Step by Step
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014
“In two ways I may be a little different from other alcoholics. First, we all hear at AA meetings about those who have lost everything, those who have been in jail, those who have been in prison, those who have lost their families, those who have lost their income. I never lost any of it. I never was on skid row. I made more money the last year of my drinking than I ever made before in my whole life. My wife never hinted that she would leave me. Everything that I touched from grammar school on was successful. I was president of my grammar school student body. I was president of all of my classes in high school and in my last year I was president of that student body. I was president of each class in the University, and president of that student body. I was voted the man most likely to succeed. The same thing occurred in medical school. I belong to more medical societies and honor societies than men 10 to 20 years my senior.
“Mine was the skid row of success. The physical skid row in any city is miserable. The skid row of success is just as miserable.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Stopped in Time,” Ch 6 (“Physician, Heal Thyself!”), p 345.
Today, let me not take egoistic pride in successes or acquisitions of things in my life for they are no refuge from alcoholism: skid row is just as miserable in my own home as it is under a bridge or in a homeless shelter. Responsibility comes with success and material gain as it does with irresponsible choices, and alcoholic drinking is not the responsible response to my life when it is good any more than it is when my life is in the gutter. If I choose to “reward” my successes and material gains with irresponsible drinking, I risk turning my living room into skid row. Today, I must understand and respect responsibility to my sober life just as I am responsible for the consequences of my drinking. What I have today is not promised me tomorrow. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2014