09 June 2022

SIMPLE Truths May Require COMPLEX Behavioral Changes

"If I simply remain clean & sober, everything will turn out fine" may sound good on the surface and "Nothing changes if nothing changes" may sound redundant and bordering on meaningless, but like in The Wizard of Oz, the curtain must be lifted to see what is behind, underneath and within such statements.

Addiction to alcohol and other substances is irreducibly complex. 

I can clearly remember asking and sort of begging at the same time "Can't I just stop drinking and drugging?" My A.A. Sponsors answer was a simple "No, you must replace all your hours and days in addiction with days and hours in recovery." Presumably if I simply stopped drinking and drugging and replaced it with nothing, I would be sucked up into a Black Void never to be heard from or seen again.

It might be that same place where missing socks go.

There are no "One Size Fits All" solutions. What works today may not work tomorrow. I have no secret agenda or snake oil to sell here. I have my experience and the experience and outcomes I have seen in others striving to stay sober and live in recovery. Quite simply, I would have to change in the innumerable ways that pertain to me. It takes, time, patience and shared courage. 

"Simple, but not easy."

I am coming up on 19 years of continuous recovery next Summer and I live in a Sober House. (How that came to be is a long story I'll save for another day.) Some of the men who live here betray their wishes to appear that they are in total control and that recovery is a gentle breeze that is easy to handle. How some wish to appear that they are on Easy Street may make their struggles to remain clean and sober more difficult. "Boys will be boys" is an easy response to separate myself from their struggles. I find myself staying at a comfortable distance. Sometimes emotional barriers should be dismantled carefully. I don't want to appear to be coming off as a know-it-all. 

Life (theirs and mine) is a Work-in-Progress.

HERE'S THE THING: Despite my 18+ years of recovery, I, too, am an arm's reach away from a drink or drug. The majority of men staying at my Sober House are in the very early stages of recovery. They have (unbeknownst to some of them) reminded me how fragile recovery can be, especially in the early days, months, and even years of recovery. THEY ARE HELPING ME TO SOLIDIFY MY RECOVERY.

Leaving the particulars aside, these new living quarters have been a Refresher Course in Recovery beyond attending in-person Recovery Group Meetings could make possible alone.

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING: "Everything Old is New Again" has been rightly attributed to a multiplicity of sources because Churchill, Mark Twain and a variety of Oriental Wise Men obviously came to the same conclusion. "Everything Old is New Again" might be slightly altered by me saying "REFRESH YOUR RECOVERY" or your recovery will not remain fresh. It will become stale, hard and brittle. 

Recovery will endure by changing with life's circumstances as they present themselves to us.

This Sober House may turn out to be the best thing that ever has happened to me. I read in these guys' eyes the same (or similar) struggles I experienced in my early recovery.

One person helping another. 

Turns out, we humans are social animals and "nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." It takes, time, patience and shared courage. "Simple, but not easy."



Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 
(Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

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): https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c 

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)

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