Here is my story. I started off in rehab, then followed a wonderful year of recovery, including a complete working of the steps, the removal of the obsession to drink, and life becoming managable again.
Fast forward to now, where it is becoming "hard", despite still committed to recovery.
For the first year I did things like pray, read daily, go to a lot of meetings, not make a huge deal out of things, and kept my schedule simple. Now I have taken on a job of 40 hours a week, 16 hours of class, and a excercise routine that consumes every day of the week. Rarely do I get more than 5 hours of sleep, I am only going to 2 meetings a week, my sponsor and I found different interests and no longer communicate, and I am exhausted and drained "all the time."
The positive things though, through all this pain, and living life on life's terms are, I am financially more stable than I've ever been, I am getting along with others drastically better, the humility level has really grown, and it is overall a great life.
I am wondering if I took on too much this year though? For you experienced guys, is it alright that meetings aren't the most important thing in the day? Work demands I manage a lot, and my employer really appreciates and benefits from my time at their place of business. School on the other hand is the main source of drain and resentment in my life currently. For too many reasons to mention, I am simply not happy there, and all that resentment leaves me with little energy to do quality work.
From the lack of understanding and hardline grading system of the institution I attend, it really is taking me to an unhealthy place in my recovery.
The major I have is also one where most people inside it are not "spiritual" and ofcourse money is the reason behind all the practices they do to earn a living. I don't see much freedom in this profession (it is in the legal industry), and I don't really find many attractive or positive characters in that industry either.
I have to remind myself that staying alcohol-free is my purpose in life. Just today I had to fight hiding that fact that I don't drink, when a person who wants to get to know me asked me to take her out for drinks. I didn't say anything at first, hoping it wouldn't be reality, lol, because it certainly did affect me getting laid tonight, lol, but it was the truth, I don't drink, even if it means missing out on sex with someone I really could get to grow with and maybe even love one day.
I take four classes, and one class the guy is clearly overworked, lazy, and expects us to do all the work, without prior examples or teaching on how to do so. It's one of those old school practices where the person tells you to do something you have no clue how to do, then judges you on how well you did. I can't get past the fact that I am paying to be taught, but then being forced to teach myself, the guy doesn't even teach us how to do it right after he gives us a bad grade.
The program adverstised itself as this great program but after being in it for two years now, it is crap, and hasn't enhanced my life at all. The only thing it's really provided me with is a worse outlook and attitude about the legal system in America, lots of examples of how legal professionals are all stressed out, tired, and way to prone to blowing unimportant things into "big deals", and I'm ready to quit.
I actually probably will quit, and I am concerned at how even in sobriety my attitude has become more pessimistic, about a certain area of life, even when it started off optimstic.
Fear is generating the question? What do I do know? I still have my job, I still like my job, and I still like my working out, and am very good at working out, and I still have my purpose. I needed to post this so I could see, my ego could see, that I do not have a God given purpose to earn well in the legal community. I don't exactly have "good moral character" a necessity most bar associations look for, and I've always lacked the patience reading requires or the mental competency comprehending the law requires as well.
I have to admit, money has become my priority, and I am in a delusion currently that earning money is my purpose. I know deep down to the core of my being, not drinking, as boring as that sounds, and not doing drugs, equally as boring, is my perfect purpose in this life. So why am I beating myself up so much, generally about the "failure" of not being a success in school?
If I do the steps on it, it goes like this, and please tell me if you see the same thing. I am powerless over alcohol, and my life becomes unmanagable when I use it. I know this to be a fact, and I don't need any more convincing, I have admitted that, whole heartedly, and am cool with it. Making a decision, based on earning more money, that would put stress on me that might lead to a drink, is not powerlessness, in making that decision, a decision I really was persuaded to make by those pressuring me to stop costing them money, I put myself in a position to fail. I had no business going to school so early in sobriety, and even though it gave me spending leverage, the cost spiritually has become too much. A few thousand dollars extra aren't worth drinking and dying over.
So now that I have seen my powerlessness, in where if I continue in a delusion that I can will myself to gain success in school, only doing it for money, I will more than likely drink, and to drink would be to go against the Godly purpose in my life, which is to not drink. So my alcoholism has been such a subtle foe, that it has driven me blindly to the point of now, where relief would be nice, but my education and personality after the steps knows that "nice relief" would eventually morph into an unnatural and untimely death.
