There are no magical solutions to what plagues us, no way any guru or teacher can enlighten us, no easy path that has been forged for us. There are no important answers outside ourselves, only guidance to prepare us for the journey inward.
Don’t look back; something might be gaining on you.
~ Satchel Paige
In her wonderful book The Long Steep Path, Catherine Ryan Hyde writes of a three-day trek to Machu Picchu, during which the trail tops out on two mountain passes approaching 14,000 feet above sea level. She comments on the difficulty of simply breathing at that altitude, and the daunting sight of still more climb ahead. Than she writes: Continue reading
I’ve come to believe that going to meetings, getting a sponsor and working through the 12 steps is the most important part of recovery. Why? Because the process provides a template for dealing with recovery and its problems.
When I got to recovery, I was a victim of my own Most Unexceptional thinking. Someone pointed out to me that just because you can take a watch apart, it doesn’t mean you can put it back together; you have to learn the skills. That made sense to me. I had been unable to think myself out of multiple addictions, and it was clear to me that I wasn’t going to be able to think my way into recovery. I needed to listen to people who had done what I needed to do, and learn from their experiences (and my own failures). Getting a sponsor is really a prerequisite for going through the steps effectively, so I thought I’d kick out a few ideas about sponsorship. READ MORE…
At a meeting the other day, a guy suggested a topic and proceeded to share at length. It really makes no difference what it was, but two things were clear: the person didn’t have any concept of what recovery is really about, and he is so far up in his head that he has a long way to go before getting the hang of it.
It got me to thinking about when I was in the same boat. To begin with, I analyzed everything. I was so smart and so on top of things that I’d been pretty much a useless drunk for the previous six months and a semi-functional one for several years before that. So, naturally, a few weeks out of treatment I thought I had all the answers.
I had all sorts of high-falutin’ theories. I’d read a few books, and I was pretty sure that with a bit of effort I could become a recovery guru and help all those other poor folks who just couldn’t seem to get it. I was going to re-write the Big Book and streamline the program so that it would work for folks in the here and now, instead of fooling around with ideas that were (at that time) fifty years old. Continue reading