I lost my addiction.
I did the exercise and came up with a whole bunch of stuff.
But that Dallas guy sure listed the best thing I lost - pretty clever pardner! I lost the thing that caused me to lose everything.
I got pretty detailed with this inventory. I'm listing about half the things here because I want the new person to know that just because I have some time being sober doesn't mean that I don't take the time to make detailed lists and take inventory. Like the new man or woman, I still follow instructions and "launch into rigorous action" each day. The purpose was for me to take action as suggested in the devotional. By doing this, I am "working a program".
It doesn't matter if I have 30 days or 30 years, its just as important for me to share experiences in hope that the new man or woman can identify. I also think the details count because it's more personal and meaningful to identify with specific things and not just general words. When I heard "my story" told by another human being, I really felt like I was right where I belong. It was a woman who told my story that I never even knew before - and I mean she told specifics - she trashed her family and life and cars just like me. It made me cry, and I realized why going to meetings was so important.
So this is not to compare "war stories" or say my destruction was worse or less than yours. It's just here to in hopes that it can help anyone who is an alcoholic to identify with another human being with the same condition, who was at first in a very hopeless place.
So what did I lose BESIDES THE ADDICTION? (Which is a really neat point that I hadn't thought of - Thanks again Dallas!)
- A very loving and pretty wife
- The respect of my 3 kids who are now grown (they're back to respecting me more now - because I respect them)
- The "wonder years" (say ages 6 -11) of those 3 kids as they grew up. Those are precious years that are gone forever. Drinking was more important.
- 2 (non-alcoholic) sweethearts before the wife
- A home in the city
- A home in the suburbs
- A condo in the suburbs
- New furniture and new wardrobe
- A masters degree (2- classes short) and the 65,000 student loan debt
- 2 "white collar" professions
- 1 "technical" profession
- About a dozen nice cars and trucks and a motorcycle
- 3 Mutual funds that were doing real good
- Good credit - (I filed bankruptcy)
- At last count upwards of about $200,000 cash just thrown away
Then it got to hurting me:
- 15% of my liver
- my stomach
- my mental health
- a best friend that I can never say goodbye to who died
- family members that I can no longer say thank you to who died
Then the worst:
- Any and all forms of dignity and self-respect
- my soul
- my favorite color - If you would have asked I wouldn't have been able to tell you.
The thing is, a lot of those things I lost have came back in different and better ways today. Maybe I could or should regret losing those things, but I don't today because it took me losing all those things to find this thing called sobriety which is a treasure. So the part of the promise "we won't regret the past" is true for me.
I know that all of these losses and many more can happen again if I don't "Make a decision" each day to remain under God's and AA's direction, and then take actions to change the self-centered things about me. I remember well my beiginnings. So the other part of the promise "nor wish to shut the door on it" (the past) is also true for me.