I recall sitting in recovery groups, hearing that only two of us in the room, out of ten, were going to remain sober. Whether this is accurate or not, I affirmed to myself, that I would be one of the two. But what is the difference between those two people, and the remainder of the crowd?
Looking back at the seven years and several attempts I made to get sober, with countless relapses in between, I understand now, that I simply wasn’t willing or courageous enough to make the cut. Back then, I was “attempting” to get sober. Today, I’m pursuing recovery, just like I used to pursue a high. There’s an enormous difference. Knowing that I could easily pick up and drink and fall back into the hell of my addiction, motivates me to pursue recovery even more. If I am feeling restless, irritable and discontent, I perk up and get myself into a meeting, or on the phone with recovery peers. I do whatever it takes to get back into the flow of my life. You see, back in the relapse madness days, I thought if I was off track a little, I had to fully self-destruct. The difference now is; I long for harmony, and run from chaos. This is a shift of the inner tides. I used to thrive on chaos.
It’s simple, really. A person who recovers, is willing to do the work, and courageous enough to face everything that comes his or her way, without using. A person in recovery picks up on his emotional responses, rather than picking up a drug or a drink. This is the difference between a recovering addict/alcoholic, and someone who struggles in recovery. A person who recovers learns acceptance to the full degree. It’s a leveling field with the recovering addict; like ground zero. Everything has come crashing down, and we become very grounded. We have fully surrendered.
We can speculate all day long on why some people make it, while others don’t, but the truth is always simple. Willingness and courage. These two driving forces will catapult any sufferer from their despair, into the grand awakening of recovery.