What Got You Here Won’t Get You There– Marshall Goldsmith
A Man Who Needs Recovery from addiction?
It’s been almost a quarter century since I walked into my first 12 step room. Admitting that I may be someone who needs recovery was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Despite, having answered the popular discovery questions and doing the work in the first step many times over, I still struggled with the dis-ease model of addiction. It wasn’t until after many years of kicking and screaming as my life continued to spiral deeper into that dark abyss, that I finally arrived at a place of acceptance. I’m still not certain I like the word, disease because of what it implies in our culture but I accept it nevertheless.
It was very clear that my life was a runaway train and I couldn’t stop it by myself so if someone was willing to help me, I’d call it whatever they wanted me to. Today I choose to see it as a condition that can cause dis ease for me if I allow it to steer the ship but I have the power to make a different choice.
As an addict, I have conditioned myself to hold on to certain behaviors well beyond their shelf life.
What I mean by that is, I continue with a behavior long after the point that it serves me in a helpful way and even to the point where it causes harm or stunts my growth. This can be true for any habit I develop, regardless of how healthy it may seem in the beginning. Knowing this about myself, it should have come as no surprise when, after years of working a solid program of recovery, I felt stuck. And it seemed like I wasn’t the only one.
I would listen to people with years of clean time share stories similar to the ones I was telling myself. Stories that sounded a lot like the rationalizations I used while in active addiction. They’d say things like, “I’m overweight, my marriage sucks, I hate my job, I’m drowning in debt, but it’s all good because I didn’t use today.”
Really? Is that what I busted my ass creating this rock solid foundation for?
I had reached another one of those crossroads where my comfort zone felt anything but comfortable. A point where the pain of continuing with the status quo was greater than my fear of taking a leap of faith. It was time to test that courage I had developed and ask a difficult question.
Am I now someone who needs recovery from recovery?
Over the course of my 57 years on this planet, every single moment has been one of constant growth; we can’t help it, that’s just what everything in nature does. With that growth comes change and most of the time it’s very subtle but, every once in a while it takes a giant leap.
Up to this point there had only been two points in my life where change required quantum leaps.
The first time was puberty as I moved from childhood to adulthood. The second was recovery as I moved from a spiritual cocoon to awakening.
Now I was looking at a third one that I call Destiny.
Recovery had given me gifts that I never thought possible. It restored me to a state of wholeness that I hadn’t experienced since early childhood. It was time to take all those things I had learned along the way and apply them to the purpose I was put on this earth to fulfill from the very beginning.
When I first entered recovery, my mentors in the program promised me one thing; that I could be restored to a life free from drugs, alcohol, and gambling. That promise was fulfilled and I built a rock solid foundation which I now stand on as a healed, whole man.
But a foundation is meant to be built upon.
Destiny was calling me to let go of my past story as a recovering addict so that I could see the road ahead where my blueprint for my dream castle was being drawn up.
Today, construction is well under way as I continue to experience a more fulfilling life with an amazing marriage, a healthier renewed body, and financial freedom. None of which could have been possible had I not learned to take my gifts from recovery and step into the next phase of life…DESTINY.
As I look back with 20/20 hindsight, I see clearly how fear held me back from each new phase of growth. Fear from false beliefs that had been conditioned in me. Thinking that relapse was some monster waiting to pounce on me at any moment, was just another one of those beliefs.
The irony is that the principles I learned in recovery had given me the faith and courage to move beyond recovery.
As I see it, we’re all here for one greater purpose which is to give and receive love because when all the bullshit from our egos gets stripped away, love is all that remains. Once you realize that love and fear cannot coexist in the same space and shift your focus to love, the path to Destiny becomes much smoother.