“I will never know all the people I hurt, all the friends I abused, the humiliation of my family, the worry of my business associates or how far-reaching it was. I continue to be surprised by the people I meet who say, ‘You haven’t had a drink for a long time, have you?’ The surprise to me is the fact that I didn’t know that they knew my drinking had gotten out of control. That is where we are really fooled. We think we can drink to excess without anyone knowing it. Everyone knows it. The only one we are fooling is ourselves. We rationalize and excuse our conduct beyond all reason.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Stopped in Time,” Ch 10 (“It Might Have Been Worse”), p 376.
Today, may the experiences about “hiding” that I have heard over and over in treatment centers and in meetings serve as a hint that I’m hiding nothing and fooling no one but myself about the extent of my drinking. If I am drinking today, let me give up the illusion that no one is paying attention and turn my energies that I expend on “hiding” to sobering up. And if I am not drinking, let me consider that I may have missed in my Eighth Step people to whom I owe amends because I may not know or remember who I have hurt. To them, my greatest amend may be continued abstinence. Today, if I am hiding, let me see that I am hiding in plain sight and, if I can’t remember all the people who are owed amends, let me make them by continuing in sobriety. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2014