After 27 years of seeking refuge in alcohol, I reached a stage where living and dying were equally abhorrent choices
My liver almost made the choice for me.
The most outstanding memory of this time was how the body and spirit were nearly dead, yet the ego was as powerful as ever. I went to AA to prove to my girlfriend that it wouldn’t work for me.
But not at first…
My experience was that of trial and more trial, and lots of error.
After two and a half years of the most excruciating public humiliation (and daily spewing) I decided to turn my will and my life over to the care of a Higher Power and since THEN I haven’t had another fucking drink.
But how to understand Higher Power after such a long time of self-reliance and God-denial?
AS IF I had been walking around Trafalgar Square looking for Lord Nelson, I came into good fortune whilst looking in a shop for nothing in particular except to waste time.
The flyer on the counter described Meditation classes on next Thursday night. I went, and my life changed.
Firstly, at last! The Buddha’s had found me!
The meditation helped me to quieten those voices, monkeys, and the large South American family that had moved into my head.
And the classes on Buddha’s teachings were like nectar to my hungry, ethyl soaked pickle of a mind.
Most importantly, I had found the feeling that I needed — that the older sober members had been talking about and that was written about in the Big Book — I had the acceptance that something greater than myself could save me from this mental agony of addiction.
That’s the first thing the Buddha’s can do to relieve the suffering alcoholic — be there.
Secondly, the advice that I’d been given that I WAS THE PROBLEM was reinforced by dharma teachings.
No external influence could be blamed for my alcoholism…or for not recovering.
Thirdly, knowing that all the Buddha’s are enlightened beings that were once just like me. Samsara is for everyone!!!
That I can become spiritually whole again, as well as physically and mentally fit, comes from faith in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
In the Lamp of The Jewel Sutra Buddha says,
“Faith precedes all virtuous activities, like a mother
It protects and increases all beneficial qualities”.
Knowing that the Buddha’s are always ready and willing to help is my strength. The blessings I receive is like the ice cream on the apple pie.