled on through months of depression and anger, trying to sort out my place in the realm of the 12 step programs that had saved my life. I searched for my own footprints in the sands of confusion.
I laid out the real facts as they'd truly happened and accepted them. Not in a peaceful or humble way, but at a rock bottom level of, "Here's how is."
I quit debating with the self appointed "Spiritual" people. I admitted to being incredibly pissed off at God, and said on more than one occasion, "If God's God, than he can handle my anger."
I based my position on the fact that I was still sober, and dismissed the words of those who said things like, "But you're so angry and unhappy."
There were actually those who seemed to know what I was doing, but mostly I was looked down on as someone who hadn't surrendered my will to God, and was constantly told as much by far too many.
To them I said, "I did surrender to God in the beginning, and I trusted him completely until I found that trusting him got the same results as not trusting him." They shook their heads, and gave me the "Oh Bob" look and walked away.
There were even those who said I should go get drunk and then try and make it back to the program with a better attitude. To these idiot assholes I said, "Go fuck yourself."
In the long run I was just the pissed off guy who stayed clean and sober during those times, and learned a lot about sobriety from the raw side.
I had lost everything alright, but I hadn't gotten loaded over it, and in the end that was all that really mattered. I'd weathered the storm, and turned my back on God, but I never threw in the towel.
I banged my way through it, and looked and sounded like shit doing it, but I was still in the game. I was still clean and sober.