The other day I was at an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting and a woman there had said something truly profound. Well, okay…I’m the one who thinks it’s profound, because it is something that I contemplate on a regular basis. But she said, “Our wants are never fully satisfied, yet we never satisfy our needs.” I found that a bit jaw dropping – especially in light of all the financial problems I’m facing right now. If I’m honest with myself, maybe of the things I’m struggling with are what are commonly referred to as ‘First World Problems’ and I forget about the basics needs that are being met.
In addition to my sobriety, I’m fighting a huge financial battle right now and I am trying to make sure I’m meeting everyone’s needs (or maybe it’s their wants…) in my family right now. The problem is that I’m losing the battle to meet my own needs. That’s not good for me, or any alcoholic, really. It is the breeding ground for resentment, by far. But as I think about that woman’s statement and place it in the context of some of the resentments I have in life, it becomes readily obvious that I have many high expectations of myself, of others and the results of things I’m trying to achieve. In fact, the whole topic is a bit of a frustration to me, but I feel avoiding it is the worst thing I could do.
But I get what that woman was saying. It’s this idea that we strive and strive to meet those desires that lack the ability to sustain us. It’s what an alcoholic does – seeks the comfort and ease a drink provides them, but it lacks the sustenance of living or deciding upon actions that are based upon principle. I know this is a life I’m trying to live again. It’s a life that I have once had and somehow, somewhere lost perspective and began focusing on the things that don’t matter as much as the things that are needed.
For now, I’m not going to worry too much. I know there is plenty of time for me to worry about things, but I know for today that staying away from a drink – regardless of how much the obsession creeps into my mind – is the best thing I can do. Tomorrow may see me destitute, but it’s not entirely likely. Sometimes, the perspective I gain from listening to a statement like what was made in that meeting is the best thing for me.
And today, I’ll do my best to meet my needs and not my wants. There is little else I can control.
And I’m 29 days sober, today.