Unless you have experienced the cycle of addiction, you absolutely cannot fully understand the pain of loss of choice to drink or use.
At the end of my drinking days, I would rush to the store to get alcohol before I talked myself out of it, I didn’t want to drink, but I could not escape the gnawing at my mind and body and soul if I didn’t. To shut it up, to calm it down, to get it to leave me alone, I let it have me. It reminds me much of rape or molestation. Just be quiet and it will go away more quickly and leave me alone, this too cannot be fully understood unless experienced.
Today the obsession to drink has been removed, how or why I do not know. But I do know that the existence of a spiritual life in my life has been my saving force. Did a Higher Power get me sober, I think not. Could I have done it by myself, I know not. So what exactly got me sober, I do not know. But I know that the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous and the people and the support and the love and the steps removed the power alcohol had over me. And because I know this, I will Keep Coming Back to the rooms that saved my life.
DO I HAVE A CHOICE?
The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 24
My powerlessness over alcohol does not cease when I quit drinking. In sobriety I still have no choice — I can't drink. The choice I do have is to pick up and use the "kit of spiritual tools" (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25). When I do that, my Higher Power relieves me of my lack of choice—and keeps me sober one more day. If I could choose not to pick up a drink today, where then would be my need for A.A. or a Higher Power?
*From the book Daily Reflections; Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Tara does not speak for or represent Alcoholics Anonymous, she is but a sober and active member of the Program.