The Process I

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.
So, powerlessness. At this hour of the morning, I feel compelled to flee my bed as the fears continue to become more and more real, the remorse and shock that this is not a bad dream but reality—and yes, I did this. I am without question, an addict in every sense. I thought: I have always been able to work hard and overcome obstacles, land on my feet, or else blithely act as if I didn’t care, use the shell of cynicism as a defense mechanism; but today, having had flashes of the horror lying beneath, I fear I might be irreparable. My life is unmanageable. I have squandered every gift given me. I am of the type that bites the hand that feeds me, and I am deeply ashamed.
From childhood, I have been a sneak, kleptomaniac from the time I was able to walk into a store. It’s a visceral envy I seem to have in my DNA. I remember taking my brother down to the corner market and showing him how to get free candy, except he took way too many gumballs and as they noisily slipped through his little fingers on the dash out, their trail led straight to our doorway. Another episode, this time in the new and fascinating land of the midnight sun, I remember pocketing touristy trinkets, little furry seals, shiny rocks. High school, Karen and I would tag team Miller’s Outpost and have new outfits to wear the next day. College, I would be envious of my roommates and blatantly steal from those with whom I lived. I’d like to say that this behavior ceased when my house was broken into somewhere in my twenties, and for a time, it did; however intoxication unleashes the envy and I am still quite the thief.
I realize this is all fourth step material, but the envy—I think is at the core of the shame that orchestrates the unmanageability. I fear not having enough, not being enough, and alcohol took that shame away for a time, allowed me to steal time and things with impunity. Now that the consequences have teamed up with time and settled into the cement of history, the writing is terrifying in that I am powerless to erase it. Those are the monsters that propel me out of bed this morning, oddly those same demons condemn me to waste whole days in that same bed month after month. I do not want to die so ungrateful.
I have drunk alcoholically all my life, and it is truly to the point where one is too many and a thousand never enough. I have lost careers: acting, office managing, teaching, clay studio directing, counseling. I have trashed more relationships than I can count. At last count I have totaled seven expensive cars. I don’t seem to be able to finish anything I start, school, that novel, website, marriage, children. I’d concede that my life is unmanageable, and I’d also concede it’s because I drink.
The pain of not drinking stings. Things left undone, consequences yet to be paid, vast fortunes squandered, and handcuffed into a system I’d always evaded until now drown me in unfathomable terror. If this is step one, I willingly take it; I never needed a drink until I took one, then it’s over. My life is out of control, and there are days when I seek to end it. I am depressed; I am afraid, and I’m willing to try something different.

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