26 April 2019

*_*_*_* "There is No Way to Recovery. Recovery Is the Way." *_*_*_*


I can't truly claim the headline to this post as mine ("There is no way to recovery. Recovery is the way.). It is derivative in nature and more or less a direct steal from Thich Nhat Hanh ("There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.")
"Monkey See / Monkey Do" fairly well captures my early recovery. I knew nothing of recovery. The drink was all I knew.
Early in my drinking career, alcohol was the icing on the cake of my social life, something added to make all things somehow better. Down that long road alcohol began replacing things, subtracting, destroying, nullifying.
Surimi, one of the fictional characters in my book, describes how alcohol takes on the villainous role to the exclusion of all else like this: "Gentlemen, we are pack animals, like wolves. Separated from the pack, the chances of survival diminish. Alcoholism is this disease of separation. The alcoholic needs alcohol to the exclusion of all else. Recovery is largely about rejoining the human race. Connecting with self, reconnecting with self. Connecting with others, reconnecting. Overcoming alcoholism, the Great Excluder...."
"This disease of separation" is gut-wrenching to me now. It's easy for me to forget how pathetic I became, how much it hurt, where it took me. In my early sobriety and after several relapses, I finally realized the importance of others. Today, I realize that most of the insights that inspire me to write come from others in recovery meetings, on-line, from many books and in person-to-person contact. Today, the inspirations of others are a real source of joy, but learning that was a stubborn lesson back then.
Addiction was my disconnect and recovery, my re-connection. Here's how I phrased it, almost apologetically, a few short years ago: "The loneliness of an alcoholic death. That's what many of my recollections boil down to.... Reciprocity is keeping me sober. Sharing with another alcoholic. It really is that simple. I used to drown the loneliness caused by alcohol with (what else?) more alcohol. Solitude seemed an impossibility when a bottle of booze sat next to me.... Loneliness, inescapable. Solitude, unattainable. Sobriety, unimaginable."
That was my past life. Recovery has changed all that. I'm leading a fairly normal, happy, sober life now. But I must never forget the loneliness of an alcoholic death, where that first fatal drink might take me.
Don't go back there. There's nothing there. Not even you. There is nothing but emptiness there.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Recovery in. Addiction out.
Each breath renewable.
"There is no way to recovery. Recovery is the way."
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
88+ Recovery Posts on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-anders-89b1a876/detail/recent-activity/posts/

13 April 2019

*_*_*_* "The #Stigma of #Addiction" & The #Stigma of #Recovery *_*_*_*


"The stigma of addiction - the price that even those in long-term recovery can pay in disclosing this aspect of their personal history - leads many recovering people to 'pass' as a 'normal,' scrupulously hiding their recovery journey from members of the larger community. Some recovering people live a socially cloistered existence, interacting almost exclusively with others in recovery.... " - William L. White, "Recovery Rising," p. 340 
"Flying rivers, that's what some scientists call the massive clouds of moisture over the Amazon rain forest. They contain more water than the Amazon river below in all actuality, simple dispersed in the vapor trails we call clouds." - from the introduction to "Flying Rivers of Hope," part of "A Universe of Recovery Verse," linked here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/universe-recovery-verse-jim-anders/
I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble....
... but, of course, you know, I do.
We, in the Recovery Movement, like the massive clouds of moisture over the Amazon rain forest, are ready to burst, have been ready to burst, are already bursting on the larger community below. "Some recovering people live a socially cloistered existence, interacting almost exclusively with others in recovery.... " 
It's time (long overdue) to come out of the Recovery Closet.
First, do no harm, to yourself or others, but where you can, how you can, whenever you can, the time has come.
I've already dubbed 2020  the beginning of "The Roaring Twenties of Recovery" (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/welcome-new-roaring-twenties-recovery-2020-2029-jim-anders/).
Lead. Follow. Join. Rejoice.
Add your voice.
The silence has been deafening.
A new voice is forming, has been forming, is formed.
Listen carefully, it is not a whisper.
It's a ROAR!
The Recovery Movement has surely already begun. Each of us will play a part in it by the actions we take and by the actions we have not yet taken. I most certainly hope that the decade about to start (2020 - 2029) becomes known as "The Roaring Twenties of Recovery."
The Choice is Yours.
Add Your Voice of HOPE (Our Most Renewable Natural Resource) to the Reign of Recovery (pun intended - "We are not a glum lot.")
Recovery Rules!
P.S. Have a Nice :-) Decade!