How do I keep swimming? Sometimes I just don’t know. I am embedded in a reversal process, unlearning all  my self-destructive patterns. AA and the gratitude I feel for it seems to slowly rewire my thoughts. I am able to transition from feeling that my world is collapsing around me, to feeling OK again within a day or two (as opposed to weeks or months, like when I was drinking). My “problems” are still there, but they no longer swallow me up. It reminds me of that scene in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, in which all Jim Carey’s surrounding elements burst into blackness, one by one, leaving him alone and exposed in a black hole with no protection. Just like that, my external environment can evaporate and I exist solely in the recesses of my mind, the “problem” magnified to such an extent that it is my only thought my obsession. No exit…

…Until I practise what I’ve been taught in AA. Pick up the phone. Write an email. Write an inventory. Look at my part. Pray and work at removing my character defects. Go to a meeting. Remind myself This too shall pass. Feel what I’m feeling and don’t run away, conscious that all this makes me stronger, flexes those under-developed emotional muscles that I need to cope with adversity. Be aware of the lesson being presented to me. And maybe most importantly, for me, evaluate my HALT status. Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. If any of these components are ignored I am guaranteed to feel off balance. Address this. Do something about it.

When I do all these things the results truly astound me. I find my feet moving to where I need to be (whether it be work, social, or a meeting) and HP takes care of the rest.