Am I relapsing again?
I found myself asking this question repeatedly over my 25 years of recovery. Usually, it came shortly after some milestone in the 12 step program like getting a chip for time served or completing a certain step and patting myself on the back.
It always began with a subtle warning.
Maybe I’d tell a “little white lie” or catch myself gossiping about someone in the program who I was passing my almighty judgment on. Other times it was just a general feeling like shit because life on life’s terms wasn’t the bed of roses I expected it to be. It got so the question, “am I relapsing?” got answered long before I picked up each time but I couldn’t seem to stop it.
I’d listen to the old-timers repeating the old cliches and talking about how wonderful their lives were and wonder what part of this picture I was missing. I’d approach them after meetings to inquire and they’d just smile and repeat the cliche slogans. I remember driving away thinking to myself…
Is this all there is?
Then I’d find myself relapsing again and starting the process over feeling a little more defeated by the loss of my anniversary date which seemed so precious to me at the time.
It wasn’t until after many more years of pain before I began to realize that staying clean and cleaning up the emotional wreckage was only taking me so far. I needed to look beyond my recovery and into discovery. Fixing the brokenness only brought me to that unfulfilling place I was prior to the day I picked up.
I decided I had to take a risk, step out of the church basements and seek out my destiny.
I traveled the country, attending main stream personal development events and spiritual retreats, trying to find something to fill that empty space that remained after the clean up. I continued to improve my conscious contact with the universe through daily meditation and practicing the principles I’d learned in recovery. Only now I was practicing them in a different forum…Mainstream America.
That’s when I discovered that recovery was only the beginning.
Although it was a vitally important piece, it was still just a piece. I discovered that this foundation I laid was meant to be built upon. I then began the process of constructing an entire platform for what I like to call my dream castle on that solid foundation.
With the help of coaches and mentors, I soon began to see the life I had dreamed about as a little boy, beginning to take shape. A life that went way beyond clean and sober. A life that now includes a fairy tale marriage, great health and energy, and financial freedom.
I believe we all came here with a unique purpose to fulfill and we each need to search our own hearts to discover what that is. I’m grateful to those whose purpose it is to remain in the recovery rooms and help others to heal, for without them I would have never had the opportunity to find mine.
I thank God for giving me the courage to step outside of the comforts of the church basements with both eyes looking forward at my path to destiny. I still take the occasional glance in the rear view just to remind myself to always remain humble and grateful to those who showed me a better way of life but I no longer live in fear of relapse.
Discovering your “why” and living each day for that purpose leaves no room for the relapse boogy man.