Looking Back

I realize that I used to live a conditional life – ifs, thens, whens, etc. And at times I still do. My impulses to stop drinking alcohol for a time were dependent on the degree of consequences that resulted when I drank too much/was too frequently drunk. My willingness to try AA, was conditional on my wife’s commitment to try and save our marriage. Though now approaching a 20th wedding anniversary, I am ever so grateful that 14 years ago she said no.

For so much of my life, I’ve waited on favorable circumstances rather than attempting to create favorable circumstances. Today want still pretends to be need, but I see it for what it is 90% of the time. To stay sober, I focus on my internal resources to feel happy, to feel fulfilled, AND to feel sad, to feel empty. Explanations for periodic anxiety, depression, combined with urges to drink alcohol to escape, even for a time, need not become an excuse.

Today, regardless of the news of the day, my circumstances or state, I set intentions daily to give my self a chance to live a life aligned with values that I’ve learned to hold dear.

Looking Back 

All of this wasted time
Waiting for something
Nearly constant craving
When want became need
This my insatiable desire 
For something more (anything)
Anything to fill this emptiness 
Become too painful to hold

About the Author

Robert B. is a sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety, and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.

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