Trust Fund



“Trust is like an eraser; it gets smaller and smaller with every mistake.”Unknown

If there was something I could say I ripped away the most from everyone in my alcoholism, the thing I trampled on the most, the one very thing that I corroded away in the midst of and at the end of my destructive drinking, it was trust.  I can’t think of many other things that people hold so sacred as trust – trust in others, trust in ourselves, trust in God…or whatever it is that you see as The Divine or The Universal.   Trust is something that we are innately born with, something that is given away with reckless love and abandon.  It is like we have a bank account that is full of trust – bursting at the seams. But then trust is chipped away at, lightly at for some, absolutely stripped down for others.  For this alcoholic, I certainly had felt the chisel and hammer bear down on my trust over the years – trust in others, and trust in myself.  Especially myself.

Yesterday we had some friends and family over – not a large amount – and like many of our get togethers, a bottle or two of wine gets brought over and cracked open.  There aren’t any booze pigs like I used to be in our circles, so it’s always very civilized.  Early in my recovery, any leftover wine in our house would have been immediately poured down the sink and the bottle(s) put in the recycling.  My wife didn’t trust me, or at the very least, didn’t think it was a good idea to have the bottles around me.  In the past, she was also afraid to leave her glass of wine left on a restaurant table when she went to the washroom.  She also used to sniff my water bottles to make sure that I didn’t have vodka in them.  There were many checking of bags and sniffing of breaths in my time soon after my time in treatment.  I was certainly not trust worthy for many years near the end there, so why would I be trusted simply because I put the bottle down?  Hell, I didn’t trust my own self.


Trust – broken and shattered by my actions, shredded and wiped out with my words.  My stock had plummeted.  I was bankrupt in so many ways and knew that I was in the red when it came to others’ belief in me.  Where people once had full trust in me, I left them penniless in their trust accounts.  They wouldn’t trust me with the time of day, let alone anything of worth or importance.  I was the Crash of ’29 to many people, brought on by my own selfishness and self-centeredness.

I recall a counselor at treatment tell us that it took his wife five years to finally trust him again after he got sober.  I thought it quite a harsh sentence, but looking back at the wreckage I myself caused, I can see how that could be.  You see, trust is something that I can’t just offer and hope that it gets taken.  It’s not something that someone just takes back, like a loaned box set of “Dexter”.  I have to start putting stuff back into that trust account – that fund.  With every action going forward and truth I put out there, with every time that someone sees and knows that I am following through on something I said I would go through with, with every moment that I prove myself, I am putting a little shekel into that fund.

Every time that my wife turns in bed late at night and feels that I am there, every time one of my son’s call for me and see my face bounding around the corner, every time that my boss asks something of me and I deliver…those accounts start to fill up a little bit more.   I am no longer in overdraft with them.  Accountancy is building, and I am more accountable for myself to myself, for myself, in spite of past self.  I am creating equity in me again.  I can be counted on.

Trust Child -1c
I gotcha, kiddo.

Today I trust myself in being where I say I will be at the time I said I would be there.  Others do too.  My sponsees trust in what I say, because I have been there.  I have trodden the path, and continue to do so to the best of my ability, so they trust that I won’t harm them, that I will be there for them.  Because I am…and I do.  You see, it’s all about actions.  I harmed with my actions, and now I heal with my actions.  I demonstrate to others and myself that I don’t take anything or anyone for granted any more.  I show that I mean what I say and that the days of empty promises and empty bottles are of the past.  I continue to put currency into people’s trust funds.  I am not perfect of course, but that’s not the point.  It’s about my attempt to change and to be of service.

And it truly is paying off.

This morning, as I was feeding my sons and cleaning up a little bit more from our get together, I noticed two bottles of wine.  They were still in the kitchen.  Not only were they not in the recycling bin, but they still had alcohol in them.  Trusted… I am trusted completely now, and it’s a wonderful feeling.  These are fund that will continue to grow, and the more they fatten up and overflow, the richer it is that I become.

And you can bank on that.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. risingwoman says:

    Ah, yes. Trust. Something that I struggled with early on, something that I have banked up. My balance of trust is healthy now. But yes, it took time. And work.

