I love those Snicker commercials. You know the ones where a group of guys are playing rugby with Bette White running around on the team and she gets brutally tackled in the mud. Or the one where Robin Williams is an NFL coach and during a timeout starts telling his players to make balloon animals, cozies and to kill the other players with kindness. The end result is always that someone walks up to Bette White, Robin Williams or whatever other famous actor is in the commercial and says to them, “Dude eat a snickers.”
The famous actor responses with a simple question of “why?”—then takes a big bite of the Snickers and turns back into the normal rugby player or football coach. The friend simply states, “You’re just not you when you’re hungry.” If a commercial can make me laugh and want to eat a Snickers bar it’s a pretty darn good commercial.
Tonight I was sitting in a meeting and in front of the podium someone had placed a pile of mini Snickers. I was hungry and the candy bars reminded me of the commercials. As I sat there contemplating whether I would eat one during the break it occurred to me that at one point alcohol was my Snickers. Let me explain. No matter what I was doing, camping, boating, watching a movie, dancing (I’m sure nobody can relate to that one), going to dinner, sitting at home, hanging out with friends, vacations—the list goes on endlessly—I could never be myself so I needed alcohol to be whoever I thought you wanted me to be. I never felt comfortable, connected or fit without alcohol. Dude, in life I am Bette White in a rugby game unless I had a drink.
Once I came into the rooms I experienced a dilemma. If I wasn’t supposed to drink how was I going to feel comfortable, to connect, to fit—how was I supposed to be me? No longer a funny TV commercial it was for real now—I was showing up as Bette White and was just about to get brutally tackled by life. However, as the result of a wise sponsor who grabbed me by the collar, told me the truth and took me through the Steps I had a spiritual awakening and the transformation from Bette to the real me started taking place. I discovered that alcohol wasn’t my Snickers. My Snickers is the program of AA, the 12 Steps, service to others and conscious contact with my Higher Power. It is only because of AA that the real me could come out and play.
Unfortunately the reality of walking this journey of recovery is that I still have Bette White days—more than I would like to admit. I’m in the game but getting tackled in the mud by my ego, fear and self-centeredness. There are days when the people around me would definitely say that I’m just not me. However, the good news is that today when the Bette White syndrome hits instead of the answer being, “dude eat a Snickers” or “dude have a drink”, I have people in my life who grab me by the collar and remind me by saying, “dude work your program.”
Work the program—let the real you come out to play. It works, it really does….plus it’s zero calories.