At the end (god, I hope it was the end) of my drinking, I developed a peculiar physical ailment. After I had had a few (daily) I often would lose my ability to literally grip things. At least twice a week, I would spill my beer, wine or bourbon (gasp!) on some unlucky piece of furniture or carpet. It was really weird. I would be fine one minute and my hands would just give up the next. (I know this might be some sort of medical red flag but I am pretending I don’t know that right now). It wasn’t just my grip, though. I would be walking down our stairs (and I am fucking terrified of stairs- that’s another post) and I could feel my body loosening and giving up. I was always about five seconds aways from rag doll on the floor. There were several symptoms that my body was really sinking into maybe late second or early third stage alcoholism- but this “letting go” was the most alarming.
I am very aware of my grip these days. I am hanging on tightly to everything. I am reminded each time I walk down the stairs, how close I was to losing hold of my physical and spiritual self. This scares the shit of me.
But I know I need to thread a balance between holding on (to my sobriety, sanity, self, teacup) and letting go (of the old tapes, my self loathing, shit I can’t change, my own bullshit). In a meeting the other day we discussed humility. I commented that we alcoholic/ addicts get a bad rap. We seem (and in part are) completely wrapped up in ourselves. Alcoholism lends itself to center of the universe syndrome and recovery is all about self-improvement and self-care. My feeling, however, is that recovery is the path to humility (that is why is late in the steps) and humility finding this balance of between holding on and letting go.
No one ever said this shit was going to be easy.