One of the reasons I went to treatment was because I quit my job to write and didn’t spend one day in 5 months writing. Not one hour. I woke up on March 1st and looked at the calendar on my wall and it still said January and it was empty. I knew alcohol was taking me away from one of the things I valued most: literature.
I got clean and things got less hazy for me and I got more sleep. I gradually started writing more. Every time in the last 8 months that I’ve been sober that I’ve written something I’m proud of, I’ve stopped going to meetings and stopped calling my sponsor. I don’t think this can last for me. I’m scared of learning this lesson the hard way. When I first started trying to stop drinking and failing over and over, my therapist said “You might have to learn the hard way. And…it might be really hard.” That warning has haunted me. “Really hard” for me is pretty serious. I don’t want to enjoy the benefits of being sober (for me: more time spent writing) and then distance myself from recovery and then relapse. I don’t know how I can write a blog post about it, and conceive of this trap intellectually, but not do all the work to get out of it. Or maybe I am. Maybe this is the first step. That’s the scariest thing about recovery and I guess that’s why you have to surrender a sense of control: you never know what’s going to happen.