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Now Versus Then; My Journey in Recovery. Finding Peace, Contentment and Happiness.


This is a relatively short post, but I’ve got a gem laying out in the open at the end – a shortcut into a decades long understanding of recovery.  Don’t miss it.

I’m heading back to work next week after my layoff due to the COVID-19 virus and scare. I’ve been off for more than a month and a week. Prior to this, my longest vacation was two weeks and I only managed to pull one of those off in 27 years.

I was never sure of the money end of the layoff. We were told unemployment benefits would be available, but I didn’t trust it. The Federal Government had EIDL and PPP schemes but they ran out of money long before normal folks like me could even sign up. We immediately did what we could to minimize our bills. We even took the insurance off my vehicle (technically, it was put in “storage” so it was covered in the event a tree fell on it or something crazy). We spent wisely on groceries and ended fast food purchases. And my family thrived under the “lock down”.  I had more fun than a fella should be allowed to have.

We spent most days together, watching movies, playing games, tending to yard work – we even taught my youngest to play euchre. And I caught up on about 20 years of sleep. It was, without question, a glorious time off when many were struggling, I enjoyed almost every day.  Make no mistake, though.  The reason we were able to enjoy this was that, even with some economic insecurity, we had enough money in the bank to make it, even if it would be ugly without assistance.

After three weeks, the money started rolling in.  We got a stimulus check from the Feds, then a week later, unemployment started up.  We could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

As recovery went, I spoke to sponsors when I needed, I attended some Zoom meetings, and I even went to a few “bandit” meetings where we’d meet in a parking lot on lawn chairs, using the parking stripes as markers so we were well beyond our “6 feet” or “two meters”. I felt connected with my fellow AA’s and my recovery grew and progressed. I was given a new understanding of “going to any length to stay recovered”, and I loved it.

I was grateful for every day I had (there were two or three where my wife and I struggled to figure out how to occupy the same house together, sunup to sundown, but we got there – in the end, we thrived even in that pressure cooker).

This was the existence I prayed for when I asked God to help me recover. My end was that I’d give recovery everything I had. I lived up to my end and my Higher Power exceeded His. It’s not perfect, but I have the tools at my disposal to enjoy life on life’s terms – even when those terms are challenging.

There once was a time, decades ago, when my recovery revolved around repairing the progression of my disease, repairing the damage done by an astounding use of drugs and alcohol in a short period of time and the wreckage I created to stay high. The focus changed for the better years ago. My focus is no longer on distancing myself from my addiction, but on growing in recovery.

During a zoom meeting, one of the readings touched on the progression of the disease and that was chosen as the topic.  As I sometimes do, I had to modify that topic a little bit to suit where I’m at today:

Life today, for me, lies not in the progression of my disease, but the progression of my recovery.  It has for a long time, really.  It just took a decade or so to fully understand the meaning.

I enjoyed COVIDcation because working the steps when life turns sideways is natural.  I have recovered from a seemingly impossible state.  And with God’s grace, I’ll continue that today.  One day at a time.  Just for today.


  1. Great & stay strong my friend 💪💪

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