Sep 30: Never Say Never

Never Say Never

“Never say Never”, this topic says a few things for me…. First off when I first became sober, it was very difficult for me to say that I would never drink again. I knew that I heard people share about relapsing, and this really scared me an early sobriety. My sponsor assured me that this would never have to happen to me if I chose to work steps, invite HP into my life on a daily basis, follow some program suggestions and practice these principles in all of my affairs.

Today, I celebrate my 20 yr. anniversary with AA, I can say I have no plans to drink. I need to keep coming back to meetings, invite HP into my life on a daily basis, I still work very closely with a sponsor and try to do service work whenever I can. This allows me a daily spiritual reprieve and to be able to say today I choose not to drink.

That’s one way of looking at never say never, for me even today, I can’t say that I will never drink again. When I get into the mind set of I’m safe, is probably when I most vulnerable–so I keep coming back!!

But for me, when I was thinking about this topic and I came up with “never say never” I was thinking about all the times and especially recently not having an open mind to new experiences and closing the door on old experiences.

As many of you know six months ago I was in a major car accident. This wasn’t the first time that somebody used my bumper to stop their car. Needless to say this time around (with some pretty strong PTSD, I went into that close minded I can almost say alcoholic thinking that I am never going to drive again.

Many people said to me, “never say never Jennifer, you will be driving again, you just need to have faith and build your confidence”.

How many times did I hear that in early recovery, “Jennifer, all you need to do is find your higher power and invited into your life on a daily basis and have faith, even if it’s blind faith, and just don’t drink today”.

This experience with the car accident I’ve had many spiritual awakenings, and one of them was how strong I believed I would never drive again. I said it with all intent and conviction.

Through the support and love of my sponsor, my network, and prayer to my higher power and faith, I did start driving again about 2 weeks ago. It’s not always comfortable, I still have a lot of fear driving, however, if I want freedom then I need to have faith that I will be okay. After all, I think of it like this:

In order for me not to drink today, I have to protect myself against outside influences … or even inside influences … I do this by having a daily plan. I invite HP in my life, work the steps and practice these principles in all my affairs. It is not a 100 percent guarantee that I won’t drink today, but the odds are good I won’t. The same with driving, I have a plan before I drive … I pray to HP, drive much more defensively and have faith that I will be ok. I am not guaranteed this, but it makes it more likely I am protected (if that makes any sense at all).

“Never say never” could be a catch 22. When I talk with people who are looking for recovery (I work in the field) I even say to them when sharing and they asked me what success rate, I would say it’s up to the person and how much they want recovery. I go on to say that even though I have 20 years, I can’t say that I’ll never drink again.

What I can say is that I know for sure that I’m not going to drink today. And what I’ve learned through my experience with this car accident, as are a lot of things that I never thought I’d be able to do again. I thought I wouldn’t drive again, It was not 100 percent sure I would gain my right leg strength back as much as I did and so on….”Never say Never!!”

It’s too concrete, it’s too final, and if I’m not on my toes and I’m not careful then I may slip up on a wonderful experience, close the door on old experiences that still have lessons or even worse get complacent and possibly drink again.

Thanks for allowing me to share, thanks for all your ESH, and thanks for being a part of my journey and helping me stay sober today and especially to all those who help me get back into my van again. Yes it’s scary, but I enjoy the freedom, and I enjoy wanting and needing to connect with my HP on a daily basis.