Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Envy. Anger. Work. Emotions. Laughter. Love.

I had originally started this journal post by writing that I love talking to “Normies,” but that is a lie. Normies drive me crazy. Every once and awhile, though, the planets align in such a way that the most irritating of conversations actually allows me to walk away with a renewed sense of appreciation for my alcoholism. Yesterday was one of those days.

I won’t rehash the whole conversation, but here is how it ended. Her- “I always say it’s all about moderation. Moderation is the key”

In my mind, I imagine the response I am confident every alcoholic or extreme person thinks when someone suggests moderation as the answer, “You have zero idea what you are talking about. Clearly you have never struggled with addiction, or you would not have the audacity to speak such a ridiculous and near sighted idea.”

A few minutes later, I was driving home on the freeway (I do my best thinking on I-10), and a new emotion happened upon me. I realized I felt a little pity for my moderate friend. What is moderation? It sounds like no fun at all.

When I got home, I typed “moderate” in my online web browser. This is the definition that appeared:

Definition: Average in amount, intensity, quality, or degree.

Synonyms: Average, modest, medium, ordinary, common.

“Average in intensity” really spoke to me. Nothing about alcoholism is average in intensity. That would negate the entire point. But is it not just with alcohol that I lack moderation. I have zero conception of what it must feel like moderate anything.

                 Alcohol.

                               Drugs.

                                                Sex.

                                                               Envy.

                                                                           Anger.

                                                                                           Work.

                                                                                                          Emotions.

                                                                                                                          Laughter.

                                                                                                                                          Love.

But there is another side to extreme living. There is no doubt in my mind that when I have leave this planet, I will have lived an intensely felt life, a life that was thoroughly fun, undoubtedly interesting, and dramatically depressing.

I think that’s true of all alcoholics. Because we aspire with our whole body, we drink to forget the disappointments. Because we dream with all our imagination, we envy with all out might. Because we love with our whole being, we hurt to the same degree when that love is discounted. Maybe it is just me, but if you asked me to trade all that for an average or ordinary life, well… I think I’ll just decline.

 

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10 thoughts on “Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Envy. Anger. Work. Emotions. Laughter. Love.

  1. Hi Pete!

    Somehow you make low bottom drunk from East London sound like a terribly romantic thing straight out of a Dickens’ novel.

    I am from Texas. Born and raised in Houston. (I was tempted to start this reply with a “Howdy,” but I do not think I’ve every actually used Howdy as a sincere greeting.) AA is incredibly strong here in Houston. They say there are over 2000 meetings here a week. They start at 6:30 in the morning. The last one is at 11:00 at night. There’s a couple 24 Hour clubs too.

    I’m wondering what you mean by dilution. I’m wondering if you mean talking about drugs in meetings, the movement of agnostic meetings, or if you mean something more. I think there are definitely diluted meeting here in Houston. I understand the concept of primary purpose of the group. My sponsor and I use to talk about it all the time. I just always think of AA being premised on the lest amount of organization possible, the group conscience. With all that said, we also have some very strict meetings in Houston. I feel people gravitate to where they are most comfortable.

    Anywho, I hope you have an amazing day. Thank you for reading and commenting. I’ve enjoyed it.

    AGK

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    • Hi Ann, homeless in the eastend did have several Dickensian episodes lol! Lots of Fagins, artfull dodgers, Olivers and the such, its been a long time now, feels like someone elses life sometimes. To explain what I mean by dilution I’ll start with my original sponsor, Mike. Mike taught me straight out of the BB, that if I was to recover there were certain things I must do precisely. These things would save my life and guarantee my future if carried out precisely. Therefore, for me, this is how I need to continue to live my life. As you know when the Steps were written the success rate for recovered alcoholics was 75% and I believe that the decline is, in part, to the dilution of the program due to poor sponsorship, discussion meetings and the advent of certain treatment centres that lead the individual to believe that treatment is the “cure”.
      Precisely, specifically and must are terms we are losing from meetings unfortunately, these saved my life.
      Would love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Oh! And just for you, Gor! Blimey! Guvnor! Strike a light! Me ol cock sparra! Lol!

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      • Good morning Pete (evening in Dorset),

        I don’t really wanna respond to your message. I don’t think you will like my answer and I’ve enjoyed hearing from you. Sigh. I don’t think the recovery rate was ever 75%. I think Bill stretched the truth. I take his numbers about as seriously as I when he says “We of Alcoholics Anonymous, know thousands of men and women who were once just as hopeless as Bill” when we all know it was one hundred people or a few more. I don’t blame him. He was trying to sell an ideal. Its just a little exaggeration. I like that statistic he gives about 25% being a whole lot better; that’s probably closer to the truth.

