Sometimes we make recovery more complicated than it needs to be. As addicts, we’re accustomed to instant gratification from our acting out. We aren’t used to the concept of “time takes time.” We want to find the magic bullet, the philosopher’s stone, the secret incantation that will magically turn us into sober people without doing all that work. So we work harder at finding the secret to sobriety than we do with the everyday tools that will ultimately be what keeps us sober.
The ultimate idea of recovery is to develop the capacity to be happy while sober. Making it too much of a job can obscure not only the
progress we’re making, but take away a lot of the fun we get from looking at the world without our drug-colored glasses. While we don’t want to slack off on our work, getting sober is only a full-time job in the sense that we need to try to “practice these principles in all our affairs.” If we slip up, we learn from it and move on. Hairshirts are optional, and not really all that good an idea.
As today’s reading in one of my meditation books goes,
We’re on our path, and we get all the time we need. All we have to do today is be willing and make the best choices we can.
Keep it simple. Relax.