Day 174: Mind Games

Things come and go. And, when I say things, I mean to say inner peace and comfort.

Acceptance. It may me AA’s #1 discussion topic. And, if it isn’t, it’s in the running. It’s no surprise to me that a bunch of people who want things done their way, all the time, have trouble accepting things. Especially when it requires letting things go. I don’t know about you, but, I’m a grudge holder and a shit talker. And, sure, there’s a time and place for some good, ol’ fashioned shit talk, but, at the end of the day, it’s those little resentments towards everything that collaborate and bring us down.

I often let the “weight of the world” settle on my shoulders. In those moments of what are actually best described as self pity, I begin to lose sight of the important things which, are in fact, quite simple. Love. Family. Friendship. Means enough to survive comfortably. The basics.

As I look for work while simultaneously trying to navigate sobriety, now that I’m out of rehab, it’s easy for me to flip the negativity switch. I have to remind myself that my alcoholic mind would love for me to drink again. My alcoholic mind is smart. It knows what will get me to pony up to the bar. And, what gets me to pony up to that bar is hopeless self pity. A feeling of no control. Loneliness.

Being sober and out of work is a great place for my alcoholic mind to jump right in line behind me and start nipping at my heels. It tells me I’m out of work and there’s not a lot out there to be had. It tells me I’m smart, but, not smart enough. It tells me I’m in love, but, is it really the love I’ve been waiting for? It tells me I’m a burden on my family, financially, emotionally, and stigmatically. It tells me my friends are all ex-drunks who won’t be there when I really need them. It tells me that if I don’t get some work soon, I’ll lose the great apartment I inhabit and love.

It threatens my basics.

Tonight, I’m reminded that the voice, that nagging, negative, down-trodden, alchie voice, is a liar.

With the buzz of my world between my ears, I headed over to Lars’ place after my Friday night AA meeting. I wasn’t down and out, but, the thick haze of my own negativity was tough to swat away from my face. As I stood at Lars’ door, waiting for him to come let me in, I heard him shouting to his cat that I’d arrived. I could hear in Lars’ voice that he was excited to see me. And, in the split second before he opened the door, I realized that I had to let go of all the shit that just didn’t matter in that moment. I had to have smile on my face for Lars, because, of all the things I feel I don’t have, or I am waiting on, love isn’t one of them.

I have this great man in my life. And, I’m here, at his door. In one moment, he will open his home up to me, and his little cat will greet me with purrs. And, I have this. I am grateful for these things. The job, the unfounded fears around family, money, friends, and my apartment. It’s all superfluous. It will be resolved. Maybe not in this second, but, good things take time. I’ve learned that lesson already, and, it’s made all the difference in my life. So, I revisit the accepting side of my soul and brain.

The door opens, and in Lars’ warm, inviting face I see the purest love. The love I have always sought. And, I know that it was silly to fear it was anything other than I knew it to be. My mind will play tricks on me, maybe for ever and ever. But, if I stay in the moment and reflect on what is right in front of me, I can see the truth. And, the truth is, I have love in bushels and bales. From Lars, to my family, and yes, to my real, true, ex-drunk friends.

So I give the negative Nancy in me the boot for the night, because I have one, purring cat who is fucking thrilled to see me.

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