I Blew Through A Lot Of Stop Signs

When we are graced with sobriety, we can take a look back and examine our actions. Recently at a meeting a fellow with one year of sobriety was talking about clearing up some of his past actions while under the influence. He “discovered” a pile of tickets from his township for red light camera violations. He had no remembrance of either going through the red lights or of having received the summonses. Part of his amends process was to pay the fines and penalties on the tickets which ran into the thousands of dollars.

Yes, it’s true that many of us blew through red lights and stop signs on the road. We also blew through stop signs that periodically appeared during our drinking and drugging careers. Signs that had we heeded them would have saved us a lot of pain. Perhaps a doctor spoke with us about the damage we were doing to our bodies through drinking, drugging or binging on food. Maybe a family member sat us down and had a heart to heart talk about our substance abuse. Of course there were the repercussions from our actions while we were in a blackout and of which we had no remembrance. At some point we might even had had a glimmer of awareness that the way we drank, drugged or used food was not within the realms of acceptable behavior. 

Unfortunately, these moments of clarity were not lasting. We might have paused for a day a week or month but we eventually returned to our destructive behavior. 

The blessing is that each  of us eventually  came to a stop sign and  slowed down long enough to admit our powerlessness and unmanageability. That day was the beginning of our recovery.

Personal Reflection: How can I serve as a stop sign for someone who is still active?

Your Disease Progresses Even When You Are Not Drinking, Drugging Or Eating

Initially in sobriety we were confused about some of you old timers. You had maybe 10, 20 or 30 or more years of sobriety. Yet there you were at the meeting every night. You still arrived early and stayed late. You made it a point to share what was happening with you at every meeting. We found out that you still had a sponsor and made outreach calls regularly. All of this was perplexing to us. After so many years why did you have to maintain such a degree of intensity of program.
Over time, we began to gain some understanding as to why you behaved as you did. Even in our own lives we began to experience the effects of not calling our sponsor or not making meetings. We came too realize that our addiction did not remain inactive even though we were refraining from our drug of choice. Just not using wouldn’t cut it. All of those “ism’s” were still on overdrive. It almost felt like that for each day that we neglected our program, it took us two days to just get back where we had left off. In order for us to get ahead of the curve, we had to bring a certain level of greater commitment to our recovery. So, we joined you all timers and arrived early and stayed late; for who wants to play catch up?

Personal Reflection: Am I doing enough to get ahead of the curve?