July 31 – Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Spiritual Exercises and the Twelve Steps   

An amazing connection. Thank you Catholic Alcoholic!

Catholic Alcoholic

Saint-Ignatius-Loyola1I have the book: The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. I’d tried to read it, study it, and bounce around in it. Then I’d put it away, not ever able to really “get into” it like I’d hoped. I purchased it years ago hoping to get inspiration and understanding about myself and my relationship with God. But the book was over my head.  I couldn’t sustain my interest long enough to really incorporate the exercises into my life in any meaningful way.

I remember thinking, “I wish there was a “Spiritual Exercises” for Dummies book I could read.  I laughed at this thought when I considered that’s basically what the 12 Steps are! Spiritual Exercises for Dummies.

But that didn’t satisfy me either. The 12 Steps were too simplified. And truthfully, they relate only to a small part of the vast Exercises. I wanted the meat of…

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about face

30 days.

Of rigorous honesty and soul searching.  With myself and those close to me.

Of sobriety.

It’s a new beginning.  And an ending.

Blessings in disguise.

With each passing day, I am more and more relieved to be done at the cheese shop.  Not proud of the exit but it was a much-needed and overdue humbling.  It has brought me to the place where I can say without a doubt that alcohol no longer has any place in my life.

Worth the price.  The shame.  The humiliation.

Leaving behind the walk-in full of alcohol.  The liquor store next door.

The constant references to alcohol as in “What wine would go with this cheese?”.

The Friday and  Saturday happy hours before closing.

Being the punching bag for the owner’s frustrations.

It was all worth it.

I have been working part-time since the start of April at a natural food store.  Worked there as a buyer and wellness consultant for 11 years prior to the cheese shop.  Last week the owner called me in to the office and asked if I would be interested in a full-time position.

It feels like I’ve come home.

Only He can turn the garbage into gold.

 

a cringeworthy surrender

Saturday June 17, 2017

I arrived to work at the shop and was told to leave.

Monday June 19, 2017

I arrived to work….  and was “terminated”.

Tuesday June 20, 2017

I left it all behind me.

For however long the Lord sees fit to give me life.

I’m finally ready to own up to it.  To write about it.

That case of wine in just 4 days….my first binge.

And my last.

It will be my last only if I can change my constitution.  From what the Big Book describes as being “constitutionally incapable” of being honest with myself to one of raw and brutal, face to face look in the mirror truth-seeking.

And God’s grace.  Although I must be runnin’ low in that account.

The following is an excerpt from one of my earlier posts…one that has almost ended up in the trash countless times because of the denial embedded within it.  I’m glad I saved it- so I can contemplate my own BS as difficult as it is to read through.

“I’ve been reflecting on why it was that my drinking was much worse before I first became sober…  when I started drinking again, after nine years sobriety, there was not the progression I had so often heard of in A.A .   Even though my tolerance did remain high, I didn’t drink anywhere near to the extent that I had in the past.”

Yeah well.

The progression has arrived and it’s apparently made up for lost time.  One of my many “yets” has become my reality.

I really couldn’t believe the total and absolute loss of control.

I do now.

It’s over.  I surrender.

It’s true.

 It takes what it takes….and then some.