Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hiding from yourself.....

Last night at the "Daily Reflections" meeting we talked about an interesting subject. How when you first come into AA and you get that first taste of sobriety, how you need to protect it. Guard it against anything that may take it away. One man said he drove five miles out of his way every night so he could avoid driving by the bars he once inhabited. He was afraid that there might be some "magnetic pull" the would yank his car over to the building and he would start drinking. Another person said they attended 3 or 4 meetings a day because they were unemployed and they were so scared of having nothing to do. It might lead them back to drinking. I could relate. I avoided TV and my leather chair. You see that was my drinking post. A lovely stressed Italian leather chair, the kind you sink into at the end of a day. I would prop my feet up on the ottoman and proceed to drink myself into numbness, with the only physical movement being to get up to refreshen my drink or use the bathroom. Of course this would also involve mindless channel surfing so I could occupy my mind while I was on the way to oblivion. So when I first sobered up I was terrified of that chair. Heck the room for that matter. I couldn't sit in that chair without a drink so I just avoided it. I started going to bed to read, and catch up on 15 years of sleep. I was always a night owl my whole life and now I was going to bed at 8:30. I even did this on weekends. I just felt that if I sat in that chair I would drink. What I didn't realize is that I didn't trust myself to not drink. I was trying to trust my HP and let go and also trying to control the situation as well. Even on the weekends I went upstairs early. I remember my husband asking out oldest, "what's up with your mom and going to bed so early?" to which our teenager replied, "I think she's afraid of her old drinking chair". How right he was. I was running scared. So scared that I didn't even know if I could trust myself in my own home. Eventually as the months went on I knew that my HP would keep my on the straight and narrow, and the urge to drink was gone, I could start to trust myself. One day when I was cleaning, I looked at that chair. It no longer held any power of me, so I moved it to the other side of the room, and put a different chair in it's place. The spell had been broken, my HP and the program of AA was doing for me what I could not do for myself. Now I get to bed around 11:00. I can mill around the house at all hours and do not need a drink in hand. I guess it wasn't all for nothing, I really did need to get rid of my dark circles. So it's ok to go out of your way, to protect your sobriety at all costs. Sooner or later it will no longer matter, you will know how to function in all circumstances and that it a wonderful gift to have. Out of curiosity has anyone else done/avoided and past behaviors to avoid drinking?.......


  1. I'm resonating with the 8:30 bed thing!! In the Twin Cities, we have an alternate channel that offers news at 9:00. I began going to bed at 8:30 with recovery books stacked high on my nightstand, catch the early news and off to sleep (only to have using dreams, but that's another post)
    There were so many positives that came out of this new routine
    I actually felt the next day that I had slept!
    I was enjoying the early morning, a sacred time I would encourage everyone to embrace!
    I set aside reading time- very important!

    And "the broken spell"
    Funny, isnt it, how we are so aware of when this occurs, so cognizant of the switch being turned on. And not by our own doing - totally a God thing - really so amazing.

    The desire to drink has surely been lifted
    For another 24!!

    Great post

  2. nice. i hear you....in my own journey i had to change patterns in life to overcome my own addictions...and eventually they lost power as well..

  3. Yes I have, I've avoided situations, people, websites, music. But none of the above are threatening anymore. I know I have the strength through God to handle any situation. I realize my defects, my weaknesses and have plans in place so that my sober foundation remains strong.

  4. I avoided the mirror for awhile. When I would see myself, I would think "what's the use?" Certain music as well.

  5. I used in my basement bedroom in college and couldn't go back there after meetings unless it was to sleep, so I would stay the diner until 2am just to avoid it. I didn't trust myself either. eventually it got easier. I love living in a place I've never used/drank in now! Such a great change.