I was talking to a friend a few months ago who is also in the program, and he mentioned something that for some reason popped up today.
He wondered aloud if there were any conditions, absurd or not, in which he would use or drink again. He cited the end of the world (zombies maybe?) or breaking up with his girlfriend, or a death in the family. I didn’t entertain the idea of a conditional sobriety very much at the time, but did today…whether out of mental experiment or spiritual fortification, I don’t know, but I indulged (not a good thing for me to do!)
Here’s how it went down for me.
I thought of the worst thing that could happen to me – the death of my wife and child. Would that get me to pick up a drink? Would something utterly crushing like that automatically give me permission to drink again? I actually had to think on it for a short spell. But I have to say that my gut reaction was a resounding “no”…thankfully. My mind had a slightly longer trip to that conclusion. I mean, who wouldn’t say something like “well, I would drink too if that happened to me!”. But most people aren’t alcoholics. Like normal people, they would perhaps drown out the sorrow of missing their loved ones, and pretty much deal with it the way normal people do, and then go back to a normal way of drinking (damn them!)
As I see it and feel it, I would not be honouring anyone’s life by drinking. And I would no longer be of service to anyone – in AA , and outside of AA. What kind of son or uncle would I be, drunk and sick all the time? And how long would I really last going back out? They might as well dig a third grave, as it wouldn’t take me long to join them. And that is the truth.
We alcoholics love loopholes, and I see none in this case. There is, as I know of, no condition that allows us to go back out. If there was, we’d be lining up at the bar, Big Book in hand, like a coupon or voucher at the theatre for a free movie or something.
To go back out after a major setback would be me telling my God that what He is doing is wrong, and that I know better. Recovery, for me, is about dealing with things, big and small, in a way I never was able to do before – honestly, open and willing to do the work to go forward…with a Higher Power who’s strength I can draw from. So there really isn’t anything that can happen to me that would change my course and direction.
My sobriety is unconditional.
Even if the zombies attack.