Max Goes Sober

It almost sounds like the epilogue to Where the Wild Things Are, doesn’t it? Having left the Wild Things to return to his still-hot supper and a life in suburbia, Max adjusts to a world in which there are no Wild Rumpuses and his Wolf Suit is not considered suitable for daily wear.

But this is not the epilogue to a Sendakian fantasy. Rather, this is our engaging, challenging, honest-to-a-fault, to-some exasperating Max Lindenman, making a brave move:

My Higher Power must be pleased. I just returned from my first AA meeting in possession of a “24-hour chip” — an object that looks like an outsized arcade token, stamped with Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer. I’m told that if it melts in my mouth, then I can have a drink.
I am hopeful. If my experience means anything, not drinking can be as habit-forming as drinking. With my usual perversity, I took barely a drop during all four undergrad years. In ought-seven, I was able to swear off booze for the 40 days of Lent. In both cases, and during various other periods of abstention, the rewards of sobriety — more money in my pocket, fewer causes for self-reproach, and, yes, earning a BA, along with a magna cord, in four short years — were addictive in their own right.

I am fearful. As easy as I’ve sometimes found it to abstain, the gloomy fact remains that every single time something pushed me off the wagon. Usually, it was a snarl of problems that struck me as both unsolvable and undeserved. “As long as I’m screwed, I might as well be stewed,” does justice to the general drift of my thinking. Life having gotten no simpler or fairer since my last stretch as a teetotaler, I’ll have no choice but to keep my guard up as long as I live.

The crucible is white-hot, and none of us gets to wholly by pass it. We all get a turn. Read the rest here.

(“Take up your cross” from The Imitation of Christ)

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • AAwesome

    That is great news. I’ll pray for Max. I think they need to open up an iced-coffee anon for me or, maybe desserts anon, cuz, right now I feel like its desertsRus.

    Max is going to affect positively a lot of souls with this humble sharing.

    God bless him.

    As my Palestinian priest said to me in confession last night, “What have you to fear?!? Are you not in the care of your Mother Mary?!?” When an Arabic speaking priest gets impatient, I tend to wake up and listen. This priest has been through hell and back. I am sure if we all pray for Max, as we have done with this priest and his many health crises, Max will come out shining as did our priest.

    Good on ya, Max.

    Thanks for posting this ultra brave share. Talk about accountability. Yikes.

  • Manny

    I want to wish Max the best. Prayers for him for sure.

  • Gayle Miller

    It has been 72 hours since I smoked a cigarette Max – so in a sense, we’re on this journey together. I didn’t quite for any other reason than I didn’t feel like leaving the house and I was out of cigarettes. Now that it has been that long, it may become a [better] habit!

  • Ellen

    I’ll add Max to my prayer list. I’ve always hated the taste of liquor and can’t even understand the mindset of people who can’t have fun without it. But we are all human and have our weaknesses. God bless Max and everyone else who struggles. The Ven. Matt Tabot, pray for us.