Recovery is about change, but there’s big change and small change. Sometimes we get them confused. For example, we may realize that our program isn’t quite going the way we’d like. So we look for a new book to read, find a meeting that “suits” us better, look at a new fellowship, find a new sponsor — maybe even get a new job or move into a different halfway house, a mini-geographical cure.
This is small change, and it may even help for a while, but it’s not Big Change. Our small change may give us knowledge and temporary satisfaction, along with the excitement of something new, but it’s more like running in circles than progress in recovery.
Big Change comes from doing the work, from buckling down and working on the basics: service, fellowship and the steps. Change is about growth, and growth is not without work and pain. If we were doing something simple, like bodybuilding, learning a new skill, going back to school, we wouldn’t expect to progress without a certain amount of effort — even pain! Why then, when our expressed desire is to correct the unskillful thinking and behavior that has been dictating our lives, would we think that we can progress without those things?
It’s been said many times that recovery isn’t for sissies. There’s a good reason for that. It’s work, it’s scary, it’s initially painful, and it takes guts. I fooled around with half-assed recovery myself, for twenty-three years. Hell, I wasn’t even in recovery (although I could talk the talk with the best of them — and did). It took a bottom that you don’t even want to think about to knock some sense into me and convince me that I didn’t know it all.
We’ve been settling for second best…third best…last place for too long. It’s time for Big Change, and as they say in the fellowships, it [only] works if you work it!