Holding on and letting go

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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.



4 thoughts on “Holding on and letting go

    carrythemessage said:
    September 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

    It’s like that old joke about what’s the difference between God and an alcoholic? God doesn’t think he’s an alcoholic. We are centre-of-the-universe folks, aren’t we? I have to watch for that in the here and now too – it wasn’t just when I was drinking. That just made it worse. or better. Depending how you view it.

    Holding on, letting go…yes, this is a balance, and it’s a wonderful thing to play with. Not always fun – I find myself holding on to things I shouldn’t be holding on to still. Or letting go and then picking it back up, like resentments, etc. Tough act to juggle, but we do it and we learn from it.

    Great stuff.


    Maggie Shores said:
    September 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I absolutely love this post! I think you have it dead on – what a sine balance this is isn’t it? Ahhh… yes the shit is not easy and it’s not pleasant and it is not fun, and bunch of other things that it is most definitely not! But it is amazing growth and humility and getting out of self and opening to the world and oh, so, so much more too! Thanks for reminding me of what really is the important stuff, this is why I continue my journey in sobriety. – wonderfully said, thank you!

    My Sponsor’s Response | We Agnostics said:
    September 12, 2013 at 8:37 am

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    AsJimSeesIt said:
    December 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    “No one ever said this shit was going to be easy.”
    No where were then/are now it’s not. I can assure you I had it no easier. But that was the end of 1999. The most important information I got — besides “keep coming back” — was “It gets easier”. If this was still difficult I can assure you I would have screwed up along the line. I can assure you that you put MUCH more effort in to this the past month than I did. It is now the easiest thing I have ever done. It is true that it is easier to stay sober than to get sober.

    I hope this will help.

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