I understand Geoff. Been there and done that at five years sober and I would have even hung on a cross or slid naked down an 80 foot razor blade -- because I was so convinced in my head and heart that "This One -- really is God's will!"
I'd cry myself into sober blackouts. Lost over 30 pounds weight in 30 days. With every fiber and cell and bone and muscle and hair in my being -- crying with heart break over the pain.
I had no desire to drink -- only a desire to die to end the pain.
That was when I learned how "Powerless" I was over my emotions. I was feeling the Power of the Pain -- without a substance to get me through the pain -- and I couldn't drink.
Aye? For me -- it was just like being a newcomer again, detoxing off of alcohol after a long binge -- except, magnify it by 1000 -- because I was already sober -- prior to going through the detox.
Similarities? For me -- I learned that my experience with "heartbreak" and the "loss of my life" (because I equated "her" as my life) was almost identical in nature for me as -- getting sober.
Later on, after I got through it -- I learned some valuable lessons, that have contributed to my being able to stay sober today, to watch out for new pitfalls for myself, and to be an asset towards helping others get through the same thing I had to get through.
I'll share those later-learned lessons w/ you later. For now -- I'd like to share what I did to get through it.
1. I stuck as close as I could to any and every member of the Fellowship that would spend time w/ me. I learned that "this is one of the reasons" AA works -- these people, even the ones that don't like me or love me, or know me, will set aside "personalities" over showing the principle of love, and care and concern for a fellow alcoholic. It gave me a totally new perspective on AA and the Fellowship and each and every person, new or old, visiting or resident.
2. I sought out the help of some Al-Anons -- and followed some of their directions, too. I was lucky that in my network of Fellowship, that my closest friends wives were members of Al-Anon, and they taught me some important lessons, too -- in how to deal w/ it and how to get through it and "passed" it.
3. I learned how emotionally fragile all people are -- especially alcoholics, with our hyper-sensitivity to feelings and emotions -- combined w/ our unique ability to make it "all about me" but blinded to the fact and willing to die for our perception of "Oh no! This is not just all about me!"
4. I discovered, once again, the beauty and the awesome Power of the 12 Steps and I used the Steps to get me through it.
a. With Step 1, it was "I am Powerless over what I am feeling -- and my life IS unmanageable -- because I cannot manage to control or change what I am feeling. I was certainly insane with it!
b. I made a commitment to others -- that are or would be suffering, what I was going through -- alcoholics w/ emotional pains and heartbreaks -- and the commitment was to find a way to "get through this sober" and be able to "pass it (the solution) on" to them. So, by the time I got to Step 12, it was: "having gotten through this" -- as a result of these Steps and the Fellowship -- I tried to carry this message "of getting through it" to others -- and to practice the principles that I had learned about getting through it -- in all of my affairs.
c. I re-visited the Big Book, all front cover to the end of pg 164 -- and whenever and wherever I came across the work "alcohol" or "alcoholism" -- I substituted the words "my emotions" or "what I'm feeling."
d. I recognized that it would take "time" to get over it. It wasn't going to be an over-night healing for me -- it would be more like the "educational variety" of healing -- similar to what Spiritual Experience, Appendex II, says about "spiritual awakenings."
I plugged the emotional jug by: total abstinence from picking up the phone, from calling her, from listening to my "messages" on the answering machine, from driving by her house, from wondering "wonder if she'll be at this meeting?"
And, I emersed myself around the clock with trying to help another alcoholic -- which would prove to "keep my mind" off of myself, off of her, and off of me and what I was experiencing.
I got through it -- and you will, too. The experience, looking back on it, was one of the most valuable experiences of my life -- in regards to long-time sobriety.
My heart & thoughts are with you.