Saturday, March 16, 2013

It's Important To Hear Things Repeated

Staying In The Solution

the solution
As alcoholics and addicts, we tend to have short memories when it comes to our disease.  Sure we are great at remembering the so-called harms done to us by others and holding onto those memories long after it really matters to anyone else but us.  When it comes to the damage and destruction that our disease does to us and others when it is active, however, we seem to forget that too quickly.  For this alcoholic that was one of the reasons I had a pattern of relapse.  I would forget how bad it got when I had just one drink and think (wrongly) that I could drink like a gentlemen.

By listening to other addicts and alcoholics share their story, we are able to stay in the solution because it reminds us of how bad it got when we were active in our addiction and how we found a way out.  Hearing a share that we can identify with is like recharging our recovery batteries and our desire to remain clean and sober.  Many stories we hear in the rooms sound almost identical to ones we had heard before and quite often ones we had ourselves lived and talked about with other addicts and alcoholics.  Identifying with others brings a sense of familiarity and comfort that many of us have felt nowhere else in our lives.

The shear genius of people telling "what it was like, what happened, and what is like now" is in its simplicity.  When we hear what it was like for others, we are reminded of how bad it was for us or perhaps how much worse it could have gotten if we hadn't found a way out of the progression of our disease.  Oftentimes in our addiction we have done and said things that seem unconscionable to us when we are sober.

The "what happened" part of someone's story is quite often very personal.  Because as addicts and alcoholics, we all have our own definition of what misery is and how much we can stand before we decided to change.  For some it could be a wreck where someone was injured or killed, but for others it could be as simple as just being tired of the hiding and lies that go along with our disease when it has reached its peak.

By hearing "what is it like now" reminds us of how much better our clean and sober life is, and it also gives us hope for the future whether or not we are a newcomer.  While we may be having a bad day, or even month or year, we have developed a faith that the program we are in provides us the tools to change whatever it is that is bringing us down.  We have also developed the realization that no matter how bad things get, drinking or drugging is only going to make things worse and make us unavailable for the better times ahead.

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