My sponsor showed me the Grapevine article on Emotional Sobriety in the fall of 1969. I was just two years sober and my wife had asked me for a divorce. My world seemed shattered. Although I had mouthed the words many times that I was sober for myself only, I now realized that contrary to what I was saying, I had gotten sober in part for the sake of her and my chldren. Losing my marriage and contact with my children was more than I could bear. I was full of self-pity and blaming her for all that was wrong in my life. Depression enveloped me and I could barely get myself to work or even eat a meal.
Reading Bill's letter really impacted me greatly. I had not realized how much dependence I had placed on not only my marriage and the children, but all the material things I was losing. Sitting down to a lengthy inventory of the whole situation, it became painfully clear where the source of the pain was. I was dependent on so many people and things for my well being that when I was faced with their loss, I could see no future for myself. With the help of my sponsor Lyle, God bless him, I began sorting out the dependencies in my emotional make-up that were tearing me apart.
In this process I had to come to terms with the fact that I had placed all these people and things before my dependence on God. A re-evaluation of my God concept was in order for sure. It took some time for me to come to terms with this change in thinking, but it did come to pass. The realization that I had to have an absolute and total reliance on God for my well being. Since that critical period in my sobriety I have not been troubled with depression of the magnitude I experienced then. I have mild periods of self-pity, but nothing of the previous sort. Thank God for Bill W. and his sharing of his experience about this terrible phenomenon. It worked well for me and I assure any recovering alcoholic who will take the time to examine the concept will soon see how it affects them.
... in continuing sobriety.. Bill H