I found sobriety in the summer of 1978. I had been severely addicted to mood altering chemicals for six years. I hit bottom, went into a Substance Use Disorder treatment center, and started practicing a recovery program in August of 1978.
“Love and tolerance of others is our code”. (Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 84)
Several years ago, close to Valentine’s Day, I was listening to the radio one morning on my drive into work. The radio host asked the above question to the listening audience. Immediately, the phoneline was inundated with dozens of phone calls from listeners all offering sage wisdom on the topic. However, one caller’s comments have stayed with me all this time. He responded with, “Love isn’t a noun – it’s a verb”.
“Step 12 says “as a result” of these steps. It doesn’t say you can work on the steps if and only if you first have a spiritual awakening. So I needed to start over and work on steps 1-11 first. "
I grew up in Mtn. View, California and at the age of 17, I found myself at a crossroads. Once my addiction had reached the point of requiring professional help, my Mom and I went to see a doctor that specialized in chemical dependency. When the doctor came to greet us, he was not what I expected. He was an older gentleman that appeared as if he only knew medicine rather than being able to possibly comprehend what I was going through. He sat us down and said to my Mom…”You are basically putting Band-Aids on the problem…if your son does not stop what he’s doing…he’s going to die.” I could tell my Mom was fighting back the tears and doing her best to remain strong. The doctor went on to tell us about a treatment center in Minnesota that could help.
There is a Woody Allen saying that is often misquoted as “90 percent of life is just showing up.” What he actually said was "Showing up is 80 percent of life. Sometimes it’s easier to hide home in bed. I’ve done both.” (New York Times, August 21, 1977). I find that showing up is terribly important, because for me it has been difficult.
I deployed to Tallil, Iraq in January of 2007. When my transport plane landed, I got worried. Would I hold up under combat conditions? Would I remember my training or, would I wither in the face of fire? I deplaned and stood on the tarmac to get my bearings and there a few hundred meters from my location I saw a church steeple. I thought to myself “before I do anything else, I’m going to go into that church and just say a quick prayer of gratitude to God for getting me safely to Iraq.”
Hello my name is Kara and I am addicted to self-will!
Page 62 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states “So our troubles, we think , are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot”…..um….bummer! I don’t know about you but I have never lived in peace and riot at the same time. Of course, I have given it one heck of an effort, but the 2 don’t mesh. Ultimately, through experiencing both peace and unrest, I decided I would like to choose peace. It’s one or the other. And I like peace!
This simple phrase I’ve been hearing since I walked into the rooms of recovery. Today I realize it means just as much to me now as it did when I couldn't stop obsessing over a drink.
Our national drug policies are being set, and re-set recently on the basis of popular opinion, rather than on the basis of risk of addiction or risk of death. There is no national drug policy, just a confusing and contradictory set of policies that are constantly changing, as those who want to cut the death rate are in conflict with those who want to make addictive drugs more available. There is very little science, and lots of politics.