M(3), 1/6: Phenomenon of Craving
But what if I’m craving it all!?!
First meeting of the new year!
Because it is the first Monday of the month, we read from the book Alcoholics Anonymous, and in the immortal words of Maria Von Trapp, “let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!” And so we read “The Doctor’s Opinion,” in which Dr. Silkworth gives his seal of approval to the fledgling organization called AA. A tremendous risk for a medical doctor to do in the 1930’s; the fellowship owes a debt of gratitude to him.
The part of the reading that stood out to me this morning is as follows:
Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks – drinks they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.
pp xxviii-xxix, Alcoholics Anonymous
There are many reasons why I, as a woman in recovery from addiction, choose to remain sober, and on any given day the priority of those reasons may change. On this particular day, the number one reason I choose to remain sober is my fear of the “phenomenon of craving.” What would happen if I were to have one glass of wine, take one pill? Would I go immediately back down the rabbit hole of active addiction? Would I have a moderate experience that would spiral me downwards slowly but surely? Would it be a non-event and I find that I don’t want to continue? I don’t know what would happen, and more importantly, I have a healthy fear of the potential outcome, so I choose not to test those waters.
Two days ago I was heading downstairs for my first cup of coffee. As I descended the stairs, I admired the handiwork of recent vacuuming. I was so enchanted by their pristine condition that I lost my footing and fell down about 6 of them, winding up with my left leg up at the top, and the rest of me down at the bottom. Ouch (and, needless to say, Kristen and Christy, I will be putting my “back to fitness” plans on a temporary hold!). So the rest of the weekend was spent elevating, icing, and scheduling my Advil doses. By this morning, I realized I would need to have this knee checked out. So down to the doctor’s I will go.
There was a time in the not-too-distant past where this kind of calamity would have meant, in my addicted mind, a get out of jail free card. I would have found ways to milk this injury to its greatest mind-altering extent, and would have felt completely justified in doing so. Thanks to the clarity of sobriety and a new skill set developed through a program of recovery, I now know that there is no such thing as a get out of jail free card, and I am not willing to gamble with the phenomenon of craving. So instead, I elevate and ice my knee, even when I am sick of doing so, and I remain grateful that I am able to overcome this obstacle and maintain my sobriety.
That I did not have to go to multiple Doctor’s offices, and no x-rays are necessary, is a miracle. No tears, nothing broken, just time and patience are needed… God bless my husband and children!
Posted on January 6, 2014, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged 12 step, 12 step program, AA, Addiction, Alcohol, Alcoholic Anonymous, Alcoholism, Big Book, Christianity, Clean and Sober, fellowship, God, Health, Higher Power, Home, Meeting, Mental Health, Miracle, Monday, one day at a time, Recovery, Sobriety, Support group, Twelve Step, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.