Surviving a breakup
by Chris C.
The ‘we’ in Step one is helping me survive a painful breakup without resorting to alcohol and drugs.
When I was active in letting my disease run my life, I always felt a prevailing sense of loneliness and isolation. I had always, as far back as I can remember, felt isolated and different from everyone else around me. In time, this led to complete physical and, more painfully, emotional isolation.
I did not feel I had a way to discuss how I was truly feeling and what I was truly experiencing with anyone around me. For a long time, the only thing that ever truly relieved the absolute dread and terror of emotional isolation was the bottle and drugs. Then those stopped working.
I was at the precipice of the tallest cliff overlooking the deepest pit. By the grace of my higher power, which I call God, I was given the opportunity to surrender and a new door called sobriety opened.
Honesty, for the early part of my sobriety, simply meant not lying. This was in and of itself an incredibly daunting task. My entire life had been built up around lies: lying about school, lying about what I was doing, lying about who I was with. I lied to my parents, family, friends, romantic partners and, most tragically, myself.
But when I admitted Step One it opened a door that has led to tremendous changes in my life, a new way of dealing with the pain caused this recent romantic breakup with a woman I really loved.
At age 26, I am in the absolute worst emotional pain I have experienced sober. Pain can open doors, though, and that is what happened at a recent First Step meeting in the Uptown House suite (sweet). I now understand the ‘we’ and ‘honesty’ of the First Step and am hanging onto it for all I am worth.
I am at a point in my life where I can come into AA, reach out to any one of you, friend or stranger or newcomer, and look you in the eyes and say “I am not okay.”
I can sit in that suite (sweet) and just let myself feel. I can be completely transparent to you. I need not worry about judgement, rejection, or shifty looks. I do not have to do any of this alone. All of you, literally every single one of you, are the only ones helping me overcome my feelings of hopelessness and pain. You give me hope for the future, for a good life.
I now realize I do not have to endure this painful breakup alone. I never have to be alone again because I have AA, I have you.
I have faith that all of you will always be there for me. In the darkest of times, I know I can always come to any AA meeting in any city or state in the country, and I can just cry and say that “I am not okay” and you will understand.
Nothing can make me give this up.
My sponsor told me, “You know Chris, sometimes it is completely okay not be okay.”
He’s correct, I can make it through this breakup without using. I never again have to take a drink to escape or numb or hide from my painful feelings. I never again have to experience the bad things in life, the bad feelings or thoughts alone.
My AA ‘family’ has truly shown me what it means to be part of God’s love. I am so grateful to have all of you in my life. Thank you.