    Happy Easter, Paul! Enjoy the richness of your family and friends….

    1. Hey Michelle – glad to hear that things are well in the trust department. I am finding from myself and others’ experience, is that once trust has been re-established, things go that much smoother – it’s not exactly a struggle any more.

      And thanks for the Easter tidings…back at you…hope you had a wonderful weekend.


  2. Amy says:

    Woo hoo! I never realized how important trust was until I started getting it back. Until I starting keeping my word to myself, which meant I could keep it for others too. Trust is sacred. My children trusted me the fastest- and they were the ones I was around the most when I was drinking. After a few weeks of sobriety I could see the trust returning. I was a soft place to fall again. Nothing beats that feeling- when your child looks in your eyes and sees you looking back. And you know they see you, and you know they trust that you aren’t going to fly off the handle, or act random and confusing.

    It’s such a feeling to be able to trust yourself and see that reflected back by the people you love.

    1. Lovely comments, Amy. Especially regarding our children and how we see them seeing us. I see that too, and it takes my breath away sometimes.

      Thank you so much for the wonderful words.


  3. Erika says:

    I’m still working on trust. I still lie to friends, to family, to myself… It is something hard, I got so used to it, it comes out naturally. Thanks for opening up so beautifully 😉

    1. Hi Erika, just because we stop our addiction, doesn’t mean we fly straight right away. There are still things I struggle with, even with the bottle put down. I still catch myself around dishonesty, or in other ways as well, so you’re not alone in that. But these things start to get better, if we are aware of them, and are willing to change them.

      Thank you so much for visiting here 🙂

  4. Al K Hall says:

    Great post! Love the analogy. For me, at the beginning of my sobriety, i think friends and family didn’t check my drinks because they assumed i was going to drink again at some point; it was just a question of time. They were sad and fearful but resigned. The only thing they could trust me to do was screw up. Now, two years later, i sense they are less tense and letting themselves believe i’m in it for the long haul. That shift is another in the long list of things to be grateful for.

    1. Thanks Al! I think what you said about gratitude is spot on. I sometimes forget that, especially when things are a bit tough. I don’t think I had the same gratitude I had then when I was trying my best to show that I had changed. But I don’t let it escape me now.

      You rock, Mr. Hall 🙂


  5. Lisa Neumann says:

    Paul, My favorite topic–trust. Steven Covey wrote the book, ‘The Speed of Trust.’ I think more than any book I’ve ever read that one changed my life. (oh heck, they all changed my life) Anyhow, he talks about how quickly process moves forward when trust is in place. And how slowly it moves when trust is absent. Having accountability with self, means that I can have it with others and this frees my mind to move about the day connected with Source. My word is good to self and to others AND my funds are high. I’ve no intention of letting them drop ever, ever again.
    xox lisa

    1. Lisa – now I have another amazon purchase coming up…ha ha. I think the concept of having accountability with self is the foundation for having it with others and keeping it connected with the Creator. The trust I put in others is based on the fact that I can now trust myself in most endeavors in my life. So you nail that, once again, and deepens my understanding of this topic. I think that this is something that is going to come up often for me – not because I am feeling distrustful towards myself or others, but because it’s something that I will want to explore and tackle more.
      Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.


  6. waynemali says:

    Hi Paul
    Great post, I’m working on my trust accounts, some are now back in black, but it would seem one and the one I’m most sorry about is still well in the red, I keep trying to top it up, keep paying in, but I’m not sure if I’m even making the interest payments at the moment, but God is on my side here and time will heal also.
    Once again, great post.

    1. Hi Wayne,
      I think that even a small payment plan can do wonders, because it shows that we are willing, and willingness, in my opinion, breaks open many things and allows us to dig deeper than we ever thought we could. I always remember that during the days when I wasn’t fully trusted to not take it personally, as my friends and family were healing too, and healing at different time lines. I know things will continue to grow and get healed in your life – it’s shown to be that way in your journey, kind sir.

      Blessings and thank you for being here.


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