Cunning, Baffling, Powerful

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    Tom G

    I recently passed one year of sobriety! Party at my house – or, maybe not…
    One year ago, I sat in my first AA meeting and listened as someone read, “How it works”. The phrase “Remember, we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling, powerful” stuck in my mind. Over the next 50 or so weeks, I kept hearing that phrase and wondering what it meant.
    I asked myself, “how can a chemical be given human characteristics”? That makes no sense. Then it hit me, alcohol or drugs aren’t cunning, baffling and powerful…addiction is!
    Cunning: I was lying to my family, to friends, to co-workers and most importantly, to my self. My addiction to alcohol resulted in my lying to my self about who I was and what I was. It was a mask.
    Baffling: As the doctor told me my liver was full of fat, wasn’t filtering iron out and that was leading to pancreas and heart issues and was on the road to dying, I didn’t care. That’s not a normal way to be! My grasp of the real wasn’t sane.
    Powerful: I no longer have the physical addiction to alcohol and the obsession is long gone. I think I’ve figured out what I need to do, how to be, and what attitude I need to have in life to remain sober. My job required me to be in the basement of a bar this week. I looked at racks of vodka and thought, “Man, that looks reaaaaallllly good”. The draw was strong…the feeling was surprising.
    Addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful! What I recently learned is I need to be ever vigilant against the cunning, baffling and powerful bastard that is just waiting for me to not pay attention. I need the love of my family and the fellowship of AA to stay focused and aware that while I may not actively be addicted, I am still addicted to alcohol. Always will be.
    I’m finding it’s easy to slip back to old habits and ways of thinking. One year ago I thought I’d do one year of AA meetings and then get on with life. I now know that I will need to live the steps and give my will fully over to my higher power, God, until the day I die. It’s the only way I’ll win at life. I am not more powerful than my addiction, but my addiction doesn’t have power over me, unless I let it.
    Thank you for letting me ramble. Being able to post here and share in the fellowship of AA keeps me sane and sober. I’d really like to hear about other folk’s experiences, strengths and hopes. Tom G.

    Heidi Quist

    Tom – Congrats on 1 year…1 year was a big turning point for me. I got to see the emotions in my life starting to change, the promises were coming true and being honest and showing up in life was coming naturally instead of trying. It’s always a joy to read your experience, strength and hope on here. Thank you for your kind shares and encouraging words! Keep coming back! – Heidi

    Tom G

    It’s interesting that you mentioned emotions. As I look back at the past year, I think the range of emotions really sticks out.
    At first, I was foggy and confused. Then I went through a stretch where I was really bummed out. I typically sat and said to myself, “I just want to feel normal”; problem was I didn’t what normal felt like. Finally a feeling of peace came over when I fully accepted who I was and turned my will over to God.
    Some of those emotions had me thinking sobriety isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I think we all go through varying emotions as we travel through recovery. Some are easy, some aren’t.
    I know, and I pray all of my brothers and sisters in the fellowship of AA know, that there will be good and bad emotional days.
    Work the steps, live the program and connect with others on those bad days. Enjoy the good days. They become more numerous as our ‘one day at a times’ add up.
    I always need to remember not to make a decision with long term consequences based on a short term emotion.
    What are your experiences with emotions during recovery?
    Tom G.

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