Recovery doesn’t work as often as it should… until we get to where people are actively “working on” their recovery. At that point we get to something like an 85% success rate (it’s something like 90% make one year, then 85% of those make five, but those numbers are positive so they’re not published often… the machine would rather count everyone who walks through the door to a meeting, like we’re all professional miracle workers or something and can simply zap someone who has no desire to do what it takes to live a life free of addiction into instant peace and contentment with a few magic words.).
I don’t know what the percentages are for making a quarter of a million hours, but I’m past that and I dig it immensely. It isn’t an easy way of life, trying to choose a humble life in this “look at me” environment, but it’s simple and gratifying. When all the accounting is done, I truly love being me.
Having arrived at this point in life doesn’t mean I’ve crossed a finish line, I’ve always been partial to the idea that the finish line is a casket (or in my case, an urn for what’s left if anything is salvageable – I’m hoping for, “nope, all of that $#!+ is worn out”, but you never know).
Working on recovery leads, inexorably, to gratitude, peace and contentment. The big three, if we work for them, are like a tractor beam. It’s awesome and inescapable.
The catch is, it only works if you work it.
And so I go about my life, working toward being the best me I can simply because I want to see exactly how good this can get. Unlike the stockmarket, in this way of life, past performance is indicative of future results.
And so it was, I got home yesterday and my wife and I had a meeting with our financial advisor. It was cool out, lower 50s (call it 10 C, maybe) and cloudy with an occasional misting that wouldn’t quite turn to rain. I had every intention of skipping out but my wife had a board meeting to attend, so I thought why not give it a go. I could always turn around if I wasn’t feeling it. I texted Chuck and asked him to give me a few to get ready, then that I’d meet him on the road. I wheeled my Trek out just as he rode by the house. I clipped in, let him catch up after he turned around up the road and we rolled out.
The roads were slightly, meaning barely damp in a few splotchy places. No standing water, no spray, just the appearance of moisture. Sorry, dampness?
The first mile was a little on the chilly side but I warmed up under the gloomy sky – and I almost forgot, there was virtually no wind. The ride was more a two-wheeled stroll, really. We had some fast sections, but when we stumbled on a good topic, we’d slow it right down till we got through the discussion. It was exactly as a mid-autumn ride should be. The three Fs, if you will. Fun & Friendly with a little Fast. While we felt a little mist here or there, the roads ended up drying out completely and we never got enough to complain about.
As we were riding along, I was struck by how quiet and fantastic the Trek is behaving now that I got the right (rear) shifter tamed. I’ve never had it so good – and it’s been a great bike. “Buttery smooth” is a good way to put it.
We completed our loop and Chuck and I said our good-byes.
After a shower and a quick bite to eat, I headed out to a meeting where I talked an issue through with my sponsor, then related to it at the meeting because it fit an issue another guy was having with his family. Once the meeting was done, I stayed after for twenty minutes for the meeting after the meeting. Now, it’s a rare day I air dirty laundry at a meeting. Some people talk about every little issue they run into but I’m not that guy… I have a sponsor for that. In this rare instance, it fit. After the meeting I headed home, to find my daughter’s car in the driveway. Funny how things work out, is all I could think. My daughter and I had a conversation about that issue I’d spoken with my sponsor about and I made an apology that I needed to make and we laughed about how things had gone down. I’m being a little cryptic for space and time, and because the crux of the conversation is none of anyone else’s business… what is important is that I made my amends for a mistake I made, at the first opportunity I had because that’s how it works.
That’s how I got to, and beyond, 250,000 hours of continuous sobriety. One at a time. Then twenty-four at a time… then, out of the blue you look down at your Big Book app and see that you’ve passed a milestone without even realizing it. Because out of all those hours, the one I’m in right now is the most important. It’s the only one I can do anything with, really. And for that, I am grateful.
Recover hard, my friends. You’re worth it.