Alcoholics Anonymous Costa Blanca

IMPRISONMENT
 
 
Not that I have been in jail, although it has been close on occasions, this is about imprisonment, and as I write I am stuck, trapped, physically confined at the airport, as I wait to get on a delayed flight. I am trapped, which I don’t like, but I am no longer imprisoned by the anxiety, anger and blame that this minor delay would have caused just a few years ago.
 
Imprisonment is of course a metaphysical state as well as confinement of the body and there are many states of imprisonment. Let me describe my own, in a few simple words; but first the caveat, this is my own view, I do not represent a school of thought, and I am not the spokesman. I have recovered from alcoholism, and to maintain that state I don’t drink a day at a time; just for today.
 
All I can do is tell you my experience as I know it. I know better than anyone what I have done, how I have felt and what I have done to change. I can know nothing of you, but you may identify a little with the pain and suffering that I know. And if so, you may call on the number below, and speak to someone with a shared understanding, and a belief that it is possible to escape the imprisonment of alcoholism.
 
I want to try very hard not to labour the metaphor, but it fits so aptly with the life of an active alcoholic. This is a life where all the decisions have been removed. There is no longer freedom to choose. I place myself in dangerous situations and places, and I blame others for my actions; I attack before I am attacked. I justify lying, cheating and anger as a normal response to those who treat me badly. This is a prison I didn’t enter freely; I did not want to be here, - I didn’t plan it - but now I don’t want to leave!
 
My state of mind incarcerates my body, and maintains it in a condition of fear. I talk of being trapped in an airport. Imagine if you can, being trapped inside your own worst nightmare. A nightmare in which, as an escape route appears, you create hideous creatures to block its way. There is no visible escape because, although it is a nightmare inside, it is unknown outside. And the unknown is the thing to be feared above all else.
 
So, after a while I accept the prisoner status, the wounded victim of circumstance; the greatest miscarriage of natural law and justice. No one wants to listen to how bad it is, so I spiral inside my nightmarish self. And, of course this is a downward spiral. I have arrived in a hell of my own creation. Abandoned, without hope, full of despair I became devoid of emotion and rational thought. What was killing me demanded I took more. I was defenceless.
 
 I hope by now you may be feeling some empathy at least, with sufferers of this disease. And I think it is important to recognise it as such. First suggested in 1784 as one, and currently described by the World Health Organisation as one, this is a fact and additionally, an indication of hope. I would like to expand on this at a later date.
 
Even though this happened and even though I was there and even though I did it all, I still claimed my innocence, but I failed my last, clear line of defence; I was mad at the time. So my denial was my prison guard. My lack of responsibility for my own predicament kept me under; my, and only my addiction, was to nearly be my killer. And yet, now I am free.
And freedom is a curious thing, for while I wait at the airport I am free. Free to choose what I do in this, and only this, situation. I am free to choose how I behave to the check-in staff, whose fault I may once have sought for the delay. I am free to let my fellow passengers deal with their own frustration, instead of engaging them in mine. I am free to live as normal and as happy a day as I can reasonably expect.
 
That freedom, which I can describe as pure joy, is available to me now. And what do I have to do to have peace, freedom and an unburdening of my world’s fears? I just don’t drink today. Not tomorrow, I don’t frankly even know if I’ll be alive tomorrow, so why should I care to plan a drink tomorrow. No, just for today. For this little 24-hour space. And because I have faced all my woes of the past, I no longer have to have a drink because of what I have done. Now just imagine that!
 
This article represents the view of the author, which is not necessarily shared by other Alcoholics Anonymous members or by the AA fellowship as a whole.
 
 
 
 
 

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