Another fantastic Friday Guest Post by Alicia! Enjoy!
When I really think about it, my biggest meltdowns in sobriety have not been about alcohol. I’m blessed to say my obsession has lifted and I’m a member of the No Matter What club. Great right? But, now when I’m faced with a problem my first thought is NOT ‘I need a drink.’ My first thought is ‘How can I change my identify and move to Spain?’ I want to run and hide.
The things that make me lay down in a ball and cry are my financial and career problems. My old MO was deny, deny, deny. I’d sit on bar stools and delude myself that my life was not spiraling out of control. I’d ignore any proof that it was happening. I did not open bills. I did not answer phone calls that started in 800. I was full of fear. My life was unmanageable and insane!
For example, right before I came in the rooms in April of 2010 I had not paid my rent for several months. In fact I was having a hard time supporting myself since I lost my job back in 09. I was also depressed. I could not get off the couch long enough to find a job.
Except for when it was time to go to the bar and drink. My job had become spending my unemployment on alcohol. I ignore my responsibilities. I could not deal. My landlord started eviction proceedings against me. I thought, ‘How dare he!’ I developed huge resentments against him and I drank at them. That is just one part of my bottom. When I think about these events I become full of regret. I get really scared and sad. I want to erase it all. But, I know I can’t and I’m dealing with it.
The bitter truth is I squandered so many gifts when I was active. I saved no money and I drank away a lucrative career. I loved Fridays when I would get paid and do some damage at Prada and catch up with my running buddies at a bar. We would prowl Manhattan in search of the perfect $15 dollar martini. “Bartender, I give me a Grey Goose-career sinking-martini…keep-em coming and don’t stop till I’m broke and unemployed please.” I never considered saving for the future because secretly I did not believe I had one or deserved one. No matter how impressive my resume looked to others I always felt I did not deserve the job, so I would sabotage myself. I used alcohol as my weapon of choice. I remember one time I was running this multi-media company I had a great day at work and I celebrated with a co-worker at a restaurant. She went home at 2am. I went out till 5am. I woke up the next day at 1pm. That was the second time that happened at this job and I had no excuses. I emailed the owner and quit. These memories remind me of how unmanageable my life was and how insane I really was.
But now, instead of closing my eyes and hiding under the covers little by little I am looking at the messes I’ve made and I am dealing with them. This is hard stuff. The guilt, the shame, and embarrassment are nauseating. Today I can see what I did without self pity and without blaming others.
I lived my life “…in a sea of booze…” The character Joe in the movie Days of Wine and Roses said that. You know what else he said, “…the reason I’ve had 5 jobs in 4 year is I’m a drunk and I don’t do my job.” That line played over and over in my mind. It’s complete ownership of your reality. Complete ownership of your situation. When I had that a moment of clarity and finally saw myself, it was such a gift. It’s just in ugly wrapping. It’s humbling to know how easily I could have just closed my heart and mind to the truth and kept on drinking.
Sure I was a drunk and no matter how high up the ladder of success I had climbed, I did not do my job well. The key word there is WAS… Today, I deal with these things no matter how hard they are my higher power and the program is helping me get through. When I was forced to move I found a less expensive apartment in my neighborhood because of someone in the rooms. When I went to public assistance my case worker turned out to be an FOB with 23 years. When I filed for unemployment, I was sent to career counseling at unemployment office. A woman asked if she could sit next to me while we waited for our orientation. She was in the rooms. These little God shots remind me that if I just take the steps, show up, and try to repair the damage I’ve caused my HP will be there to help me get through. With this knowledge I can deal with anything. Yes, I’m sorry that in the past I’ve been careless with my security, safety and well being. I pray for the willingness to forgive myself and to continue living a sober life.