“In some circumstances we have gone out deliberately to get drunk, feeling ourselves justified by nervousness, anger, worry, depression, jealousy or the like. But even in this type of beginning we are obliged to admit that our justification for a spree was insanely insufficient in the light of what always happened. We now see that when we began to drink deliberately, instead of casually, there was little serious or effective thought during the period of premeditation of what the terrific consequences might be.” – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 37
As we travel along this new path of sobriety, we will be squarely confronted with issues in our lives that we may have, in our life previous to this new route of no longer imbibing, used to justify our drinking and/or using. Issues where we allow a vast power, the power of our reactive feelings, to swoop down over us; in effect supplanting our connection with our Higher Power and replacing it with said feelings regarding our current trials and tribulations. These might be situations that we would have, previously, used to assert ourselves alongside our beverage or drug of choice.
During these difficult times, we may feel righteously deserving of going out and getting absolutely, wholly, and totally besotted, be it with alcohol and/or drugs. We may use the excuse of our situation, whatever that may be, like a shield between us and our Higher Power. We may, possibly, even believe we are due a time out from our entire acquired sobriety thus far since, perhaps, we had been “good” for so long. Perhaps we may fall prey to the idea of taking that particular moment and using it to jump at what may seem like a golden opportunity to drink and/or use.
These moments can be deadly. Who knows if we will be able to return to the path of sobriety. Maybe, just maybe, this self-indulgent, righteous tear we go out on doesn’t lead us, eventually, back to being sober but into an institution or, worse yet, a grave.
In this alcohol and drug rehabilitation center in California, the staff help us learn about the pending potential for our lives to take a turn in a difficult direction or when to recognize we are embroiled in an issue so deeply that it may seem insurmountable without the use of drugs and/or drink in order for us to get through it. They show us that this is one of the insidious ways our alcoholism and/or drug addiction has aggressively taken hold of us, keeping us pinned to the proverbial ground and separated from what we have learned and experienced thus far. We learn what to do when these feelings encompass us and these tools, in effect, save our lives; much like CPR saves the lives of so many, our embracing and enacting these new ways of living through difficult times will do the same.