I’ll be hitting 30 days sober in just a couple of days, and it reminded me of another time I hit the one-month mark. It was almost a year ago that I hit the 30 day mark. The reality of my situation is that I am a chronic “relapser”. Since I first walked into an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) room December 4th, 2015, I have had several excursions away from the program (as members call it). I’ve accepted that my life demonstrates that I suffer from Powerlessness & Unmanageability – it’s something I’m experiencing right now.
It’s a primary principle all of us alcoholics have to come to accept in order to be living in a program of recovery – the idea that there is absolutely nothing we can control outside of ourselves. There is a place in the personal stories in the back of the Big Book of AA that talks about acceptance (p. 417). The idea is that it’s important to accept people, places and situations just as they are without trying to control them. This is also the essence of the Serenity Prayer, in which we ask our Higher Power to give us the wisdom to understand the difference between those things we can change and those things we cannot change. And when we know the difference, it’s important to maintain our serenity. Also, we ask for the courage to perform those tasks that create change that’s important.
I’m mentioning this because I’m facing some major financial challenges – worse than those I had mentioned before. The bottom line is that I’m struggling to pay my mortgage, catch-up on debt and pay for important medical bills. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I am now making less than half the money I used to make. I’m willing to work more to make more and there are still a few expenses I can eliminate from my monthly budget. Those things alone, won’t bridge the gap, and I am considering selling the house. The biggest advantage to that would be the equity in the house that can be used to pay off plenty of debts and leave some to buy a second vehicle (I’m currently sharing one with my wife) and put good chuck aside to have in reserve when we are ready to buy another house. The major drawback to this decision is the fact that rental costs far exceed my monthly mortgage amount – so monthly expenses would actually increase by doing this (although a few, like heat, electricity & water usage would go down and trash collection could be eliminated).
The reality is, however, that I am operating off of fear – what if I can’t get caught up on the mortgage and the house is foreclosed and we are homeless without nothing? My wife is operating off of hope, but I feel is hiding the fear she has in losing the home where our kids grew up. I want her to see it my way and she wants me to see it her way. This is, literally, a situation I can’t control. I’m unreconciled as to how we’re going to get through this and I have the desire to take the bull by the horns. Can I safe the house? Yes, possibly; but it involves me working a second job. I’m more than willing to do that, but my wife feels like it would take me away from her…again.
I always felt like the toxicity of our marriage would be the thing that ruined us, but I’m beginning to feel like it’s the financial situation that will… I almost feel like our time away from each other has never really resulted in a resolution to our issues and now that this significant roadblock exists, I’m now worried about the end results.
I’m stuck and don’t know what to do, but I am maintaining my sobriety. And I’m praying…a lot