72 Months and a Million Days

My recovery is messing with my math…

So… Here I am about to turn the clock into my seventh year of my recovery. The last six have been, as partially recorded here, a wild and albeit crazy ride. I am no different than anyone else in the respect of having a wild and crazy ride, the ups and downs, the moments of zen and bouncing off of the walls. This is just my perspective, as it always has been, and I have no business to say if any of it is the right thing for me. Yet it still feels like it is, and I will follow my gut.

I have befriended, as much as friendships count in this recovery centric lifestyle, some people and not others. I have had the same happen to me and for once in my life I am not concerned a bit about it. I don’t care for some people and vice versa, and that fits into all of this. It is discretion as to who to trust and who to bond with, not necessarily being intolerant or aloof, but self preservation. I know that people like myself for example can and do suck a lot of life off of others, a burden in the strangest sense. I can be an emotional vampire, or give a transfusion to all at once, in the meantime it is just practicing the balance of those two extremes that keeps me happy and sober, the drink becoming just a memory, the lessons learned becoming a welcome addition to daily thoughts and actions. The value of the lessons outweigh the value of the drink.

In the last six years the lessons and life that I have experienced have been the most fulfilling and at the same time the most daunting. Not simply with the recovery from drugs and alcohol, but also with the finding of myself, of who I am and what I can do in this life to make it better, worthy of all the grandiosity it once dreamed of. I know of acceptance now on a level I never knew existed. Most of the world has opened up in wondrous layers of time and thought, and a spirituality I couldn’t have imagined would be so giving. Learning to become a new person inside has taken a toll on my outside too, but I will gladly trade a little poor health for a casket or jail cell any time. The struggles in my early sobriety leaving me misplaced and behind the pack in some areas and in front of it in others. The time takes time continuum works in mysterious ways in recovery too.

Helping others is still my work as much as it was before I entered the program. I am a service human being and take pride in that no matter how unwelcome that may be at times. I am also an introvert that spends much energy in groups simply trying to shut out the overwhelming input I receive from others. Input isn’t the right term, more like signals people put out, and God has given me some NSA like powers to pick those up. Just like the NSA though, I can be wrong, yet my track record is in the 90’s. Like people with extra stuff that they don’t really know what to do with, I am just the same with this gift. If I turn it off, I go numb, If I don’t, I go numb. Like I said, learning how to stay in the middle of extremes right now is easier to recognize, so it is easier to manage, but the work is still as constant, and reflections more religiously done.

I speak with my sponsor most every week, the roles of the teacher and student trading places at times. Life is an experience and the more we talk about ours together the more readily prepared we are when we find ourselves in a new situation, or old one. It is an eerie practice I must admit because we soon find what we were just talking about, we find in our next reading from one book or another. If that doesn’t bring a chill up your spine, try doing it for a number of years? Yes, there is some connection to all of this that this work I have been able to do that has proven to a doubter that something else is at work here, I believe I have found faith, a true and undeniable faith. Somewhere within that faith and grace that comes with it a power greater than myself is felt at all times, sometimes greatly, sometimes minute.

As I listened to my brother at a meeting yesterday talking about words and not knowing what they really meant, I smiled, it was one of my shares too. I looked over to my Grand-Sponsor, my sponsors, sponsor: He was using a pen that I had made for him a few years ago for his AA birthday. The subject was changing using the program, with book in hand we can begin, from page 162 I believe. I thought about myself when I had made that pen, and how different my life is today. I also noticed the wood that I had made it from, it was a burl from the Mediterranean named Thuya. I worked for Greeks for many years in the restaurants in town, I learned some of the words and Thuya was one of them and the origin of the wood’s name. In Greek it is used as the word for work, or sacrifice, I smiled again at the aged man sacrificing his time and knowledge. Seventy-Two months has been a million days in my recovery, not mathematically, but inside. To quote a friend, “I can’t wait to see what I believe in next year.” It is all about growth and never stopping that quest for that inner spirit and that sacrifice that rewards me with a million days, and a greater more fulfilling life… with book in hand, God in heart, and peace in mind.

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