My First 4th Step Got me Drunk

Thank you for coming to my blog. I’m happy you’re here with me today. Whether you happened to stumble upon this blog or you’ve been a fan of this blog. Either way, I applaud you for the choosing to fill your life with something meaningful instead of picking up a drink or drug. So I make a toast to you right now (with my cup of coffee of course) for your strength and courage to do something about your disease!

I’m grateful once again, that I’ve been blessed with another day of sobriety. I want you to know how important it is that I write my stories with pure openness and honesty. I try to hold nothing back when writing my blog posts. I focus my energy on not what is important to me, but what will be important to you. I ask that my higher power (God) is with me when I write as well. I pray that He can use me as tool for His words to help you with your alcoholism and/or addiction to drugs.

I also ask my higher power to fill me with humility when I write. I feel this is also important as I’m not trying to be some superstar writer or blogger. The sole purpose of my words and stories are for you, the suffering alcoholic or addict. Equally important, I write for alcoholics and addicts who have found sobriety and have gone to any lengths to live a new life of peace and serenity.

I truly hope this blog can be a sounding board to help you and that you know you’re not alone. Knowing that someone out there has suffered with alcoholism like yourself and knows what it’s like to feel the devastating effects of this disease. And, an alcoholic that has been able to experience the incredible miracles that have come from working a program of recovery. Last but not least, having the balls (to put it bluntly) to put himself out there to share what it’s been like to live as an alcoholic. Before, during, and after the storm of active addiction.

So what do you mean, “Your first 4th step got you drunk?” That’s a great question, and I’d ask the same thing if I was reading this for the first time.

I struggled, like many alcoholics before me that have tried to find a better way to live life. A life without drinking. A life without all the insane thoughts that go through our heads while we’re in the depths of our disease. I knew I had to do something about my drinking and what it was doing to me. And what it was taking from me. I had entered the rooms of AA and really hadn’t had much experience with attending meetings. I had troubles digesting and trying to understand everything people would talk about. My head was spinning, but numb at the same time. I couldn’t help but think about what had happened to me because of my drinking. I remember how I couldn’t believe where my life was at. I couldn’t believe I was sitting in a church attending an AA meeting. I mean, what is someone supposed to think except, “How did I ever get here?”

I’ve had a lot of dreams and goals that I wanted to attain in life, but being in an AA meeting surely wasn’t one of them! Either way, I made it to the rooms of AA. I had crossed the line of not being able to drink normally, and I had crossed the line of trying to find a way to stay sober. What a hoot right?! Yep, being an alcoholic was everything I had ever dreamed of in life – (being sarcastic). I struggled not only with drinking, but all the things that were going on in my head. (I’m shaking my head right now thinking about all of it again)

I can tell you I was doing my best to take advice from the people in my AA meeting. I found a sponsor and my sponsor did his part to start the steps with me. I was engaged, but I can’t remember if I was really ready to do the steps. When I look back now, I don’t think I had a bad enough beat down from my drinking to earnestly want to work the steps. I’ve always believed in God, so Step 2 and 3 were easy for me – so I thought at the time. I admitted (to myself) that I was having “troubles” with drinking, but I don’t know if I truly admitted that I was powerless over alcohol. Do you see how this is already being setup for a relapse failure?

I was now at Step 4. I was very reluctant to do this step for some reason. I don’t know if I was scared or simply not wanting to do it at all. Keep in mind, I’m a selfish alcoholic and no one is going to tell me when and how to do things. (Laughing sarcastically) Do you relate? But, I finally listened a bit more and my sponsor asked for to start writing things down. He wanted to meet later at some point and review what I had on paper. I must be clear, that my sponsor had nothing to do with what happened to me when I finally gave Step 4 my best effort. Meaning, my relapse.

I was sitting in my town home, alone. I was recently divorced at that time and I felt lost. I was hurting, sad, and depressive. I felt the world was pulled out from under my feet. So there I was sitting up stairs staring at a Step 4 packet. I started writing and things just started to flow. Many of it was resentments about what happened to my marriage. I immediately filled up the first page and flipped it over to keep writing. I was trying to remember a timeline so I flipped back to the front of the page. Then I started to read what I had written down. I didn’t make it to the end of the page before anger built up inside me. I looked at the page and yelled out loud, “It’s not all my fault!!” I thought it was bullshit that I was enduring the brunt of my divorce. I thought, “Why is this happening to me?!” I was so pissed. And guess what happened next? I had been sober, but I can’t remember for how many days at that time. But that didn’t matter to me. The anger and sadness had overwhelmed me and I said to myself the two most famous words that alcoholics and addicts say before they cash it all in. “F**k it!” I found myself driving to the liquor store in a blink of an eye.

So I will make a suggestion to you. Do your Step 4 “with a sponsor”! No matter if you think your head is right, and especially if you’re feeling weak. Not physically, but mentally. I can’t tell you how bad it was for me when I reread what I had put down on that piece of paper. See, we need each other in this program. My experience is (my proof) that I can’t do this thing alone. I definitely needed someone there with me to do it right, and do it in safe company. Find a sponsor. And if you don’t have one, get two!

I will leave you with this,

  • Don’t ever discredit the strength you have inside yourself to get sober!
  • And, don’t ever underestimate the weakness you can experience while working this program!

Remember – spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection.

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