Living Clean

beach drSobriety. The word that seemed so daunting to me 30 years ago when I first heard it. You mean people can live without alcohol? But it’s my best friend.

Got sober. Worked the steps. Made amends. Helped others stay sober. Found a Higher Power, discovered that He is God! Lived sober – been living without alcohol for 30 years. Now it’s easy, right?


Only through the grace of God each day can I, an addict, choose to live for Him and with Him and miraculously He is in me. Some days I get myself out of the way enough to actually see Jesus working through me to be with others. Some days, I wrestle with Helen and her selfishness all day. Sigh.

Because I am an addict I switch addictions. I have not had a drink in 30 years, but I have found other ways to escape, to run, to self medicate. I have never liked to live in the middle, where things are calm (although I claim all I want is peace). I like the highs and lows, the RUSH of the buzz that comes from whatever addiction I pick: food, shopping …

In the Spring I made a commitment to my family to address my spending habits and stop buying things just for fun. Just to feel the pleasure of the hunt, the excitement of the find, the thrill of the purchase. I had to stop spending money. Shoving the excitement of shopping into the God shaped hole never works, no matter how many times we try.
It’s been 4 months of living without shopping compulsively and maybe this is the first time in my life I have actually lived truly clean. I have leaned on God a lot, sometimes I felt Him hold me up, sometimes I just had to trust He was there because I could not feel Him.

Can I learn to feel deeply the pleasure of resting in God’s presence, the excitement of a new spiritual truth, the thrill of receiving Jesus at the Mass? Will it be enough? I miss the rush….

I believe this is the path out of darkness, into the light of Truth. I have walked this path so many times before, it seems embarrassing to be on this same path, AGAIN. Isn’t there a better one?

It is the only path that leads to Heaven. Even though we stumble a million times in our lives, we can get back on the path,  the path to holiness, although it doesn’t seem like it. Stumble, get back up, move forward. But maybe each time we move forward a little more, and that makes God smile. Even if forward is an inch, it’s the getting back up and seeking God.

Three steps: rest in God’s Presence (pray), keep learning about God, receive the Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist. Sobriety is lived in Simplicity.

Keep it Simple, Stupid. (AA slogan) It’s a KISS from God.

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