I chose the words for the Title of this post carefully.
Recovery was a choice from the very first day. A perfect storm of three things crashing together all at once did the trick; a desire to not drink met with a desire to stop digging the hole I was in and a willingness to do anything to recover. A sponsor’s first request of me, the day I asked him to sponsor me, was to back into every parking spot I parked in for a full month. When I asked why, he simply said he’d tell me after the 30 days were up. I started at the next parking spot. 30 days later, I asked why. He said, “I wanted to see if you were willing to do what it takes [to recover]. If you’re not willing to do something as simple as backing into a parking spot, there’s no way you’d willing when the going gets tough”. I was willing. Most aren’t. Most would demand a reason or complain that the request was stupid. Most wouldn’t even start – and that’s why people struggle to find their foothold early in recovery.
I’d have stood on my head in the corner if my sponsor told me it would help me find peace and contentment in recovery. I’m not kidding, and the best part is, my idea of what peace and contentment would look like back then was so vastly below what I’ve got today, it’s enough to put a smile on my face as I write this.
With all of that said, the best reason an alcoholic or addict needs to choose a life in recovery?
I don’t have to live with the pain of knowing I’m digging my own grave, not a hole, and I can’t help be keep digging… that mental anguish was immense. If you work for peace and happiness in recovery, you’ll find it. Out in the madness, you won’t have a chance. It’ll kill you first. I’ve seen it happen more than once. It ain’t pretty. Almost as bad is sitting on the fence, between recovery and addiction. This is that “controlled use” fairytale, because you’ve gotta be in control! Invariably we find we’d be better off pissing into a 30-mph headwind, hoping to aim high so it’ll blow back over our head.
No thanks. Peace and contentment will do just fine, thank you. Recover hard, my friends. It’s worth it.