"... closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet." - Alfred Lord Tennyson in The Higher Pantheism
Replace "He" with "Recovery" and the Immediacy with which I seek Recovery is expressed to me here. I see life, interpret life and live my life as fully in Recovery as possible. "I don't want to ever go back there" is an expression fraught with meaning for me. That, or something very close to it, is often heard in Recovery Meetings.
Too much horror.
As much as I am repelled by the very thought of Relapse, I know that it will always be out there. A drink or drug will always remain within my arm's reach.
Having been through the Meat Grinder that is Addiction, having Relapsed multiple times, having lived in Recovery for many years now, I know that I must focus on my recovery every day, gently, but without fail. I have seen too many lives lost too soon. Focus. I must Focus.
In my addiction, I faced many consequences that I simply would not have gone through had I been in recovery the whole time: Surgery from a robbery gone horribly wrong while in a blackout state, multiple attempts on my life, arguments, firings, homelessness, on and on. Make your own list looking back on your life. If you are in recovery now, stay in recovery, live there, make it your home.
Let me take a moment to look at a few of the problems I have faced in recovery. I had pneumonia, but dollars to donuts, if I'd still been drinking and drugging, I wouldn't have sought help when I finally did. Alcohol was the cure-all that cured nothing but caused more problems than alcohol could possibly fix. In recovery, more than a dozen years after I quit drinking and smoking, I was diagnosed and treated for cancer. Again, if I'd been in the soup, I'd have likely died before seeking treatment or at best, sought treatment far too late, after it had progressed to the point of being beyond help. Sober, I sought medical care immediately. If I'd been drinking, I likely would not have sought help until after the cancer had progressed too far to be treatable. As far as I know, Alcohol is not the Cure for Cancer. A smooth path forward. Recovery is my best and smoothest path forward no matter what else may happen.
Today, every day, I see my life through the Lens of Recovery. Gratitude is at my feet. Gratitude moves me forward. Responsibility sets me free with every decision I make and every action I take. What is beyond my control is beyond my control, but a brain hijacked by addiction has little or no control. The illusion of control is one of the saddest circumstances to occur while under the influence.
"By the time I had a reason to stop drinking, reason no longer had anything to do with it."
Lost. So lost. I was so, so very lost.
Often times, advise sucks. It is so easy to give it when you're not in the situation you are trying to help. But I can tell you this, to quote what one will often hear in the Rooms of Recovery: "Sponsor Yourself and You've Got a Fool for a Sponsor."
Addiction colors the decision-making process. "It's the Alcohol talking. It's the Addiction talking." I heard that countless times back in those nightmare days. And it's true, even in Recovery, years of addiction can still shade decisions made. Parts of my brain need outside voices to provide me clarity, to help guide me forward.
Addiction Separates/Recovery Connects.
Pause when agitated. Pause each day if for no other reason than to prevent yourself from becoming agitated. Let Gratitude be at your feet. Let Gratitude move you forward. Take responsibility for your decisions and actions. Seek help. Give help. Everybody wins.
Addiction loses when you are connected to Community. Seek help. Give help. Win.
Through the Lens of Recovery I will find my Smoothest Path Forward.
Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery (Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT
Or immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal (Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
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I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)