Interesting day today.
It’s interesting when you go to a closed 12 step meeting and run in to someone you know from another part of life. I have no concerns about people knowing I’m in recovery. I accepted that I was powerless over a few things fourteen years ago, and that began my journey. For me, anyone who thinks “less” of me because I abused mood altering stuff is likely someone I really don’t want to know.
Today, at the meeting, we went back and because we had a new person with us, we talked about Step 1 in our recovery program. For those not aware, Step 1 states that we were powerless over (put in your favorites) and life became unmanageable. Many think that you’ve got to have totally lost everything to get this step.
That isn’t so.
At the time I chose to do something about my addictions, life looked OK on the outside. Big house, money in the bank, 2 cars in the drive, wife and kids and smoke going up the chimney.
But looks can deceive.
Inside, there was no joy in life, no optimism, and a sense that no one liked me and if they really knew what I was about, they’d hate me. One of my mood altering behaviors led me to another and so on. I didn’t use every day, nor did I crave all the time. When I started, I could not stop until I fell asleep.
Powerless….I sure was just like “we”. Was life unmanageable? Certainly parts of it were, and it was bleak on the inside. As I remember, my faithful old dog Shadow was starting to stay out of my way, and one true friend told me how wonderful I was sober, and what a jerk when not sober. Get the picture? Life was unmanageable. Step 2 tells me that a power greater than me can restore me to sanity.
Upon reflection, a number of things I was doing (acting the same way repeatedly and expecting a different outcome) were insane, and I needed transformation and recovery.
So there I sat at a noon meeting, sharing openly with someone who I knew from my public life. He was glad to see a familiar face, and I know was as surprised as I. We had a good chat following, and I will ask my higher power to help this fellow to accept what he is.
There is a huge power in acceptance and surrender. It takes more courage to take responsibility for your weaknesses and do something about it than to pretend they are not happening, and courage to go forward. I like to be at meetings, amongst courageous people!
Funny, I was a little bummed out Thursday morning. The chance meeting at the meeting got me out of me, and the balance of the day was far better.
This higher power of mine, when I stay out of my own way, makes some great things happen!! The spiritual awakening was real, addiction recovery is real and special, and reaching out to others always a cure for the blues!
I am also constantly reminded that the tenants of the 12 Step program are as good a model for good mental hygiene as anything ever discovered.

Author's Bio: 

Keith Bray is a Life Transformation Coach and Addictions mentor practising in Markham,Ontario.
A free sessions offered for interested parties. Addiction assesments offered.