God can restore the sanity necessary for me to be removed from a life where the system of education makes me miserable. Everything about education and school makes me miserable. The control, the out of date policy, the strict requirements to get the financial aid, the lazy teachers, the idealism that really doesn't translate to the real world. I am so resentful at school, something I have never been able to "grow out of", I cannot possibly learn anything that could lead to profits later. Resentment is the number one offender, and I am resentful atleast three days a week, all day, simply due to thinking about the demands of school, and I when sane, can honestly say, my God doesn't want me to be insane, from a school system that is broken and more a business than real education.
I know life is much greater when I go to meetings instead of going to class, I know life is much greater when I help the needy or the poor instead of bullshitting a teacher or submitting to a demanding professors agenda. The coldness and the neglect that most young people have these days, doesn't help also, I just don't see much point to education or going to school, but I did see the point before I got the financial aid, so I again need to tell on myself. I used the education system, for money, like the good alcoholic I am, and now that I got paid, I am bad mouthing the hand that feeds me! Still being in step two, God is showing me that I am fighting a battle here, in where I can now choose, with is blessing to do the easy thing and quit, or I can do the hard thing and stick with the plan.
Does my purpose include stress? I don't care who you are, not having the privilage to find relief from life, with alcohol, when you have in the past, correct information that it will in fact take the relief away temporarily, is hard, staying recovered and sober has been the hardest duty given to me in life. Should my purpose be a cake walk? Would a loving God include character defect in a purpose to grow close to him and not drink? Yes.
I am going to turn this school thing over to God, and I wouldn't be surprised if school all the sudden turned from a major burden to a major source of love and forgiveness.
What are the defects, since I saw that greed, and using something trying to help, was the wrong. The defect initially was delusion, I was delusional thinking my anarchist disposition could possibly respond well to traditional learning at a college campus. The hope of earning thousands blinded me to this, so I have to also remember that potential money, clouds my judgment. If you can't see by now, money for me is a God, but recovery taught me there is a kinder, gentler, more effective God, called God, that doesn't seem to pay attention much to money. I am defective because I pay way more attention to money, and earning it, than I do to God, who saves me from money killing me all the time. So I am focusing more on the killer, than the savior. Again, more delusion, and more selfishness, and more greed, and my mind is dishonest when I think that delusion, selfishness, and greed will work, if my purpose is to not drink.
I can bet that I will drink if I live in delusion, accept selfishness, and think greed to be a good thing. The opposite of delusion is clarity, and I now have the clarity to see that this has been more a learning experience that is going to be spiritually profitable rather than a way to be more flexible financially. I know my life will be good if I go to meetings, help those less fortunate than I, serve all men and women, and pay attention to the wisdom of AA and the other recovery circles. I equally know, I get negative at school, and if I am spending more time in a negative state, than a free flowing spiritual state, I have a greater chance of drinking, going against my God given purpose, of not drinking.
I have already predicted my outcome at school, I probably will fail the class with the shitty, hardline professor. I have an excellent down to earth professor in my other class, who is actually the only bright spot in this whole debacle. My other professors are cool too, but they are like me, not really into it, and it clearly is a systematic thing that is draining and not very loving or life enhancing. In the awesome professors class I probably will get a b, in the other law class I probably will get a b, and in the last class a C probably will be best. So that is an F, two B's, and a C. That is a 3, 3, 2, and a 0 the weight of the one b is 3, the other b is 2, the C is 3, and the F is 3. So the scale possibility is 4,3,4,4. The first 4 is 3, the second four is a 2, and the third 4 is 0. The first 3 is a 2. 3 + 2 + 0 + 2. So that is a terrible GPA, right around a 1.75. I have a 3.3, so that will cumulatively give me a 2.5.
Either way it is still greed, all I care about is if I have the right GPA so I can get paid again next semester! So these defects are sublte, and they run our lives like the 12 and 12 says, and unless we search tirelessly for them, and admit them, with no fear, they can kill.
So I am ready to have the greed removed, and I humble ask for God to remove it. And I am going to the store right now and going to give money away and buy things for another person.
And I am going to do inventory daily on my greed, and hope it leaves slowly more and more by the day. And I am going to meditate in the morning to God so he can show me how to handle the terrible flaw of accepting greed in my life as a purpose over my God given purpose of not drinking.
Seems rather quiet on this site lately and thought I'd start a discussion on the gifts that sobriety has brought into each of our lives. Yes, there are likely many, but if you could focus on just one to share it with the group I thought it might give hope to others and perhaps benefit the writer as well. Here's mine: the ability to endure hardships without alcohol. Over the decades that I...