I knew I needed to quit drinking. I needed to get the monkey off my back. It was complicating my life and making it miserable.
It really was like having a live monkey on my back, all that day-in, day-out craving for the next drink. Most people couldn’t see me and my monkey but we were everywhere I went.
But they could see what the monkey was doing to me. The way I looked. The curiously large number of problems I had. The debts piling up. The lies and embarrassing behavior. Serious monkey.
Fast forward through thirty some years of sobriety and I’m sitting in a meeting. I’m listening to a young man talk about how he used the program to clear the resentments from his mind and give himself a chance at a whole new life. Even though he has no desire to drink or use drugs today, he comes to meetings, like I do, to learn how to live.
“The monkey’s off my back,” he said, “but the circus is still in town.”
Boy can I relate to that. All the things I used to think I had to drink over are still in town. Life was still a circus.
But slow me down.
Is it such a bad thing, this circus? I’m not a child any more. I’m not afraid of the clowns anymore. Because of spiritual progress (not perfection…not yet, anyway) I now see the circus (life on earth) as it was intended to be seen. Pure entertainment. The clowns (other people) weren’t sent here to scare me or make me angry.
They are here for my amusement. I never dreamed I could see life this way. Thank you L!
Each day I seek though prayer and meditation to maintain my appreciation for the greatest show on earth. To enjoy life. Enjoy, not just tolerate.
Not just cope. It’s not just that demoralizing goal of going into therapy to “learn coping skills.”
No, there’s laughter in these meetings.
I don’t go see my favorite comedian so I can cope with his jokes. Or so that I can accept him.
Those used to be the high bar for me. The best I could hope for: coping and acceptance. But now I see that the bar was actually low.
I mean, everybody’s laughing.
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