What is our "Real Self?" I mean, aren't we all putting on a facade for everyone? When we meet people, don't we put our best foot forward? Don't we want to make a great impression when we try to get a job? Authentic Self seems elusive, or so I thought. Oh, that's just "Dime Store Psychology." You see, I had one of those jobs that I had to put on many faces.
I was the Commissioner Of Deeds (Souped-up notary), and I had to go to people's homes and sign documents watch them sign documents. I was having a ball. I was making decent money. I was connecting with people, and I was enjoying life. I started to drink. One was never enough, and one-thousand was never too many. My partner accused me of destroying my business. What was happening was the mortgage crash of 2008 that started in 2006 with the fall of Countrywide Home Loans? How do I know? I closed so many of their home loans it was unreal, and poof one day, shops started closing left and right, and no one knew why. I began to drink more and more, and my partner grew angrier.
I didn't understand. It grew to the point I was standing looking out my back door (a very lovely condo, by the way). I started asking myself, why can't I put this down. What is happening to me? It's like I have no control whatsoever. One day my world came crashing down in a heated quarrel.
We had put each other through enough. The police showed up. I was escorted out. I said, "enough of this."
I found a good attorney. He and I made a plan, and we set a date, and before I knew it, I was off to Kentucky. I had thousands of choices along the way. I am not that person that makes the right choices. I'm the guy that has to make the wrong choice to get to the right one. However, I found myself very sick, drinking more and more and a friend of mine said, "You need a different kind of help." I threw an explicative at him and said, "No, I don't." over the next few days, I saw he was right.
He gave me a link to an online chat room for AA. I laughed and said, "How is a chat room going to help me?" Thinking it was the dumbest thing ever. He said. "You live so far out in the woods now you will have a tough time getting to a meeting, and this will help." I please him I accepted. I created a screen name and logged in. I began to read the stories.
Some of the people were living normal lives now. Some were thriving and better than before. Now that's something I want.
But I bought more beer and sat at the table drinking more and more. I had placed a mirror behind my computer.
I raised up and looked at my reflection in the mirror. When some people are near death, their eyes have a look, "Death eyes," the nurses call it. I had those eyes. There was no sparkle left. I moved my chair out of the way and laid down on the bed, and said, "God, I can't do this anymore."
Maybe, there was something in that plea that God heard? I don't know. I woke up that following day, and I didn't pick up the drink. Instead, I downloaded what they called "The BigBook" and read it. It was so confusing. At first, I was so intimidated. I heard so many things about AA and the people in it.
They told me I would need a friend to help me. I had a lot of friends, and I enjoyed talking. I spent hours online. It was my rescue. My family was amazed they had never seen anyone recover from alcoholism. I had several uncles and cousins that didn't survive it. People in my community that died because they listened to lies about it. I did not. I found a sponsor, a friend that could be dependable. I am gay, so my sponsor needed to be a female. At that time, she had Twenty Five years of sobriety. We talked for hours every day. She showed me what to do and listened. She would laugh at me when I was in the thralls of hell. Most AA people do that, and there's a reason for it.
She and I worked through the steps so many times I got sick of doing the steps, but it helped. I started to change. I began to see I was never who I wanted to be in the first place. I began to draw and write, having creative spurts but still easy to get exhausted. Now, Fourteen years later, I am still sober. I do not resemble the person I did back then. I am out. I am vocal. I stand up for what I believe in with vibrance. I've gone to battle for human rights for the past few years. I've written several books, became a member of Vocal.Media, Fine Art America, and other websites. I know sobriety is possible. But I also know sobriety is only for those that want it. Because if you choose to get sober, one thing you must do is face the one demon you've avoided your entire life YOU. I can assure you that's a monster you've been turning your head away from more than any horror story on TV. But when you get that courage, and you see the effects.
You instantly want more. You know that sometimes pain is a path to peace. Facing yourself is a feat, but when you can see your role in everything you do, say, feel, or are a part of, you can accept that you were there. You heal. Your life heals almost instantly, without your help. So don't be afraid to get sober. Be fearful for those that don't.
Follow your inspiration, or you will be following your perspiration.