Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The last couple weeks I have had quite a few conversations with a few different local people about their friends or family that have decided to quit drinking. I have given these conversations a lot of thought and I guess I really haven't come to any solid conclusion as to why I have been involved in them. The people that have spoke to me had to go out of their way to stop and talk to me. They had to make a special trip to see me.
Do these good folks talk to me about his stuff since I have been there and done that for a couple years now? I mean, I am no stranger to A.A. I was court ordered to go to A.A. for almost a year after D.W.I. number two. I went to outpatient treatment in 1997. I know all about the twelve step program and the merits it has to offer. But, am I really the right person to talk to about any of this stuff? I mean, when I went through treatment and jail, I wasn't serious about any of it. In fact, I still drank now and then in the following years up until about three years ago when I decided to go professional with the drinking. It was about two years ago when I decided I had my last drink. Now, I don't have any real participation in A.A. or any other organized support system. I am not so sure that I am really a very solid example for anyone else to follow on their road to sobriety.
Maybe it is just that these people know that what they tell me will stay in confidence? Could be.
Is it because when I first sobered up I was painfully honest with all the people around me. Maybe that is why they are being super honest with me?
Could it be that they are just comfortable talking to me about these things since I have first hand experience?
Is it because they know I won't judge them regardless of the specifics of their situation? I have always thought that I was a terrible person to judge others since my life seems to usually be cluttered with my short sighted mistakes and chocked full of my bullshit pride.
Honestly, I don't think I am a very good listener so I am pretty sure that isn't a viable reason to talk to me. Who knows?
If they want input on what will have to change in their life if they plan to stay sober, that is easy. You have to change just the one thing. Everything. That's all. I don't think most people find that answer very appealing, but I am just being honest. It is the truth. Sorry.
I suppose I should try to be on my best behavior. It's easy to be well behaved the way my life is now. I spend most of my time at home and all of my time in love. I am not nearly as exciting as I once was.
Regardless of their intention, I am taking these concerned, honest conversations that I have had as a compliment. I hope these people are serious about giving up the booze. I hope I can help. Maybe this is the chance I have been waiting for to pay forward some of the kindness and decency that has been shown me. Whether it is or isn't, I will try to be there for these people if they want me.
I hope for good things for them and their friends and families. A sober life after a life cloudy with alcohol is like a rebirth. It is an exciting time.