Hang on folks cause I got ramblin on the mind!!!
My thoughts this morning are on the positive, o.k. it is really afternoon but I just got up an hour ago so it is morning to me. When I share in meetings I am like some others, I stick with a positive message, the message of hope, the message of love, the message of peace and of God. I try to do the same in my writings and interaction with the clients at the treatment center. All this positive talk doesn't mean that I don't have problems in my life, I do and try to interject the fact that I am not perfect. I am more likely to talk about struggles here on this blog than in a recovery room, when I do talk about difficulties in recovery rooms it is in a general way, the details are left for my sponsor and close adviser's . The blog is a great outlet for journaling what I am going through, I can't always talk to my sponsor so writing things down help, beside most of my stuff is very trivial, having said that I know that it is the trivial stuff kept to myself that can be dangerous to my recovery. What I share here is always share with my sponsor or someone else in recovery though, sometimes I write the blog first then share because it is a faster outlet for me right now.
Back to positive I think? I was at an NA meeting last night, the only one I attend on a regular bases. I love this meeting, one they don't read all the normal NA prereadings which have a purpose but take up too much time in my opinion. At this meeting we read from the NA book, each week we read a chapter from the book, people read a paragraph and the last person to read is the first person to share and then we go around the circle sharing until the time is up, those that attend this meeting stick to solution and stay away from the problem, cause we all know how to use really well. We are currently reading the stories from the back of the book. The story last night was from a founding member of Japan's NA. The author talked about being the "perfect NA member" and how that lack of exposure to the fellowship had caused her and others to have the perception that once you got clean you stayed clean and you strive for perfection, she originally didn't accept relapses, I was laughing inside at this notion, over time she abandoned this notion and her mind was opened; she had a mental and spiritual relapse. She reminded me of how sometimes we place ourselves and our recovery on a pedestal and it is only by going to meetings and being around newcomers that we maintain some measure of humility. The people I admire the most in recovery are those who share in a general way that they still have problems in life but maintain an attitude of gratitude. No matter how many 24hours we have, we are only one drink or drug away from going back to a life of insanity, insanity fueled by deadly substances that tell us they are our best friends and those people in the rooms are the sick ones. This is what happened to me when I went back out, my disease coupled with some resentments at a few members told me you all were a sick cult, who's aim was to take away my individuality and personal spiritual freedom, smile if you want to, my disease was the cult not AA or NA as a whole. I feel the newcomer needs to hear the message in a positive manner in order to feel some hope, they need to hear the person with a lot of 24 hours share that life still has it's bumps but they have found a solution and they share the solution with a smile.
Having ups and downs in life is normal. Having painful growth experiences happen even to the best of us. The older we are the more we experience loss, whether it is deaths or the absence of those we are closest to or love the most. These are not joyful experiences but we can share about them with touch of hope. We share that we didn't have to drink or use during this time of loss, that the fellowship rallied around us and carried us through. Financial and medical problems are another example of suffering that we overcome and share about with hope, even if we have to dig deep we can find a positive side to these difficulties. I feel that by sharing our positive outlook on life we can have a meaningful impact on the newcomer or anyone who is going through a rough time in recovery. Sharing about difficulties in a spiritual light has a impact on me for sure. When I hear an old timer share that life still has it's flat tires it reminds that I will never have this thing called life beat and seeing that old timer still going to meetings after all these years reminds me that no matter what I need meetings for the rest of my life if I am to maintain this positive outlook on life. Some times you hear the newcomer say, "you people are just too damn happy" which does seem to be the case but it is happiness found from learning to live life on life's terms in a positive light instead of the vile negative light of our drinking and using years. That same newcomer once they have stayed around will later say "I understand the happiness now, thanks for giving me hope."
Oh I was so right about this being a ramble on post, cue the Led Zeppelin Mr.DJ. What I am trying to say is that it is important for me to share my difficulties, to be humble enough to admit I still have flat tires but in doing so I need share that the flat tire didn't make me curl up in a ball and give the middle finger to life and recovery programs. That even in the darkness of emotional and spiritual pain there is the light of the spirit shining through. That light comes from those with more time than me who share their difficulties in life with an emphasis on the positive side. It isn't always easy to focus on the positive, a lot of the newcomers I work with get discouraged because the light they see in others eyes seems impossible for them to obtain but all I can do is encourage them to stay sober, keep talking, to have faith in anything they can grasp at the time that works, to use the power of hope to guide them, to confront myself or others who always seem to be in a positive mood and question us. Speaking for myself alone, caring the message in a positive manner, sharing my experience, strength and hope in a positive light is a responsibility and one that I don't take lightly. Thank God there are others who feel the same way, both in the rooms I attend and my friends here in bloggerville, because of you I am able to maintain the spiritual path of gratitude. Yes I have to have prayer and mediation also to see me through, so no I wasn't minimizing this aspect of recovery.
No we are not perfect AA or NA members but that is the beauty of it all. We are humans and we have our struggles great and small, we share these with each other and that loneliness we once felt during our active addiction goes away. Thank God for inspiring Bill and the other pioneers who developed such a wonder fellowship, may we never take it for granted, may I never become so "well" that I don't need it, may I always be aware that my gift of being positive can disappear if I stop taking action.
Here is the reason I made sure I attended the NA meeting. The other night after an AA meeting a few of use where talking somehow we got on the subject of natural hallucinogenics, various plant seeds that will give you a trip. My mind temporarily played with the notion because I like to trip. One little trip might lead me back to using alcohol and other substance because once I escape reality I want to do it more and more, the nature of the allergy kicks in, I start craving the effect produced by mind altering substances. Everything in my life is going really well right now, I love my job, I have enough money to live on, I have wonderful friends, my daughter is doing well even with her struggles that I am powerless over, my granddaughter is healthy and happy, my mother is in good health, there is nothing that I have to complain about, even the realization that there are couple of aspect of my life that aren't going in the direction I want them too aren't important enough to get upset over. This sickness I have is very patient, it can sit dormant just waiting for a moment of weakness, like a poisonous snake hiding in the tall grass it waits for me to stand still then it strikes. I can be in the most remote parts of the world and if I want to get high I will find a way, if the snake bites me. I need meetings to remind that once I give in to any drug what so ever I start a pattern of living that is deadly for me and destructive for all around me. My drug of choice is alcohol, mainly beer but other drugs are just as dangerous, they are gateways back to my drug of choice. I need to attend an NA meeting a few times a month to remind me of this, that I have an addictive personality and if I stop doing the footwork of recovery then I will have no mental defense against the first drug that sounds good to me, it will start out being just for fun but the end result is anything but fun!!!!!
Peace Love and Light
Hey, it's Friday night......
4 days ago