FYI. This is what happens when we relapse: another DUI, divorce filing from our spouse, living alone in an apartment away from our children, losing trust with homegroup friends, interlock device in our cars, more therapy, more medicine, more white chips, more disappointed faces of loved ones, more pain for everybody—least of all ourselves. But ourselves is all we think about when we’re in the midst of it all. Not worth the buzz, I promise.
I’m gathering my Catholic tools to make another go at it. Yes, another. It’s worth it, I know. You know how I know? You know how I know it’s worth it?
I’ve had it. I had sobriety. I touched it, lived it, experienced it, loved it. I relished it, appreciated it, was grateful for it, humbled by it, in awe of it. Witnessed the dynamics-change within my family. Then, I took it for granted and lost it.
I have my reasons/excuses. But are there really any valid reasons for giving up the gift of sobriety? Not this gift. This gift is precious, priceless. Special. Something non-alcoholics will never understand. The gift of sobriety in the life of a true blood alcoholic is priceless.
It truly must be ONE. DAY. AT. A. TIME. A cliche I’ve always disliked because I am an enthusiastic dreamer of future dreams. Entrepreneur. Optimist. An “anything is possible” person. But I’ve met my match. The liar of lies finds our weaknesses and beats us down. That’s when God’s gift of humility can open our eyes to new lives.
Here’s to a(nother) new life, friends.
All of my Catholic alcoholic tools to embark back on the path of sobriety are rooted in the love of Christ and Christ’s special love of sinners:
Rosary: I was broke but paid $100 for this Rosary because I couldn’t take my eyes off of it, it was handmade by a local very elderly woman who carefully chose each bead and prayed as she made it.
Matt Talbot medal: Venerable Matt Talbott, still in waiting for official sainthood. Patron of alcoholics. He’s been there with us in the fight.
Brown scapular: my sister gave me this after my first relapse and I wore it for two months. Now it hangs from my rear view mirror in my car. I never asked her if she wanted it back. I know that was selfish of me but it is so beautiful to me because it’s worn and not brand-new looking.
Prayer card to Saint Jude, patron saint of impossible causes: None other than the alcoholic can understand the utter impossibleness of recovery.
Prayer card of Saint Mary Magdalen: I think that Mary Magdalen isn’t the Mary who was saved from adultery or the demons or at the well…but I still think of her this way when I ask her to intercede for me with her Lord. I believe Mary Magdalen is actually the one at the feet of Jesus listening to him talk while her sister Martha is doing the dishes. That would totally be me lol. If any of y’all smarter than me can educate me on the real Mary Magdalen please do?
White chip: my Aa white chip. Seriously. I KNOW recovery is possible without AA. But not for me. I need AA. And I need daily AA. Not trying to offend any Catholic purists out there. Just speaking my own truth here.
Sacred Heart badge: the ORIGINAL white chip, sister Ignatia (friends with Bill W and Doctor Bob) would give this sacred heart badge to each alcoholic who left the hospital after detox and told them they must return it to her if they drank again.
My one-year medallion– one of my most prized possessions. I picked this up on September 18, 2007 in the presence of my mother and my five sisters who flew into town for the occasion.
“Lord what do you want me to do with my life?” prayer card: One of my most favorite Irish priests, father Brian Higgins, was head of seminarians in the early 2000s here in Atlanta. He was also a priest at my parish. He gave the best and most convicted pro-life sermon i’d ever heard. He gave these prayer cards out and I kept two. Over ten years ago but it’s always been in my fridge since. Great question to ask myself each morning right?
Saint Michael the Archangel prayer card: i also have his medal on my key chain. who better to fight for us than the angel who fought satan himself. Defend us in battle against this disease.
Our Lady of Knots: i like this title of Mary, the untier of knots. She calls on her son for us to untie the knots in our hearts and minds that keep us from coming into closer relationship with Him.
If you happen to come across this post out there, then add your own tools that help you in your recovery path!