        I also think while you are a testament to by the book sponsorship and precise instructions, I am an example of how forgiving the program can be. I don’t believe in God, so I already had one foot out the door. Had someone demanded I pray or taken a hard line with me… I don’t know. Its hard to say I would have drank cause I don’t think I would have. But I do think I would be an angry, dry drunk today.

        I don’t what you to think, though, that I work a flimsy or a light program. I don’t. I went to a million and a half meeting my first year. I still go to more than most people. I do servoce work. I lead and chair meetings. I have a sponsor. I read the literature. And I don’t drink no matter what. If I don’t drink no matter what, everything else will eventually work out.

        I really appreciate Big Book Thumpers, though. I think they are a necessary and integral part of our organization. I think some hard cases need the strict advice of precise instructions. That method of sponsorship wouldn’t have worked for me. I needed someone more patient and kind. But now that I have a few days, I like hearing Thumpers in meetings. I like the harsh tones and the sit down and shut up mentality (especially when they are not directed at me! Lol).

        Have a great night,
        AGK

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      • Hi Ann, sorry to hear you are unwell, I likewise have been hence my late reply. This old thumper has mellowed over the years and though I still believe that a message of recovery through the twelve steps should be carried in meetings I also believe that love, compassion and tolerance to the still suffering newcomer or old timer is paramount in my life. Everyone is different and the same approach, to the program of recovery, doesn’t always work on people in my experience. I try to “sell” this beautiful thing by way of attraction, an inviting warm, often humorous, environment that reaks of hope and a bright possible future. Hopefully the question is asked, after hearing my story “can you show me how to recover?”. I know now that there is a time and a place for my passion and I believe I have achieved that balance now.
        When I came to AA I was horrified to find that it was a christian cult and the big book a veiled bible! Lol! Thank God for Ebby Thatcher and his “get a god of your own understanding”. The problem for I was that I am a Pagan, in fact a practicing Witch, and though extremely tolerant of others beliefs as you can well imagine who are we to condemn. But as I was guided through the program I identified with Bills feelings and attitudes towards this Spirit of the Universe and found that the spirituality of the program fitted perfectly to mine own. Well I set out on another Goddess blessed day, home group tonight and newcomer this afternoon, how blessed am I, take care Ann and hope you feel well soon.

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      • HI Pete,

        I’m glad to hear from you. I though I scared you off. I use to live with a Wicca when I lived in Boston. You brought back good memories. She was very in tune with nature and spirituality.

        It always makes me happy when I hear about the diversity that exists within this program. I too was scared it was a Christian cult. And I have to say, sometimes in Houston, people have been known to voice that “Jesus was the only perfect person” It makes me super uncomfortable. I always try to talk in those meetings.

        Anywho, I would love to hear what you think of today’s post about principles. There are a couple of good comments on there already. I have grown to respect your insights and are interested in where you fall on the principles spectrum.

        I’m glad to her you are feeling better.
        Best regards,
        AGK

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  2. Hi Ann, hope you are well, total identification with your blog on “moderation” as the BB says ” a world of ignorance”. Will read more of your work as time permits. Good luck with all your endeavors. Pete, Dorset, England.

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    • Pete, Thank you for you comment. I know they talk about AA being a global organization, but seeing that manifest on my blog is incredible. It makes me wonder about the recovery community in Dorset. I hope to hear from you again. AGK

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      • Hi Ann, hope life is treating you well, thanks for the reply. I am an active member of the fellowship here in Dorset and had the privilege to visit other parts of Britain and Europe and sample AA. Unfortunately not alls well with AA in Dorset as I have seen and expect elsewhere home and abroad. Dilution of the program and misuse of meetings, I have to say all solvable by good sponsorship, are hindering recoveries and killing people. But regardless I and several Dorset Big Book Thumpers trudge onward and life is good as long as I maintain and attempt to improve my spiritual condition. One can only speak ones truth from ones experience, that sounds incredibly posh from a low bottom drunk from the East End of London!
        Are you from Texas? Hows the fellowship in your area? Have listened to some speaker tapes by some Dallas/Fort Worth chaps and they’re exceptional!
        Kind Regards Pete

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