A particular predecessor in NA used to say that the "First spiritual tenet," of recovery is that, "There are no 'Good days' or 'Bad days' there are just days." It took me a while to understand what he was saying. The moment is the moment. Being a person in recovery for a little bit, my lived experience, and that of so many that I know is that everything changes year to year, month to month, week to week, day to day, hour to hour, and moment to moment, in ways we didn't necessarily plan or expect. It's natural.
What can seem unnatural for us is meeting those changes in a healthy way. That seems to be a common challenge for us. It requires patience and fortitude; the spiritual strength for the endurance of what can seem hard. Addicts know how to fight, run, and resist; the love, care, friendship, and support of people in recovery. We know how to isolate... how to react rather than respond. We know how to meltdown and shutdown. We know how to misjudge rather than discern. We can be overly adept at silence, shunning, and pushing people away, because it can be so awkward to think and feel cared about. Why? Because the disease is always trying to remind us of our past, to keep us under its control through guilt, shame, resentment, and fear.
The way of recovery... didn't come naturally or easily for many of us. It can be counterintuitive to have an actual sponsor or mentor instead of the disease being in that role in our head. By staying clean, working with a sponsor who is experienced in living the Steps, and doing the footwork, we get the gift of no longer being in combat with ourselves, accepting the opportunity to heal. We have relief from the noise in our heads. The war is over.
On the pathway of peace within ourselves, instead of losing choices, we progressively gain new ones. We discover new options to meet the reality that is Life, instead of old ones that resulted in us thinking and feeling like shit about ourselves. In fact, instead of a "War story," we gain a new one that's all about actively Recovering from addiction. Instead of sharing about experiences involving using, we begin to share about how we are working the Steps, the lessons we're learning through our own direct effort, and the shared experiences of others. We write and share our story of healing, with our actions. As a result of working and living the Twelve Steps, we learn to ride the current and flow of change, with one thing that doesn't for me... the power and force of spiritual principles. My direct experience is, that through a commitment to them, they always gift us our inherent dignity. That's huge when we get it because it's the dignity that allows for freedom to authentically like, and then love ourselves, and for us to move in any direction we would prefer.
Just for today, I will be mindful and present. I will take the time to have open-hearted awareness. I will reflect on my values and spiritual principles that could be appropriate to the present moment situation that I could bring forward, whether the moment appearing good or bad to me. I will take notice of my options and choices, especially when my head says there's "Only one." I will act with authenticity and integrity because it supports my dignity. Change happens, and I will meet it, fully whole and wholly free. F*#! being hemmed up by the disease of addiction.
道瘳 | Dào Chōu | path of healing