The trials of recovery May, 2008
I have heard a lot lately about commitment to the group and recovery. More over, how our fellowship is modeled after AA. While that may be true, we must always remember that we are autonomous from AA and must never try to inject the “rules” of AA into our program. I will admit that I don’t know exactly how AA works, and the only thing I am an “expert” on is the fact that I grew up with 2 alcholic older brothers and an alcoholic Father (god rest his soul) and an alcoholic grandfather… and here I am getting the F-U-N addiction. Our recovery from addiction is unique in that as most of us acted out in our addictions alone, we tend to want to recover alone. Hense the “1000 pound phone” syndrome. We have interalized our addiction out of shame, guilt, etc. and the realization that we can actually lean on someone else who understands how we got here and how we feel is terrifying. To bring one’s committment for recovery into question seems unfair to me. Even though our stories are different, they are all the same. Tolerance is the key here. We need to learn our own tolerance before we can even begin to invoke our desires or beliefs on someone else or the way they recover. The miracle is not how many meeting we attend, but how many days we stay sober. We all recover at our own pace.
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July 9, 2007
Monday’s are always tough… nerve racking and crazy. As I am sitting here writing this, I realize that I write too little and also dont call enough. Things are good, sobriety is good, that’s not the issue. The issue is reaching out to those still suffering… not outside our group, but inside. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the selfishness of our addiction that we forget that we have people amoung us who are hurting, confused, etc. They are just as afraid today as they were say 5 yrs ago. Those are the people, and I will include myself, that really need to feel like they “belong”. Sure we can say it outloud or even in private, but that is just the initial step… Some of us need constant reassuring that we are good people, who may have lost our way. I try making the effort to call at least 3 people per week, but its always the same 3… Why? I think it has to do with comfort… Let’s face it. It’s scary to speak with someone we don’t truly know, about things we don’t want anyone to know about. I have noticed over the past 4 yrs that what we hear in “getting current” is filtered. That is by design to help with issues of triggering. The system works… it truly does. My challenge is to give back even more of myself and reach out to those who may be afraid to pick the phone up themselves. Will it be uncomfortable? Sure it will. But then I think of how the other person getting the call will feel knowing that I or anyone has taken their time to think of them and ask “how are YOU doing today?” Such a small statement, but one which goes a long way.
May 25, 2007
Today is a tough day. My wife and I had a misunderstanding, an argument if you will over a text message from a longtime friend. The details are not important, only the outcome, which is a definate step back. I am to blame, there is no doubt. I tried to make amends for it, and make the necessary corrections, but it fell on deaf ears as my credibility is gone and the foundation is shaken yet again.. I ask myself “in what way is my higher power, my God, working to heal me, and what good will come of it, if being honest about the message has turned to this”? Sometimes I wonder if being an addict is all I will ever be known as… Regardless of my sobriety and the things I do to give back to my fellowship? I searched for the answer to that very question, but there was no need to search. It is right in this simple sentence.. My higher power, my God has a plan, and I have no idea what that plan is. (Not yet anyway) I pray that things get better even when things seem to be in control and the waters are calm. I pray for forgiveness, and I am trying to understand that this is HP’s way of clearing the garbage out, so to speak. My wife’s reaction is justified and hopefully she will be able to see past it. Until then, I will continue to write and continue to give back because that is what HP wants me to do. I am learning more and more about “letting go”, and that I am not responsible for another person’s actions nor their feelings. I can only do for me.
Now that the blog is up and running, it is truly important that we submit as much as we can. Not only will it help in our personal recovery, but will benefit all of us. Please take a moment and put your thoughts in order and help others to recover and heal. This is a great way to give back to the fellowship and to aid in our own recovery… Best wishes to all of you..
Good evening everyone!
Since this is the first time I have entered anything on this page… In fact, I believe it may be the first time anyone has, I thought it would be appropriate to post something which all of us can relate to regardless of what stage of recovery we are in. Although, I am generally not a huge fan of poems, the following is one that I had read a few years ago and it recently surfaced in a “Dear Abby” column of all places. In any event, I hope you enjoy it and see the relevance which I have in reading it…
THE MAN IN THE GLASS
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day.
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself and what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father or mother or wife whose judgement upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life, is the one staring back from the glass.
Some people might think you’re a straight-shootin’ chum, and call you a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says your only a bum, if you can’t look him straight in the eye.
He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest, for he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed you most dangerous test, if the guy in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
and get pats on the back as you pass,
but your final reward will be heartache and tears…
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass….
- Author Unknown until August 2002. The official story which includes copyright information is from [www.theamericanmag.com/ The American Magazine] where this was first published in 1934. It was formerly referred to as “Man in the Glass”. “The Guy in the Glass” Written in 1934 By Peter “Dale” Wimbrow Sr., 1895-1954
This poem has a lot of meaning for me as it represents the wasted time and years I have spent not understanding what the addiction has done and my arrogance in recovery. I only pray that tomorrow will be better than today, and I make friends with the man in the glass…
I hope this helps all of you as its helped and helping me…