grateful v8 celebrates joyous 13 years in recovery!
Date: 4/6/2007 5:56:04 PM ( 14 y ) ... viewed 2845 times
Date: 3/18/2007 12:32:03 PM
Though I have been so occupied with life that I did not stop to celebrate it or even talk much with anyone about it last week, I did celebrate 13 years drug free. The day came and went.
It's an accomplishment, really. I've spent much time being mindful of what brought me to a dangerous level of addictive living, what helped me survive during it, and what choices I made that brought me out of it and into enjoying an amazing life beyond it.
So many people die before they figure it out.
Many more die after they think they've got it all figured out.
No-one's got all the answers, but there is some good advice out there. The 12-step path of recovery has been immensely helpful for me. A real lifesaver. I prefer the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous. Their first step states, in part, "we were powerless over our addiction.."
Though it takes awhile to come to understand the concept of powerlessness in 12 step recovery, it is ultimately experienced as a sort of empowerment, actually. By letting go of the need to control anything we allow ourselves the freedom to have that thing in our lives, or on the periphery of our lives, without that thing controlling us. Think about it.
I have always appreciated that NA speaks of the problem, if you will, as addiction, rather than a specific substance. Of course, AA is the original 12 step program and will always be, thanks to the founders, Dr. Bob and Bill W. Their 1st step speaks of "powerlessness over alcohol." I see NA's focus, powerlessness over addiction, as an evolution, if only a semantic evolution, in conceptualizing the core intention of addicts recovering through the 12 steps. Thus, 13+ years ago, I visited many 12 step programs in my quest to fulfill some legal requirements, and found NA, which literally saved my life, with a lot of help from me.
I'm so busy these days, I hardly go to meetings, and am not much of a good role model in that sense, because regular meeting attendance is recommended in all the NA writings. I do participate in on-line meetings from time to time, and maintain contact with many of my friends in recovery, a real treasure, every one of them, who've come to me through NA. I tend to choose friends who do not choose to drink and/or drug excessively, and there are many people in the world who just don't drink or drug, and who were not addicts or alcoholics either. Some of us call them "normies" though I tend to shun cliches such as that.
Then there's my family. My son and daughter are adults, with lives of their own. Each one drinks at times, but neither appears to drink in excess. I'm grateful for that. There is no one in my closest family locally who does any excess partying. I suppose you could say I was the only one.
Though 13 long years have passed, many still have me pigeon-holed in that behavior, and have not forgiven me, or choose to still see me as that person. This is hard for me. Painful. Making amends for one's past behaviors is one of the 12 steps, and there are 8 steps leading up to that step, for good reason. I went through quite an in depth process coming to the amends, and sincerely made amends wherever possible, either in action, or in specific words. One must make amends with absolutely no expectations. Especially the expectation of forgiveness. Sometimes it just doesn't happen.
I'm grateful to be alive, and each day, each moment, I'm grateful to be living life free from addictive substances.
It's a lonely path sometimes.
Since discovering CureZone, I have felt a bit less alone. So many familiar souls.
Thank you for sharing my recovery anniversary with me.
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