Just when everything seems to be going perfectly, things fall apart.
Things you don’t plan for can be the most profound game changers. It’s a hard lesson, but, it’s not without its rewards.
Today started out like gang busters. I was up and at ’em bright and early. Coffee and cigarette in hand. Breakfast. Made it to a great Sunday morning meeting, where I put myself out on a limb and made new friends. Everything was going swimmingly. The sun was bright as fuck, shining it’s glorious beams on another sober morning.
After a coffee clutch chat with a new AA friend, I set off to accomplish everything on my lengthy to-do list for the day. My week had been so jam packed, I had quite an assembly of goals. Most, home chores I’d put off all week. A trip to the gym. And, assignments from my sponsor and rehab group.
I decided on important things first: My rehab assignment. Just an hour. Our assignment was to write an hour each day in a spiral notebook about our life’s traumas, big and small. I’d organized my journal just so, working in chronological order. Much like everything I do, it was planned and regimented.
So, I threw my notebook in my bag and hoofed it over to Starbucks for even more caffeine.
I sat down at a table in the sunniest window and pulled out my pen. I knew what I had planned on writing. It was all up in my head. And, as the words bled out, ink on paper, I began to realize that planning to write about my life’s realities and disappointments was quite different than actually writing them.
At the end of an hour, I found myself crying in my chai. Two women, speaking Spanish, looked up from the table next to me, trying not to make it obvious that they were staring. I gathered up my things and left. On the way home, a desperate feeling came over me. One of complete and utter loneliness. Sadness. In just one hour I went from being on top of the world to complete devastation. The counselors at rehab said we should have plans in place in the event writing our traumas should upset us, but, I dismissed their warning. I was convinced I had my shit on lock.
At home, I could think of nothing to make me feel better. My to-do list stretched out in front of me like a dark tunnel. I could barely move. I sat on the carpet in my living room. The idea of a meeting made me stress out hard core. Nothing in the world seemed appropriate.
And then that thought: A drink.
The perfect solution. Easy. Close by. A quick end to the chaos swimming in between my ears.
Call your sponsor, my higher power nagged. But I fought it. I knew she had plans, and I didn’t want to disturb her. Then, I thought of that drink, how little it would accomplish. How that one drink would turn into God knows how many, and my day would be over in a matter of sips. How, with just 21 days behind me, I had come so far. I didn’t want to lose that. That power sobriety has given me. The power that I had felt so strongly, just hours before. I wanted that back. Rays of sun flooding my heart, reminding me that I was alive and awake.
So, I caved, I called my sponsor. And, she saved the day. I spent six hours at her house. Talking with her and her boyfriend. Clearing out muck from my brain and regrouping. Somehow, I made it through the worst temptation I’ve had in sobriety. And, I’ve come to grips with the fact that, there are more to come.
Sometimes we must abandon our best laid plans. Toss our to-do lists. Because, there are things that will unexpectedly supersede them all. As an avid, and anal retentive, planner, this is not an easy task. But, in sobriety I know that there will be many tasks that are not easy. But, they are worth following through.
To whom much is given, much is required. That, you can plan on.