How I Handle Adversity in Recovery: A Fantastic Week, Grinding Out the Miles After My Unsettled Recovery Anniversary.
Last week was a pretty good week as weeks go. With my anniversary, I was squirrely as I can remember ever being – so much so, it was unsettling.
Of course, in my world, because everything happens in God’s world for a reason, unsettled is a good thing.
Allow me to explain. Friends, there’s nothing like a little unsettled squirreliness to remind a fella exactly where he stands in the recovery game. Tomorrow is a promise to no one in recovery. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I still have to watch my @$$. Last week I saw alcohol everywhere. Commercials, on TV, driving down the street, at work… everywhere. Usually, that stuff just fades into the background, I don’t even notice it anymore. When I get close to my anniversary, though, something changes and things go a little haywire for a week or so. This squirreliness isn’t always noticing booze, either. It varies from year to year, but one way or another I manage to find a way to be unsettled around my anniversary.
I don’t know what causes this, nor do I really care. I just accept it for what it is and use the experience to strengthen my recovery, because that’s what we do. I remember what it was like to hang on to recovery by a knot at the end of a thread, praying with everything I had that an urge to drink again would pass. Sometimes I’d just repeat in my head, “God help me. God help me…. over and over again, until sanity returned. At quiet times in my head, I’d ask for ten seconds of sanity before I did something stupid; and that worked.
My friends, everyone has tough times. Everyone. Rich people, poor people, kind people, mean people… As recovering alcoholics, we don’t have an artificial escape from the chaos anymore. We have to accept it as it is, work some steps at it, and get on with doing the next right thing in any given situation. It’s simple as that, so that’s what I do when the hamsters start running on the hamster wheel again. My unease is a gift that reminds me I could be out there with nothing in a matter of months – all I have to do is take a drink and I’ll be in free-fall within days. Recovery is a daily reprieve contingent upon the maintenance of my program and my relationship with my Higher Power.
My anniversary was Monday, it’s now Thursday, and my attitude and outlook are improving daily. I’m finally relaxed again, rather than being a bit “on edge”. I’ve been busy, though. It seems the nine-hour workdays just fly by, then I get home to grind out some trainer miles before heading off to whatever event we’ve got lined up for the evening. Then I get home and crash out by 8 pm, just to turn around and start it all over again at 3 in the morning.
There’s nothing like being so tired at the end of a day that you simply can’t keep your eyes open any longer. They say the average person should fall asleep in 23 minutes. It takes me 23 seconds. I know when I’m that tired at the end of a day, I’m getting as much as I can out of life, and I dig it.
Today’s another day in a really good life. It’s another day in paradise.
Recover hard, my friends. There just might not be a do-over.