Some of us, though, tripped over a very different snag. We clung to the claim that when drinking we never hurt anybody but ourselves. Our families didn’t suffer, because we always paid the bills and seldom drank at home. Our business associates didn’t suffer, because we were usually on the job. Our reputations hadn’t suffered, because we were certain few knew of our drinking. Those who did would sometimes assure us that, after all, a lively bender was only a good man’s fault. What real harm, therefore, had we done? No more, surely, than we could easily mend with a few casual apologies.
This attitude, of course, is the end result of purposeful forgetting. It is an attitude which can only be changed by a deep and honest search of our motives and actions.
As for the time of my actual drinking, most of the people I hurt are far in my past. My mother would have to lead this list. I did all of my drinking while I lived with her and she was supporting me. I made her worry, and then some, and I wasted much money, education and opportunity. I wasted the time of those in class with me, and of my teachers. In addition to that I risked the safety of everyone who shared the road with me. And there was tons wrong I did with my relationship. That kind of hurt ended 24 years ago.
Now. I’m aware of the daily inventory, and that when I’m wrong, I need to promptly admit it. I’m also aware that every day, I hurt just about everyone I come in contact with in at least some small way. Religiously, I know I fail to give as much as I should and take care of others and the planet and share as I should. I know I have failings as a mother, wife, worker, neighbor, friend. What to do with this, I’m not sure. I can’t see sitting my sobriety babies down and apologizing for my shortcomings as a mother, but maybe that’s what I should do.
As to the people at work, the ones I have the most trouble loving, I’m even less clear there. The damage I’ve done has not to do with drinking, thank goodness, but maybe damage is damage.
On with this, I’m hoping that more will be revealed.