There But For the Grace of God Go I
Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom. -William Jordan
For the past 281 days, I have been surrounded by people who believe in the power of a 12-step recovery program. Sure, there are people who have come and gone, but when you go to meetings regularly, you figure out quickly to stick with the winners, and attend meetings where people are serious about their sobriety. Because of these people, the meetings, and the 12 steps, I have come to learn what I need to do daily to live serenely and purposefully without picking up a drink or a drug.
In the meantime, life being life, I am sometimes given reality checks to keep me grateful. I interacted with a woman today who was “graduating” from her outpatient rehab group. She chose to join the group several months ago, of her own volition, because her drinking had gotten out of control. After several relapses, she was able to stay sober for the past 3 months. She decided, on the day of graduation from her program, that she is also done with AA because it is “too much of a commitment” and that, if she feels like she want to drink, she will “take a walk instead.”
My initial instinct to this proclamation was horror… how the heck is she graduating from a rehab program with these ideas? My next thought was that I know exactly how she is graduating from a rehab program with these thoughts, because one year ago I was thinking the same way… I left my rehab program on November 8th of last year with thoughts not too far off from the woman above, and you can imagine how long my sobriety lasted.
It was tough listening to her rationalize how she can handle this disease on her own… it brings to the surface painful memories of my own denial. But this is one experience where “playing the tape through” as I have been taught, has a good ending… it makes me so grateful that I have a different mindset today!