Sometimes, we needed several trips to rehab centers. There we were told what we would have to do to develop an effective program to rid ourselves of our addictive habits and their consequences ... and during our final conferences each time we left rehab we solemnly promised to “really try this time.”
But “trying” is the WRONG promise. “Trying” doesn’t cut it. We’ve proved that following other rehab discharges. It’s not an “all-in” commitment. We’re holding back and reserving an option to “go back out,” to escape to the old ways. When “we try,” we did things like this:
I feel good. “One won’t hurt. I know what to do.”
I’ll try by dropping martinis, and switch to scotch and water. But soon, water dropped as part of that recipe.
Didn’t work, so I’ll try some wine, but wine just made me sick. Anyway, “sip sip sip,” hardly what I was looking for.
Still looking to try something, anything, we might remember our old stand-by. “Beer! That’s it. Everyone drinks a lot of beer. I can’t get as out of control as I did with gin or scotch.”
I even sought my Higher Power’s Grace at Communion, asking humbly and with head bowed ... “Please teach me drink normally, just one or two, just a normal drinking regimen.”
So much for “trying.” Trying only left us in the old similar deplorable position - out of options, at that crossroads of seeking help and surrendering, OR continuing on that downward slide to our inevitable destruction. I finally was serious about the program and saw this as an issue and simply sought help (i.e., ‘I surrendered’). But I couldn’t shout from the roof-tops that “this time I really meant it!” Been there, done that, double-crossing folks that actually believed that I was going to “try.”
So this time, before I came out of my rehab program, I spent a goodly amount of planning time looking at the local “where and when” - searching for meetings convenient as to time and place. I stuck with discussion meetings (and still do) - all the better to learn to speak up about issues I was to encounter. I quickly narrowed the search as I found a meeting at noon, five days a week, a block and a half from my office and attended, and because they told me to do so - “90 in 90.” I found a sponsor right away and kept busy between meetings by reading and studying the Big Book. I studied and worked the Steps. It wasn’t too long before my sponsor asked if I would be interested in helping to lead a meeting at a Court-ordered lock-down rehab program for persons with several police citations for driving while intoxicated. That was just what I was looking for. I also sought a non-AA counselor who helped me talk through some related issues - very helpful and I highly recommend this specific commitment.
I’m now in my 20th year - by not “trying” but “doing” the Program which with my ever-loving gratitude, provided a way to deal with an addiction enabling me to deal with life without seeking my drug of choice, a serene happy life.
So, the key point of all this is: Don’t tell your rehab counselor or your family or your employer you will “try” this time. For sobriety’s sake - JUST DO IT!
Jim A./ Covington Kentucky