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Moment of Clarity

My recovery is nothing I did and everything God did. Certainly, I had nothing to cause the moment when delusion receded just enough for me to get a fleeting glimpse of truth. This was grace, pure and simple.

My ego was my amigo for many years. I achieved success in the world of money power and prestige. But here I was age 47, unemployed and broke, seemingly paralyzed to take any action to look for work. I had no energy for much of anything besides drinking cheap wine, smoking expensive marijuana and watching stupid TV programs for hours on end. Looking back, I can see that ego had finally run out of gas.

Even though my drinking had progressed, I never thought alcohol was a problem. After all, my last drunk driving arrest was more than 19 years earlier. I had been through divorce, bankruptcy and recent job loss, but in my mind these things happen to most people. Don’t they? As my checking account dwindled I awoke every morning with an ache of fear in my gut. I read many self-help books, but nothing changed. I know today that I was beyond human help.

I went to a therapist to find out why I was such a wreck. After I finished whining about my life for 30 minutes she said she couldn’t help me. Her exact words were, “from what I know about you Jeff you don’t have an ounce of humility in your whole body; your brain is so cloudy from your daily drinking that you can’t hope to get any clarity on your life and, by the way, I think you have the emotional maturity of a 13-year-old.” The voices in my head were screaming "you can't let this bitch talk to you like this" but somehow I was able to keep my mouth shut. Then she looked me in the eyes like she was looking at my soul and said, “you’re in trouble aren’t you Jeff?” I looked down at my feet afraid to answer. Finally, I whispered, “maybe.” For the first time in my life I admitted there was something I couldn’t handle. Without knowing it I had just taken the first step.