Sometimes you forget just how important it is to have confidence in yourself until the moment you need it most. For many battling addiction, years of substance abuse has eroded all traces of self-assurance and makes recovery seem like an impossible goal. There comes a moment where the next step is either the sober path or deeper addiction — and you have to feel certain about your choice. We recently spoke to a few people in addiction recovery who explained that confidence isn’t just helpful in the process, but necessary. Here are a few of the insights they shared with us.
The title of today’s post is a lyric from the song “I’m on Fire” by Chuck Negron. Chuck is a former member of the band, Three Dog Night, and he recently released a video for the song. “I’m on Fire” is a beautiful tune that communicates Chuck’s struggle with addiction and his journey to spirituality and 25 years of sobriety. If you love this song––and the video––like we do , be sure to visit Chuck Negron’s YouTube channel.
Right here and right now in the precious vibrant moment, I fully sense the powerful presence and peace of Universal Intelligence. I am one with this Infinite Power. It infuses me with poise, power, and positivity as I accept and welcome each and every one of my experiences. As I look forward to the unhurried, sunbaked, rejuvenating days of August, the month that gives us permission to rest, relax, and take a break to travel to inner and outer places, it is the perfect time to simply be.
Wouldn’t Bill Wilson be a great choice when playing that game of “pick 3 people – alive or dead – fictional or real – that you’d like to sit with at a dinner table and shoot the breeze?” One thing I’d ask is, “How literally did you mean to suggest that the Big Book be taken? Do you think that there is any room for interpretation in the program?” In my imaginary conversation, Bill would say, “Hell,” (because he seems like the kind of crusty old codger who would start off like that) “I just want people to be able to stay sober and live in the sunlight of the spirit so they will know the joy, peace, and serenity I have come to know.”
It’s the little things that remind me I really am getting better at surrendering that which I cannot control, at changing the things I can, and unleashing my wisdom to choose ease and grace over struggle and strife. It can be something as simple as coffee, or lack thereof. I don’t consider coffee a vice, though I do have a borderline addictive desire for it each morning. However, it is the even stronger desire to lace it with CoffeeMate hazelnut creamer, with its list of unpronounceable, multi-syllabic ingredients, none of which seem to involve a cow, which poses potential concern.
Today is my sobriety birthday! On June 29, 1988, I enjoyed an early, three-martini lunch just before checking into a treatment center for a 30-day inpatient program. To be clear, I did not enter treatment for alcoholism, as I was not one of those awful people with a drinking problem. I knew people like that, and I certainly was not one of them. At the time, I had been abstinent in OA for a year. After months and months of abstaining from starving and bingeing and purging, I was an emotional wreck. I was working a strong program, but I need serious help, so I opted for treatment.
As I peer into the sizzling and dazzlingly beautiful month of July, the month that honors freedom and the ideals that define who we are, I sense new ideas, new opportunities, and new situations lighting up my consciousness like fireworks bursting in air. I am grateful to know that I am freer from the bondage of self than ever before. I celebrate my independence from the need for alcohol, drugs, and behaviors that no longer serve me. I know the ideals I strive for guide me as I travel my path, and I celebrate my progress, free from any expectation of perfection.
I was rereading the Big Book recently looking for some references, and noticed there are a few points along the 12 step way where the action we are asked to take is done mentally or internally. Things like making or reaffirming a decision, and reconnecting with the higher power nature of the infinite, and with the higher power nature in ourselves. That’s interesting – I guess alcoholics need that extra reminder to stop and be clear about what we are doing by re-minding ourselves to pause – even when not agitated – but pause and think, reflect, stay tuned in. That’s a big one for me – it’s helpful to slow down and take a breath now and then.