I have no doubt that If I had become a father whilst I was an active alcoholic I would have been a deadbeat dad. I would have been incapable of dealing with a family life because I was unable to put anything in the way of the next drink.
I get asked a lot how I remain sober. Being seven and a half years away from my last drink I know a thing or two about what it takes to stay on the wagon and improve as a man and a father in the process.
I am by no means a perfect husband or parent. I have made, and still make mistakes. But I do have a willingness to own my mistakes and learn from them.
In recovering from alcoholism I got down to the cause of my drinking, which was nothing more than a symptom of my spiritual malady. Alcohol to me was a solution. It allowed me to stuff down my pain of guilt for the destructive life I was living.
The real cause of my alcoholism was suppressed resentment and fear. From an abusive childhood I became infected with anger. That anger drove my existence. I became a selfish, self centred man, caring only for myself and my wants and needs. Until I got free from that spirit of resentment nothing would ever change. Even without the crutch of alcohol I was the same self centred individual.
I soon discovered that If I was to find emotional stability in sobriety I would have to treat the cause. I had to find a way to stay free from anger and outgrow my fears. This would take a spiritual solution. Because being infected with anger is a spiritual problem. Believe it or not.
I needed a solid way to face the pressures of each day with a certain grace, without being rattled by stress, no matter what the cause.
If resentment (irritation, frustration, jealousy, bitterness) was my problem, then unless I had a way to face it it would eventually take me back to a drink. I have no reservations about that. I would eventually need to get relief from the constant negative chatter in my head and judgement I felt towards those in my life.
So how do I do it?
It is more simple than you would think. Painful at times as I face the fears in myself but it takes faith to overcome those nagging fears. The recovery program that initially got me sober suggests prayer and meditation as a way to remain sober and grow emotionally. I needed to find the right meditation for this vital practice.
I practice non contemplative meditation. In the morning on awakening I think about the day ahead. I ask God to give me all I need to deal with whatever may come in that day then I mediate for 15 – 20 minutes using a guided exercise. One that is in line with the spiritual path I have chosen to walk in sobriety. Then during the day I am concious to deal with any stressful events that my occurr.
I am protected against resentment from moment to moment the more I am in the present moment. Meditation makes that state of awareness possible.
I put my wellbeing and ability to parent consciously down to daily meditation, to faith. I am a man who is hard to rattle. I stay emotionally neutral to the dramas In my life, free from anger and fear. Growing as a husband and father in the stream of life. Each day moving forward and further away from the next drink.
I will leave the link here to the free meditation exercise I use. And if you are struggling with destructive obsessive symptoms. If you are constantly being battered by your own mind I hope you find here what I did all those years ago.
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