Thursday, January 20, 2005


I made it back in. I was out until Sunday. I don't think I got drunk more than 8 or 10 times, but another day or two and I think I would have been lost for a long time. I was back to the same despair, suicidal, feeling of worthlessness, regrets, shame, the works. Tonight I'm going to my 11th meeting since Sunday.

I've asked myself if this blog was part of what led me to relapse. As long as I use it to express myself to myself, and not as a substitute for meetings and other contact, maybe there's no harm. That's what I'm trying right now.

The overwhelming feeling I've had is fear. I started my job as a mortgage broker. I have to sell at least two loans to close in February, or I'll be let go. It's 100% commission, so I'll also be broke. I'm deep in debt, tapped out. I'll have to sell the house, which I had wanted to hold onto for my son. But, since he's in another city with my wife now, it makes no sense to keep it. I hate the house, actually, and I want to sell it. But the market is weak and I prefer to wait for the spring nudge so I can get something from it other than repaying the mortgage. I'm counting pennies and sweating bullets.

I've explained to my wife that I don't have any money to send, but she keeps telling me I have to send her money, I have an obligation. I know I have an obligation, I want to support my son, and as soon as I have some money I'll send it. I simply don't have any money. Why can't she understand that? Besides, what happened to the $20,000 cash she had two months ago???

Anyway, my fear -- I fear the consequences of failure, but at the same time I have to face my fear of getting on the phone to talk to people, to sell, that I need to do to succeed. That has always been hard for me -- indeed, I've never succeeded at sales. I know I can do this, it really is what I want to do, yet I get tangled up in my own fears and what-ifs and insane sense that I deserve to fail, I'm worthless and whoever I'm talking to will know it instantly and have contempt for me. (Needless to say, that's never what actually happens.) I'm not one of these telemarketing mortgage dudes -- these are people I've talked with face-to-face, and they want to talk to me! Yet the fear and insanity remain...

And I've learned -- had to learn, very quickly -- a whole other dimension of "one day at a time," and how it relates to Step Three, where I slammed into the resistance of my self-will before going back out. One day at a time isn't just how I don't drink -- it's how I have to live my life. I have to turn my will and my life over to God every minute of every day, and let His power control my thoughts, my words, my actions. It's the only way I can push my self-will aside -- the self-will that drives me to despair, failure, uselessness, and paralysis by worry about the future -- so that my mind, my body and my mouth do, right now, the things I need to do so that I can get myself back on my feet. If I can quit worrying about what will or won't or might or might not happen in the future, I can be free to do the right thing today, and let God take care of the future. Otherwise I will procrastinate until I am assured of failure.

It's a very difficult thing for me to do. I've spent a good part of the last couple days procrastinating. Again, I'm trying to forget about that, too. All I have is right now. I know what I need to do in the next 24 hours. I pray that God will guide me, my words, my thoughts, my actions, and take away my fears and protect me from my self-will, so that I can and will do the things that He wants me to do.


At 1/21/2005 12:53:00 PM, Blogger K said...

Phil, I'm so glad to see you back. I'm really pullin for you and will keep you in my prayers. God loves all of us and is with us whenever we ask him, in all the troubles we get ourselves into. When I hit struggles I go to the back of my bible (in the concordance) and look up every word that to relates to the trouble I'm having, then find all the verses that really hit me and type them all out. I find it a great and calming reminder to keep a copy with me, it draws me so much closer to Him. I'm sure you have enough people telling you their "helpful idea's", but we share a struggle to remain close to God. This is one of my favorite ways besides my church and all its bible studies. Hope that can be of some help to you.


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