My iPod died last week, so I was forced to use my smartphone more. The fact that I refer to my phone as a smartphone tells you I’m not completely comfortable with it, whereas I was all about my iPod. I’ve had three of them, and I hope to get my current one fixed. Until then, I found myself without a sobriety calculator, and I got the free Sobriety Clock on the Google Play Store.
While I liked my other app (which also had AA’s daily reflection), I really like this one. It’s not because of the hours and minutes, though that interests my oldest son; it’s that it opens up and says, “Hello, my name is Robert, and I’m an alcoholic.” It’s a good reminder every day that I’m still in the fight.
Interestingly, I’ve moved away from AA over the last two weeks, and I’ve completely stopped going to after-care at my rehab facility. The latter decision came after going one evening that discovering that I really didn’t fell much better about sobriety…or anything, for that matter. The after-care group is large, and there’s no time for me to get to know anyone. We go around, do a check-in, and then the leader tackles problems that people put out during their shares. There’s no way to help everyone in an hour. At the end, I had to scoot out the door to pick up my son from karate, and then the rest of the night was a hectic mess of supper, baths, and rushing to get children to bed. After-care caused stress for me, so I dropped it.
I’m not going to drop AA, but I’m re-thinking my notion of getting involved in service right now. It’s a nice notion and all, but I work full-time and have two small children, a wife, and passions to pursue. In other words, I have an active life all around me, a fact to which I’m awakening more and more each day. It’s nice to talk with other alcoholics, but it’s also nice to have dinner with my family, watch some TV, play Star Wars figures with my youngest son, and blast away monsters on the Xbox with my oldest son. It’s nice to talk in bed with my wife after a long day; it’s good to eat as a family, even though fiascos occur reguarly. That’s life, and I’m doing it sober.
This is all to say that it’s good not to think about character defects, sobreity, and the Steps all the time. It’s good to feel normal.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m drawing closer to Buddhist principles and applying them to my life. I’m meditating. I plan to finish the Steps with my sponor, but I don’t know after that. Yesterday, I spoke to a woman in recovery who attends AA meetings when she feels the need to be around other alcoholics. She doesn’t have a home group, and she’s not involved in service. She has three children, works, and goes to school, all while staying sober.
When I told my sponor about viewing my sobriety through the lens of Buddhism, he said, “If that helps you stay sober, then do it.” I certainly wasn’t looking for permission, but it was nice to hear him say that. One of the Buddha’s main notions is the idea of impermence and change, and I agree. I’m open-minded to the future, so I may surprise myself and get involved in service after a while. Or I may become someone who drops into AA for a boost. I don’t know, and I don’t have to know. The present is what matters.
As far as the present goes, I’ve been sober for 120 days. I plan to put my sober head on the pillow tonight and do my best again tomorrow. Good enough for me.