Recovery work is not a solitary business. Only in a community context will the hard work of breaking the cycle of addiction be available. We need each other. I balked at this notion early on in recovery and admit that I don’t fully understand its implication for my life. I do, however, believe that staying sober is more than having accountability partners. They are important but the primary reason that recovery in community is crucial is that my own journey narrative intersects in many ways with the stories of other addicts.
I get glimpses of hope when I attend meetings and hear others talk about their experiences. I understand my own journey more deeply as I share it. We must talk about our deepest struggles to be healed of the darkness that comes from our own self-hatred. I can learn to love myself when I see love in the eyes of other pilgrims. We must keep gathering together even when we don’t feel like it, because when we do, we are able to honest with ourselves. At the beginning of the meeting I mimic what others say, “Hi, I’m an addict.” By the end of the meeting I am able to accept those words, breathed into me with each shared statement from others like me.
So I will continue to go to meetings. I long for the time when it will be more natural to attend. But in the mean time, I will simply and willfully, just go. As a result, I believe I will grasp more fully the healing process and join my comrades in the journey of recovery.
I am a pilgrim on the road of recovery. The journey is rugged, full of rocks, valleys, and crevices. Yet, looking toward the horizon, there is stunning beauty. So far I’ve joined a twelve step program, and I’m currently seeing a therapist. When I revealed my addiction to my family on September 22nd, 2017 my life changed forever. From that day forward I pledged to live an honest, one person life. Since I was a teenager, I had been living a Jekyll-Hyde existence. Over a fifty year period, my addiction had grown stronger and darker. I began to cherish the darkness over the light. Hyde was overcoming Jekyll. I was powerless to quit. I was lurking in the shadows and hiding from those closest to me. My only way forward was to be completely honest about my behavior. When I did, I became one, whole person for the first time since taking my first, lustful drink. I was born again.
“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. Night and day your hand was heavy upon me and my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgression to the Lord.’ And you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32
This journal will recount the story of my recovery. As I reflect and write about my own experience, I hope it may give you hope in your own journey whether you are in recovery from some addiction or not. I suppose in some way, we are all recovering from that part of our life that has kept us captive. I want to lean from the shadow into the sunlight. I want to stay sober. I want to be in the will of God.