"I'm worried about you," Rosa said over the phone last night. "You haven't been to A.A. in over a week and you went like clockwork for months."
"I'm fine," I said, trying to reassure her. "I don't feel the urge to drink these days."
I had also gotten a call earlier in the evening from my A.A. friend, Wanda, worried about the same thing. I assured her, as well, that I was okay. Amazingly, I just don't want to drink. I don't want to feel like crap anymore and I have come too far to fall back into that pit of despair.
Yesterday, I was standing in Fat Albert's convenience store, buying my beloved smoked and pickled hot sausages. I passed by the beer cooler and my old favorites leapt out like beacons in the night to greet me. Coors Light. Milwaukee's Best Ice Beer. Miller High Life. It didn't even faze me and for once in my life I didn't stop, longingly, to look at something that was such an integral part of my life for years and something that almost destroyed it. My stomach did a flip-flop thinking about drinking that swill. My old reaction would have been to start salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs.
So many aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous just didn't suit my tastes – especially, the extremely cult-like manifestations that emanated from the program. Yes, there are lifers. I've met my fair share of them. I just don't think I am going to be one of those folks. I took what I needed from Alcoholics Anonymous and left the rest. Now, it is time for me to leave as well and move on.
"Why did you never go to Narcotics Anonymous?" I then asked Rosa.
"When I got out of detox and was over the withdrawals, I never looked back," Rosa said. "I didn't want to die and I was going to die smoking that shit. I just didn't feel the need to smoke crack any longer."
"Fear can be a powerful motivator," I mused.
"Fear of death was more powerful than the fear of God."
I always used to be so amazed at Rosa's strength when dealing with her addiction. Now, I am finding that same strength within me as well. Life's future sure is looking brighter and brighter each and every day.