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nobody but the addicted ones know how sad a disease alcoholism is. somebody once said "alcoholism is a great 'remover'. it can remove your job, your house, your wife, children even."
You have to be stubborn not to forgive others, but you have to be crazy not to forgive yourself. You were there… were you maliciously wrong?
Could you have done it all differently, you would have. My self-will alone drove me down. Too often choosing the, ‘easier softer way’, sometimes at the worst possible time. Self-destructive compulsion. That’s a sin… I missed the mark. So what? I forgive myself. Onward and upward!
Alcoholics are the most blaming people in the world. It’s part of the disease, to find fault. The spiritual problem is a giant indulgent negativity.

We want our wives back, our lives restored. We wish to be absolved of sin.
We can hardly bear that people can’t understand that we were in the grips of a powerful incurable disease. Do people in our culture divorce their cancerous spouses?

First of all I have to sort out in my own lonely and fearful skull full of furies and confusion just how much fault I can own up to for devoting so much time, energy and money to the pursuit of feeling better.

I can easily assess how much shame and secrecy I felt; the number of times in a sober moment in contemplating the first drink of the day. I often
Would remember the line in the Bible “ God will forgive you ‘seven times seventy’ times for your transgressions.” And I was pretty sure I had used them all up. Certainly I had used all the pardons my wife was capable of.

Anyway, as far as the outside world is concerned, I must take my medicine like a man. I am cut off from the life I had, the ‘who’ I was, husband, father, community servant… artist. Am I entitled to any bitterness? No. Life goes on and I go on praising it.

So, to surrender fully to this disease includes letting go of all resentments; even against my own self. This is how we can consciously carve out a new life. Hang on to nothing; everything that is past is gone except the effects, most of which dissolve with time. I have today to make amends. The only way I have to regain my innocence until the ‘magic’ works. But I am the angry man who buried the hatchet but still remembers where it is. I can forgive myself only if I am sincerely sorry and confess it.

I have the future to think of and dwelling on the past always makes me angry with myself. The errors of the past are riddled with passivity. My active efforts, however, still support me. I build on that. I don’t give up.
Also, I forgive everyone for everything, let’s get on with it, and perform stupendously creative work for the common good and leave the world better than we found it, if we can. If we can’t, at least we tried.

just in case you're wondering… on may 21 i will celebrate four years of recovery. that is four years without a drink or any other mind altering substance. it's a miracle.

IN THE HAND OF GOD
peace and forgiveness
I_ArtMan