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Grapevine : January 2012
36 January 2012 in my career I had the ben- efit of a good economy, and my hard work ethic enabled me to easily rise to the top. Alcohol placed blinders on me and made me look at business with a warped perception. It’s like a hammer hitting a nail. If I didn’t make enough money, “Hit the friggin’ nail harder!” I would say. Alcohol prevented me from taking different approaches to the same problem. The inability to see these other methods for solving problems makes life unmanageable. And what is sad is that these other methods are not secrets; you don’t have to read hundreds of books or get a degree. They are right in front of me, and all I have to do is be willing. Example four: I have fears and concerns, just as all spouses and par- ents do, about things that are far off in the future. I worry fitfully about my two young boys entering adolescence without the correct understanding of right and wrong, moral- ity, respect, and so on. I have suffocating concern that my daughter will have poor understanding of what a man is sup- posed to be like in her life. And I have a horrible nightmare that I will not be able to provide things that my wife wants that are perfectly reasonable wishes. But alcohol has so adversely affected how I perceive these things. It has brought these fears to the forefront and affected my actions. Living this way makes life unmanageable. While decisions I make today will most certainly affect things years from now, it is much more important to do the next right thing, rather than a thing that is an ill-conceived notion of some long-term benefit. Example: Reaming my kid for not doing what I tell him, in hopes that one day he will listen to me when I tell him not to drink and drive, is certainly less effective than setting a good example today of me not abusing alcohol right in front of him. But the big kahuna of all examples of how my life has become unman- ageable due to alcohol has to do with spirituality. I have bounced around in various churches through- out adulthood, but my headstrong personality coupled with alcoholism has made me look at spiri- tuality as unnecessary or even sometimes a chore. I have been too “busy” for God. As my alcohol- ism has worsened I have drifted farther and farther away from my spiritual- ity. I had it once, when I was about 14 (I know, imagine that, look what I started a year later). Alcohol numbed my ability to feel the serenity that spirituality brings to the human condition. It was as though I had forgotten how to believe. What is so amazing is how obvious it is that God was right there in front of me, just waiting for me to let him begin healing me. Living life without God is absolutely unmanageable. Lee T. Dawsonville, Ga. Drinking affected when I booked airline flights, when I had doctor’s appointments, where I went out to eat, and of course, who my friends were. For more stories like this, visit aagrapevine.org / topic/twelve-steps GRAPE_33-36.indd 36 11/28/11 11:45 AM