Saturday, August 6, 2005

Deadly Sins Therapy - Volume 3

So I was sitting in this coffee shop surrounded by my friends, on the eventful day. A woman walks in and sits down right next to me squishing me even farther into my booth that was already far too full. I was about 5 months sober at the time … this last time, so I was a little short of tongue and temper you see. It was rare when someone would invade my space in this manner, much less an ex girlfriend whom I had basically been carrying a resentment towards for going on 2 and a half years. Her bouncy blonde hair and bubbly personality were like daggers to me every time I saw her, and I rarely got anything out of our conversations. This day was strangely different though, and even though it is a 15 and a half year old story, I thought I would share it with you all. Envy is the deadly sin to which I speak of here.

This woman haunted me for years. I had been newly sober when she found me (my last time around) and although you order sh** you eat sh** is one of my favorite expressions, I never saw it coming. Our romance was short, not sweet, and very very sick. When it was over I was going to meetings 2 months sober hearing everyone talking about my inventory. It made me do what anyone would do under the circumstances, and that was “plot revenge”. This would be accomplished by staying sober “just to piss her off”, and I was such a wonderful bag of ism, for the 23 months I didn’t drink. I was beyond sick really, for my untreated alcoholism was trying to destroy me every day, until I finally did drink in June of 89. There were no life shattering events which made me drink, as I said it was merely what a sick person does when they don’t actually have recovery.

When I came back to AA on my hands and knees a month later, worried about all of the violence I had to answer too, I was fortunate to be ELSEWHERE. Upon coming back to the seacoast, and continuing my recovery there, I was in for a treat as “she” was celebrating her 3 year anniversary. She even had the wonderful gumption to stare at me while she was explaining the sick relationship she had with me, from the podium. My envy was just raging in me, but I was able to just brush it off, knowing full well that I wouldn’t have to see her for another year, until her next anniversary. The real “wellies” tend to only go to their anniversary meetings every year, and she was a real “wellie”, and I had other concerns anyway, like keeping my own ass sober for ME. Thank God for our morning conversations, because I was never much for going it alone.

The morning in that coffee shop initially appeared to be a wonderful lesson in patience and tolerance at first, but I held my tongue, as I often did before I found serenity in the Oogie Boogie ward years later. She immediately dominated the conversation, as she always did. She was in full bore “justification” mode, not that it was any different then all of the other opportunities we have had to speak. This time started rather funny though as she said “I’ve been thinking, and I’ve decided that I am not really an alcoholic.”

We all sat there a little awkwardly, as she had just made such a life altering statement, but fortunately for us she decided to continue “Since I’m not one of you guys any more, I think I’m going out to get f***ed up” which forced us all to look around at each other, until I put my head in my hands.

After shaking my head back and forth a few times I said this “I can’t believe you cowards are going to force me to say this, but I will,” I then took my head out of my hands and looked her strait in the eyes and said “If you are not an alcoholic, then why is the first thing that you think of when you come to this great conclusion, is going out and getting ‘f***ed up’ I mean seriously” the silence was still there and she was looking at me so I added “Why isn’t it, I am going to just not drink forever because I don’t have to?”

She chuckled at me, and then looked at everyone else, who were chuckling themselves and looking rather proud of this sicko’s attempt at being profound. She then looked me right in the eyes, and said “F*** YOU Jeremy” before she stormed out of the Stardust, never to be seen again. My envy had been lifted, and I was given the “virtue” to counteract it …. Love. My unconditional love for another sick human being was there, I just had a funny way of showing it I guess.

If the truth be told, I was happy to see her go at first, but in the end I did realize something that I should have realized all along. Envy will lead to following. Following would have led to her fate, and I am all the better for getting over it. I have watched this happen to so many people that have had the gift of sobriety. One of my oldest friends went out after 17 years sober because of the deadly sin known as Envy. He was never able to accept his alcoholism, to the day he drank. You wouldn’t think that of someone with 17 years, but it is truly the only explanation. His untreated alcoholism finally got HIM regardless of how long he prolonged the destructive ends. Today I am a drunk named Jeremy, that‘s all I need to worry about, I talked to God about it, God said, Have a Nice Day, and I am going to do just that. ;8o)