A Sense of Ease and Comfort
I would have never so eloquently described the effect brought on by alcohol as the title above, but with the hindsight of attending Alcoholics Anonymous and reading the Big Book this was very clearly the effect given to me by alcohol.
Alcohol always appeared to make me feel better a sense of release from life¹s frustrations, the tiresome feelings of if only she didn¹t say that, why did he look at me that way; the world just seems against me. It had never occurred to me that maybe there was something wrong with my thinking or with the way that I was living life. I had no idea what it was to be self-centred, to be driven by self-will at the expense of all others. I wanted life to be my way, there wasn¹t room for others. No wonder I was at loggerheads with my fellows. I certainly was not going to find any peace with this lifestyle. I did however pursue it for over 20 years and it only got worse.
So here is the dilemma, I am unable to live life on life¹s terms and need alcohol to provide me, as described in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, with "the sense of ease and comfort". Only then can I experience temporary relief from my frustrations with the world and the people in it. But I cannot use alcohol safely as I am a alcoholic of the hopeless variety. When I consume any alcohol I am unable to safely predict when I am going to stop. I quite simply needed to get along without liquor but how could I?
Having arrived at AA I was presented with the 12 steps and sponsorship and was informed that I was suffering from an illness of mind and body. If I was to work the 12 steps I would have what is known as a spiritual awakening or a change of thought and attitude. I would then be able to live life comfortably without alcohol. I would have a sufficient substitute to my drinking.
The identification I found that evening allowed me to begin taking the necessary actions. My sponsor guided me to good order through the 12 steps and I was able to remain abstinent from alcohol. I began to live sober on life¹s terms. Surprisingly I began to enjoy life. The "if only" attitude seemed to disappear and I was placed in a position of neutrality around alcohol. The world was no longer a hostile place.
I have now enjoyed sobriety for nearly 5 years, maintaining a simple daily plan and practising as best I can the principles of the 12 steps. I am no longer a victim to those feelings of unease and discomfort which always lead me to a drink. Life has certainly taken on a new meaning.
I sincerely hope that if you are reading this that you are experiencing the same joy in sobriety that I am experiencing. A sense of ease and comfort in everyday life.
Mike M, Road to Recovery Group, Plymouth