Well Then, What’s the Point?

I had an interesting conversation with a woman the other day – could have been last week, last month, or last year – memory…  Anyway, the subject of dating came up, specifically how ‘challenging’ it is over 60.  A lot of us have our own homes and families; a lot of us are ‘set in our ways;’ there’s ‘political’ issues and so forth.  And on occasion there is the distance factor.  During this particular conversation it I shared with her that I was ‘alcoholic’ which drew her comment, “Oh, I could never date an alcoholic!”  Interesting… so I prodded a little deeper.

It turns out that her father, her grandfather and I think she said her sister, are/were all alcoholics.  And not very good ones from what she said.  I am still trying to get my mind wrapped around that one: exactly what is a ‘good’ alcoholic?  Interesting… so I continued to prod.

She talked about the disappointments she’s had with her father, her grandfather and her sister, their broken promises, the pain and so forth.  I can relate to that.  Then she ‘trumped’ the conversation with, “You know, once a person is alcoholic, there are other associated addictions.”  Didn’t see that one coming.  Interesting…

‘Other addictions’ are commonly referred to as ‘cross-addictions,’ and are quite common.  I have experienced cross addiction myself.  When I was flying I had to be careful about dropping quarters into the poker machines in Vegas.  When I was winning, I could feel the euphoria; when I lost I could feel the disgust, the shame and so forth.  Same process.  But there is a difference with cross-addictions when one is in recovery.  And like the program itself, it’s simple.  It’s “Awareness.”  If I am aware of my propensity for ‘cross-addiction,’ I can deal with it, whatever it is (gambling, sex, shopping, etc.)  – if I choose.  And that’s the ‘key.’  Choice.  It’s always my choice.

I don’t know why, but I was out sanding Noah’s canoe this morning when this conversation wondered back through my mind.  I have great conversations with my mind upon occasion… Anyway, I wondered: if alcoholics are “flawed” by the very nature of being alcoholic (as she was implying), then what’s the point of recovery?  If we are ‘doomed;’ predestined to jump from one addiction to another, then, what’s the point?  Then I thought of a couple facets of recovery that escaped me as she talked:  Hope and Faith.

If I didn’t have either the Hope of recovery, or the Faith that I will continue to recover, then what’s the point?  In her eyes, wouldn’t I be a better citizen by sticking a 9mm in my mouth – and pulling the trigger?  Wouldn’t I be doing all of ‘society’ a favor?

Nah, don’t like that option too much…

So, now as I head back out to (hopefully) finish sanding, I’ll pray for her… That’s the point!


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