As we grow spiritually, following our own paths of recovery, we have to remember we still have alcoholic minds. I know I do; I can, at times, still think like an alcoholic. While I may be recovered from the obsession of the drink, there are areas of my life still needing attentiveness on a daily basis. By using spiritual tools in Alcoholics Anonymous I can get through the day, despite how bleak I may make my own outlook in life.
Yesterday, after getting some very good rest, I woke up ready to tackle the day ahead of me. One thing was wrong – my computer was off. What? Oh no, no, no. I always leave my computer on because its on its last leg, it has to stay running. After pressing the power button, I notice the computer manufacturer splash screen displays for a split second. Oh Gods no, this is not good! The screen goes blank. But all is not lost. The fan and computer itself is still humming. I’ve run across enough of these “black screen” problems, so I did in my experience and begin to work on the problem.
Nothing works. I have tried several different series of key combinations. Each time I’ve shut it down completely, disconnected the battery, drained the remaining power, waiting the appropriate time and restarted it. Black screen. My mind – No computer? You no longer have a life. What are you going to do? The World is coming to an end.”
My mind begins to fill with thoughts of all kinds. Slowly I’m returning to insanity – did I do this, did I do that, try it again, and again. Suddenly, the owner of the place I volunteer, a cat rescue/adoption center, asks if I can come in. I immediately stop what I’m doing and start walking. However, all they way there my mind is still spinning about my computer.
The owner is there profusely thanking me for coming in to help. We begin the rituals to clean up the shop and cat area from the day before. As I’m concluding my activities, saying goodbye to the various kittens, younglings and adults (‘cus that is what I do when I leave – they have feelings too!), the owner asks a word of me. For the next thirty minutes we talk about addiction and recovery – how I got here, how I’m doing and my plans for the future.
She tells me about her past – her experiences with people both in recovery and active addiction. I get a sense of regret from her she couldn’t or can’t do more. I explain to her by giving us the opportunity to work here, she is doing more than she knows, so I explain what just happened in the morning. After our in depth discussion she was going to look at some old laptops she had sitting in the closet, “..because I have no idea why there are still there.”
Later in the afternoon, I remembered my roommate just purchased a used monitor gaming system. His old monitor was sitting on my dresser, so I borrowed it for a brief moment. After plugging in the HDMI cable and switching to an external monitor the computer functions properly.
The point here is my alcoholic mind can twist and turn things into an unbelievable nightmare of a day, if I choose to let it. Yet when I use the spiritual tools of Alcoholics Anonymous, particularly a belief in a Higher Power, things tend to work out just fine – if I let them!
This is how Alcoholics Anonymous works in my life.