I’m still close enough to active alcoholism that I fantasize every once in a while about how nice it’d be to be able to go out for an evening and enjoy a couple of glasses of wine like some people can and do on a Saturday night. And I’m far enough away from it to look back sometimes and wonder – how did I do it? How did I manage to polish off four bottles of wine a day, every day, for years? There’s so much more to life and it’s so much better today sober.
This is what calm in sobriety looks like.
A friend of mine has relapsed. We met last May in Hazelden and at the time, she had five days of sobriety on me. I’ll have one year this upcoming Thursday and she’s back in treatment, attending intensive outpatient three days a week. I don’t know how much sober time she has, but it’s not much. And I can tell. Her correspondence reveals someone who refuses to acknowledge the truths in her life. She told me her husband is leaving her, and then she told me she’ll believe it when she sees it. She expressed no sorrow or remorse but acted as though he’d threatened clean the kitchen.
I don’t know if she is blatantly in denial or if she is incapable right now of seeing things for what they are. And there’s nothing I can do. Every time I hear from her, I’m reminded of how sick her thinking is.
I wouldn’t wish addiction on anyone. It’s the most drawn out, destructive, twisted, evil, deceitful, and self-harming thing that exists in the world. It’s not a disease. It’s a tragic mental, physical, and spiritual illness that has a cure. As I trudge the road of becoming a life coach, I’m trying to create the magic question. I’ve got to find a handful of words and form them into something meaningful that will arouse curiosity in my clients about their own lives. I plan to use this same question with everyone. It’ll look something like What can you do to begin replacing your addiction with the things that you value most?
The question has to be an attention grabber. What would I want a coach to ask me if I were still in the throes? I think something like what I wrote above would get my attention. Or any of these: What does your ideal life look like? What’s the best question I can ask you right now? If you could pull the answer to solving your addiction out of a black magic hat, what would the answer be?