HE SAID--SHE SAID...
He said, "OH! To start 'life' over again at age fourteen!"
She said, "...and DIE all over again?" (We were age 25.)
This snippet is from a conversation which happened (I was "he") fifty years ago. Some memory hook brought it vividly back to me this morning. And I am thinking she was SO right! Die all over. Die again. Finally, thankfully, it has passed, it is in the past, that life is dead. (But I cannot forget the ghost of my addiction, ready to haunt the house in which it lives...me.)
At age 25, I somehow knew I was killing myself, suicide-by-bourbon. Later on I used different bullets-- Vodka, Gin, Brandy, Scotch--I used beer only to quench the occasional need, that rising from a sense of thirst. All these ammunitions had in common one poison--alcohol. The gun I used was my own mind. My True God--Booze! Something which I L.O.V.E.D.
Liquor was one substance in this world on which I could count to make me whole again, strong, handsome, deep-voiced, whatever I was not! As a Jekyll-Hyde combo, I survived surgical procedures, two heart attacks (before age 35), weddings, deaths, births, trips, years of boating, orchestral experiences, auto wrecks--called non-accidents-- pain and suffering (due in part to my F'Kg up three wonderful marriages), and being so often broke. I still wonder, from where came the money to buy booze?
I now realize that--for me--the greatest tidal wave through which alcohol actually might have helped me live--was feeling for many years that I was unloved, undeserving of love. I was as certain of that as I was of being alive. I held those thoughts close to myself though, for fear of being--I dunno what--found out?
On the plus side, I had extremely LOW self esteem! (That's a PLUS?! Ya gotta climb up from SOME starting place -grin!)) At the same time I did know everything about everything. I always worked at jobs, ranging from cleaning out gutters and shoveling manure...to playing the same evening--costumed in full dress--in the Cincinnati Symphony, accompanying Roberta Peters (GOD, what a voice, and all else, too!), a coloratura soprano-of-the-day.
I might have known something was wrong when three thousand people stood applauding, and I, with others, stood to accept it, tears rolling down my face because I knew nobody loved me......What a jerk-off!
AND THEN GOD SAID....
Had I not heard of God? Eight years (Sisters of Charity) plus four years (Jesuits) of masses, training, praying often throughout each day, how could I not believe? Well I did NOT! But I sure pretended good. I acted my way through forty--devout-filled, yeah!--years of life.
You know what happened next? Of course you do. God--not letting on Who He was--took me by the hand, and brought me to you. YOU! And during time--oh so long a time!--you and God healed me, with my cooperation. We all did this together. And even today we continue to all do this together for each other, and for one another! Happiness for me today, is being willing--with adult supervision-- to do God's will...and doing God's will, whenever and wherever it is put in front of me. Sure I came in late, age 40...and made it in time for Act III...but hey, what about that guy in the 'other' Big Book, who worked the fields the final hour, and got paid the same as those who had labored all day long? Hmmmmmm?
"What's the point?" (Private joke!) The point is that I know now that each of us is loved by God. Next point is that we are all loved by others, especially those who chose us to "come into my closet, come under my bed, where you'll find me hiding, the fear in my head..."--Hope
Let's cooperate with God and stay sober together today. OK?
In gratitude, love, and service,