In Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meeting rooms there are small posters situated around the room with a variety of sayings, as there are for many other 12-step fellowships. Each statement is worded in a way to bring about an aha moment, hope that life will improve, or some other idea to the person who reads it.
One such saying brings to mind a multitude of ideas that did not occur in the earlier years. There is something to be said for time in recovery, the aha moments take a on new meanings. The phrase is “I am responsible when someone, somewhere…” How the phrase is worded is lost right now. The part of the phrase most important for this post is “I am responsible…”
“I am responsible for me, the way I think, feel, act, react, my attitude, the way I dress, etc.” Now this does not negate the traumatic experiences one encounters in life. It is not saying that one is responsible for the results from events in one’s life. There is a limit to responsibility. But it does mean that one makes a choice to recover, get sober, and live as he or she always has. There are somethings in one’s life that decisions may be made. I know not everyone wants to hear this, nor is it well received. I did not receive it well at first either, but through the years of application and development I do understand.
Early recovery is difficult. Especially when there is a pile up of emotions, memories, and beliefs that are haunting and traumatic. It is a difficult and emotional time. The older we are before we begin recovery the more experiences we have piled up to find shame, guilt, fear, and trepidation about.
The fact remains that the responsibility for life is in the core of the person living it. Freedom of choice, free will, responsibility, each are held within each and every person. The choice to remain in misery or find the path through it. The choice to laugh or cry, well sometimes that just happens. Then the choice to indulge is left.
When the decision is made to recover there are many wonders and fears to adjust to. Feeling good, laughing, having fun can bring about a panic attack, tears of grief, and other equally surprising emotions. It takes time to adjust to the new life and for sometime it may seem that recovery was not such a great choice after all. Recovery may seem more harmful and hurtful than remaining in the disease. Do not give up.
I was told when I embarked on my journey: “Try recovery out for some time, stay sober, work with others, then if you do not like where you are, go back. You can have a return on your time, take back your misery and multiply it ten fold. That is your guarantee.”
Here is your guarantee: Do not stop before the miracle. If it does not happen in your time line, then take back your misery. It is always there waiting for you to return. It is your right and your choice. No one can take it away from you. Just as no one can offer you any other guarantee that matters.
Want to discuss your plans for recovery? Drop me a line.