I have a friend – well, he’s Bob, a social media friend. We’ve never met. Wouldn’t know him if I bumped into him on the street. We sometimes chat via a meditation app, both part of a subgroup called “Friends of Bill and Dr. Bob.” Clearly we have things in common. Beyond the obvious, he led a 12- Step group in his community. I led a Recovery Consciousness group in mine. We shared notes and support. We both got sober later in life when our kids were older. His daughter recently hit some snags while getting her ducks in a row in the college application process. I had zero advice to share even though both my kids graduated from college and both are living their lives, for which I am proud and grateful.
We moved into our home about 2 ½ years ago. A potentially cozy and very lived-in dwelling in a––shall we say––“mature” neighborhood. As I gazed into the backyard, my mind’s eye saw a beautiful, lush, and fragrant oasis, with flowers infusing vibrant splashes of color among the trees and shrubs. A perfect blend of cool shade and bright sun, invitingly serene and full of life. My human eyeballs told a different story. There were more dirt spots that grass, and the sparse grass that existed was dried out and hay-like. The fence was rickety, and the back porch had holes.
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.