…in my humble opinion…
There are many paths up the mountain, Yeah?
Every week I hear true stories from people sharing their experience, strength, and hope – and all of these wonderful fellow-recoveree’s have different gods. Their traumas are different, patterns of alcoholism different, reasons for stopping are different
So, here are the three things I believe you’ll need to recover from an addiction of any kind.
ONE: Faith – Higher Power
As Bob Dylan once said, “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody”.
My best thinking got me to rock bottom. I had planned so many turnarounds and comebacks that would make the Rolling Stones proud. But two and a half years after first arriving at death’s door, I was on Day One of my recovery again trying to work out what went wrong THIS TIME!
This time I took advice and realised that I was powerless over alcohol and a Higher Power could restore me to sanity. I had been thirsting for spiritual fulfillment for about thirty years whilst I drank my way from one revelation to the next.
The week after I had my last drink I found my way to my first Buddhist meditation class and I’m still going. Finally, I have faith and guidance.
TWO: Reliable advice – a roadmap.
In the famous Big Book, Bill asks Doc Silkworth if he can try something out on the other patients which he reckoned would work. This is one alcoholic talking to another. There is something magical about this as not only does the alkie have first-hand knowledge and empathy, he is showing the new guy how to stay sober by means of service.
It is my belief that the tri-combo of empathy, knowledge, and service in action, works to keep both alkies sober.
THREE: Community – others
I’m not a Social Scientist or Anthropologist but I do think that without the help of other alcoholics to understand my mood swings, anger, resentments, trials and tribulations – I don’t get and stay sober.
Without a guy to ring at midnight and say I want to kill myself because to drink is to die, without a lady to have a coffee with when my aloneness is too hard to bear, and not having a regular place to go to be with my Tribe when the rest of the world sucks – I don’t get and stay sober.
What has worked for me may not work for everyone else.
Every day I go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. This, to me, means that I look to Buddha as an example of how to live freely and treat all sentient beings in accordance with nature. It means I have a set of instructions that I can refer to for guidance, and I am never lonely with my community of like-minded individuals who love and care for me.
This is as much a mystery to me as the Big Band theory, and if you take my advice and it works for you, for God’s sake drop me a line and I’ll try it myself.