37 years ago, when I first started payin’ attention to all the recovery jargon, I was sure one of the so-called “promises” had come true long before I ever drew a sober breath.
And that promise was being relieved of the “fear of financial insecurity.” The Big Book, at least the way it was read when it was read aloud, said this torment will “leave us.”
And I thought, “It must’ve left me before I was born.”
Coz I’ve been financially insecure all my life and I can’t recall a moment when it scared me.
Not when The Old Man lost the house. Not when Mom freaked out every time she ran out of cash a full week before payday.
And, believe me, that happened a lot. More often than not, to the point I would’ve thought solvency abnormal if I had any idea what it was.
Solvency. Security. None of it meant anything to me. We worked, struggled, screamed, ripped and tore at each other till we made it…somehow…we, with one exception, made it to that point of profound and unbearable despair where surrender was our only chance. Unconditional, white flagged, water boarding is better than the way we’ve been enduring, surrender.
I, for one, was relieved and amazed I accepted the hand up.
I didn’t believe them when they said, “Glad you’re here.”
I didn’t know how to handle the pats on the back.
I would’ve preferred a couple of kicks in the teeth.
These folks scared the shit out of me but I had no where else to go.
Besides, The Old Man was there actin’ nothin’ like he used to act.
He had changed. And I kinda liked him bein’ round.
The people carin’ bout me made me care about them.
They said, “That’s how the program works.”
And, without knowin’ it at first, I started workin’ the program. I started to listen to and believe most of what the folks who came before me had to say. Most of what that book had to say.
Except that part about “fear…of economic insecurity.”
When called to speak, I always said, “I have always been short of funds, money wise shaky, but never afraid of poverty.”
And I never was…till lately.
Today, I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to come up with monies promised for tomorrow.
I drove the highway bangin’ on the steerin’ wheel shoutin’, “Dumb fuck. You’re such a dumb fuck.”
I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been booze and drug free well over half my life now and, while I’ve never come to think of myself as one of the so-called “winners,” today was the first time in a long, long time I’ve called myself a “Fuckin’ Loser.”
And I felt like a loser. 37 years workin’ “a program,” filled with self pity, the “I want what I want when I want” it’s, scared shitless I’m gonna end up homeless, and almost cryin’ at the thought of goin’ broke…
Now, I get it.