It’s Art for God’s Sake

It’s not my name that matters here, but instead that I am an alcoholic and you, the one reading this, may likewise also identify as one. It has never been my experience that in AA anyone would ever ask me to do something that I could not first verify for myself through action, as the program is suggestive only. But first, before we get into the meat and potatoes, let me introduce myself.

I am an alcoholic, and I am from Lafayette, Louisiana. That suffices. Today, I am blessed beyond measure to live a life beyond my alcoholism, but that was not always the case. For you see, I was an alcoholic of the intellectual and poetic sort treading the waves of my own egotistical, terminally unique, and grandiose alcoholic personality. My head was barely afloat above tumultuous waters, which I considered to be a grand life above any other.

You see, I thought that my writing, in my university years, was better when I drank and that because I saw the world how I did, in such a unique way, that almost no one else saw it like that. I thought that by drinking I could access this way of understanding the world that few had. This led to me blending my alcoholism into my creative process, and further than that to think myself into a very real and dangerous delusional way of existing. This became a perilous thing for me even though I didn’t realize it, just like I didn’t realize my alcoholism. It seemed to me that drinking and writing were inseparable. At the cause of this, reality and delusion became rather entangled. Nothing mattered more than diving into the delusion, and for that I needed alcohol.

In about the fifth or sixth year of my alcoholism, I had received a car from my parents and in a single day of having it and celebrating got a DUI in the state of Louisiana with my best friend in the car on a beer run. Shortly afterwards, my best friend would tell me I was an alcoholic and I laughed asking where the next beer was. Many other instances I could recount, but it would do no better than to illustrate the same point.

It eventually spiraled out of control and a long dance of my ego and self around a false sun, equally myself, came to an abrupt halt when the alcoholic musings no longer sufficed to keep at bay the chaotic thoughts and feelings that the alcohol suppressed. For two more years, I would wander on until being jobless and penniless. On March 6th, 2019, I was alone at 9:30 in the morning drinking my second or third double whisky on the rocks during the Mardi Gras season. I was empty and filled by a profound misery that today I know as despair. Another alcoholic I know described it well once, it is like looking into a mirror and seeing a ghost or something dead in the reflection; except I had been living that way for two years with no end in sight to the insanity I felt.

After having alienated many around me and feeling completely alone, I reached out to the one person I knew who would understand me. What I did not count on is that this person happened to be an alcoholic in recovery. Due to reaching out for their help, I asked for help. I did not know what that consisted of, only that I could not continue living as I had…

I ended up in treatment where I was surrounded by other alcoholics and addicts. I was confronted by AA and recovery dynamics at every part of my day for 28 days. I could not, due to my cerebral nature accept that I was powerless, I was not willing although it was plain to me my life was unmanageable.

After having got a sponsor, he suggested I read Bill’s Story, and when I poured over the pages that night before bed, I could not believe that I was reading my own story. It was at that moment that I knew what I was. I continued to work the steps with my sponsor and read the literature, and although other alcoholics spoke directly to my alcoholism almost no one seemed to speak or have experience on what to do with my writing. I was an alcoholic, and I knew that made me no different than the rest, but what to do about this enigma?

When reading further into the Big Book, I halted at, “some of us try holding onto our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.” At first, I could not understand what that meant, and my writing was still filled with the delusions and darkness that filled my alcoholism and was more of an outlet for it. In time the ongoing spiritual experience I had due to the steps revealed to me the true meaning of what writing and creating were for me. I had held onto my alcoholic idea of writing and had to be willing to give that up to the will of a power higher than myself, to let it unravel.  After that, spirituality did the rest and I came to understand this ability as a God-given gift that could serve as a form of healing for me and possibly for others. Thus, I write now, and not by chance. I write to give my experience, strength and hope that this program works for all of us. Given the willingness to accept what we are given, including our powerlessness and even this wonderful gift allows us the beginning of a life beyond alcoholism. Due to my experiences and the suggestions I have taken from loving members of this program, I no longer have to live how I once had and reality becomes a marvel within each moment that life brings.

-An Anonymous Alcoholic