I never understood when people said to me, "AS LONG AS YOU ARE SOBER, YOU HAVE A CHOICE."
Today I get that. Completely. When I was drinking, I never had a choice. I HAD TO DRINK. My entire life consisted of how to get booze, how to drink the booze, how to act like I hadn't drunk the booze, then, MORE MORE MORE. It never ever stopped. To say that was a vicious cycle is kind. It was obsessive and more important than anything or anyone.
When I finally put the plug in the jug, I became a human being. I gained an immediate power in that I had some miniscule kind of control of my decisions, my choices. I cannot stress enough how I was not even human. I was this thing that had no feeling except how to drink and how to get the next drink. Blackout-drink-blackout-drink. That was my "life", if you can call it that. The first choice is always, "am I going to drink?" Once that is decided then the multitude of choices that normal people make every single day get to be decided.
Once I chose to NOT DRINK that day, I had a tiny bit of say in what else I could do that day. The possibilities suddenly go from NOTHING but the prison of using to ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. Even if you are in jail as I was, or in rehab or a psych ward or a halfway house - I was in all of them in early sobriety - the internal prison is way worse.
You can choose to have a real life from the inside out. Things usually get worse before they get better upon sobriety. Consequences can last for years. And the best part is I choose to deal with them today. Being sued? Being broke? Getting divorced? Being jobless for a long time with no insurance, I can deal with that. As long as I don't choose to drink today, I HAVE A CHOICE.
And that, is a beautiful thing. As long as I don't choose to be an asshole and do the next right thing, my life keeps getting better and better. From the inside out. The external is matching the internal. But nothing pretty outside matters if the inside is rotten.
The Thing I Love This Thursday is choice. For that, I alone am responsible. And I gladly and gratefully accept the responsibility, for it all means that I started out with the choice not to drink today.