The Hole in Your Soul

by Bill Brenner on January 3, 2011

A lot of changes to my program of sobriety and abstinence are under way, and I feel like I’m running on nuclear power. Last night was my first Big Book Step Study meeting, which is quite different from the speaker-discussion meetings I’m used to. It only took me a few seconds to realize why I had to be there.

Mood music:

A lot of times when someone sobers up or stops binge eating, it’s a white-knuckle experience.

It’s not just because you’re missing your junk and the momentary feeling it gives you. It’s because the hole in your soul — the thing that drove you to addiction in the first place — is still there. If you don’t deal with that hole, you might stay clean for a year or two. But sooner or later, you’ll fall right back into the old, insidious patterns.

Speaker-discussion meetings are a vital tool for the initial clean-up. You can’t start working on the hole until you stop the addictive behavior. It did me a ton of good and I still need to go to those events, but it’s no longer enough. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is all about dealing with the hole, and studying it more closely is a must if I’m going to stay clean.

Studying the pages will also pull me deeper into the meaning of working the 12 Steps.

I also have a new sponsor starting this week. Instead of me simply telling him my plan of eating for the day, we’ll talk about the deeper issues at the heart of sobriety and abstinence. I’m looking forward to it.

My life is full of Blessings. This program is the one that allowed for everything else.

I’m glad I’m starting to take it more seriously.

A guy at last night’s meeting noted that there are two types of addicts:

–The type who is doomed and DOESN’T KNOW IT, and

–The type that’s doomed and KNOWS IT.

The latter type has a better chance of escaping that fate, because in knowing you’re headed for disaster you might be willing to take action. I’m glad I was that type.

I had an advantage: Several years of brutal therapy for OCD. The tools I had to develop to manage that are a lot like those you need to clean up. And it was all about identifying the hole in my soul.

It’s still there, but I think it’s getting smaller all the time.

Because I keep working on it.

I’ll have to until the day I die.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Christy January 3, 2011 at 8:26 am

Looks like you are doing a lot of honest looking at yourself and knowing what you need to help yourself and that is great. It must be a great feeling. Glad you are stretching to work on that hole. I was thinking of when you said you will be working on it until the day you die. Our friend Father Nason used to say all the time, “When you’re done, you’re dead.” I guess he was done and he sure did a great job. Thanks so much for sharing so much of your personal struggles and growth. It is inspiring.

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