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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Temecula, CA
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    11

    Default Playing with a Door

    It's a fire door that separates me from the raging fire of alcohol addiction. We know a few things about raging fires here in Southern California. The SMART tools and my SMART fire fighting friends helped me build a wall around that fire, a fire wall. It's hard to estimate with much certainty, but as they would report on the So. Cal. news, "the fire appears to be fully contained."


    Contained isn't out, of course. But with a good SMART wall around that fire, we should be able to prevent it from spewing embers up into the wind, jumping freeways, and setting more neighborhoods on fire. You see, before I found the good fire-fighting tools and the whole SMART fire department, I basically just knew to pray for rain. I had a bag of 12 tools, which I kept throwing on the fire, prayerfully of course, but this didn't work out as well for me as it did for other people. After several years, I decided that the miracle of rain wasn't coming to "restore me to sanity," but that waiting and hoping for a miracle was itself insanity. The drought continued and the Santa Ana winds picked up, fueling the fire, until one day I decided to give a program called SMART a chance.


    She is still alive, but trying a new approach was something that I did over my sponsor's dead body, so to speak. It was a brave, rebellious decision, given the fervor of the brainwashing I was rejecting.


    Now, after just 30 days, there is a wall around the fire. There is a fire door in the wall, and I'm on the safe side of the door. Often, I walk past the door, notice it, and keep walking. That's what I call a craving. A few times, I had real urges, where I decided (CHOSE) to go diddle with the doorknob, peek inside to see if maybe there'd been rain. Nope. Still burning. Slammed the door shut. And a few times I chose to diddle with the doorknob, stick a hand (just one drink) in the door, and sure enough, the fire wooshed upon me. Those few times were lapses, but lapses with a difference. Now I knew where to find the fire door, and did so quickly, back to the safe side.


    My wise fire fighting friends are helping me keep that door secured. Every meeting, every chat, every day reading, all these things keep adding more and more locks to the fire door. It's time to walk away from the door, and throw away the keys forever.


    And that is a bold statement. I know I'll notice the door almost everyday. I actually hope I do. I don't want to forget how bad the fire is on the ther side. But UNLESS I SO CHOOSE, I never have to diddle with that doorknob again. Breaking the locks would require a conscious effort, a PLAN, and a good deal of manipulative unhelpful thinking...it's up to me now, not the chance of rain.

    I don't want to go there anymore, beyond my fire door. Self-management! That's one key I'll keep. It fits a different door. One that leads to...I'm not sure where. I'm just peeking in right now, but it looks and feels like a really good place.

  2. #2
    LMR555's Avatar
    LMR555 is offline SMART MB Co-Liaison
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    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Southwest Fl
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    Default

    Suzc,
    Great metaphor. That is so empowering and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    Lorrie
    "Discover the Power of Choice!"

    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

    Join the team as a SMART Message Board Volunteer!! It can encourage growth and joy. Or support with a donation http://bit.ly/passthehat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    smack dab where Time begins
    Posts
    14,518

    Default

    Great post and I love the imagery, thanks for a nice read.
    Wherever you go, there you are

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,196

    Default

    Love it Suzc!

    Gen
    It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry. ~ Joe Moore

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    240

    Default

    Me too. You are a great writer! A new VACI, perhaps?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    740

    Default

    Suzc, wonderful post, thank you for writing it. And as fen said, the imagery is just fantastic!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    62

    Default

    This is a magnificent post.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Canada BC
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Great story suzc

  9. #9

    Default

    Suzc- Hi. I haven't met you yet, but being a fellow firefighter, I love the parallelisms you made to the activities of fires. Great job on your success!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2,716

    Default

    Beautiful, Suz! I think you have hit the nail on the head!
    What an inspiration you are! <3

  11. #11

    Default

    Suzc,

    Great post. I can totally relate to this!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    963

    Default

    So glad I found this to read, Suz! I have goosebumps. Wonderful story of your success!
    “There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    993

    Default

    Great metaphor for addiction. Congrats on 30 days. Good job.
    Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. Mother Teresa

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    14

    Default

    This was wonderful, I totally relate. thank you!

  15. #15

    Default

    Wow. Just wow.

    You have managed to change my understanding of addiction in one page of text. That is awesomely powerful stuff. You have articulated a past, present, and future in one page! I am truly taken aback. I guarantee that this metaphor could be a large help more many people's lives - many people have difficulty simply defining addiction, but you took that a step further. You made a pact with yourself, and have shown people who really need to see someone take that leap.

    I'll be honest, I am a better person for having read this - I am on these forums to learn more about myself, and what you have written will relate to more than just an alcohol addicted soul. Everyone has an unhealthy fire nipping at their heels. It is how you deal with it that matters.

    I've been through the door you are facing now. I refer not to the firewall, but to the other. You are indeed right, it is a great place to be, and I hope you stick around with me and the others!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    massachusetts
    Posts
    6

    Default

    I am just beginning to step into SMART. After being on the other side with AA, I felt something was missing and it wasn't until I began searching SMART that I realized what it was that I needed. And that was to be a part of the solution and not waiting for the rain.

    Thanks!

  17. #17

    Default

    Thanx for the great post! Inspirational!

  18. #18

    Default

    Thank you for this beautifully written post. I'm new here,was considering going to an AA meeting in my town tonight, but stumbled across SMART Recovery online. Still may go to AA tonight, not sure. But this looks like a program that could really help me too. Anyway, as a transplant from Cali to the Midwest (and I really do love it here, after 40 years of brown Cali), your post really hit home with me. can relate to your metaphor. Thank you for that. I've wrestled with alcohol addiction and binge drinking for ten years, and it was triggered by the death of my mother at the time moved here. I'd been sober for about 15 years at the time. Mom died as a result o her mental illness AND her alcoholism. I've finally decided firmly I do NOT want to be like her. I want to live, and become healthy. Today is the first day of the Real Me, the rest of my LIFE. It may be difficult a first, but it will be worthwhile.

  19. #19

    Default

    Very inspirational post with great content. Thanks for sharing this.

  20. #20

    Default

    Well done!

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