Longer then one week
makes one weak.
How quickly do we forget that we have a disease. Life comes back to us in flying colour. We get on the magic carpet to our futures clean and serene. Jobs are fabulous, families are stronger and we learn to have fun..... clean. Who the hell wants to attend a meeting where we are reminded of the shit our lives used to be? Who wants to bring down our clean high with the drudgery of the users?
We have a disease. Thats what reminds us of where we came from. A condition of the mind and allergy that will never go away. Does a diabetic miraculously get better just because of a new job? Does a cancer patient suddenly cure herself because she made amends with her mother? Does a teenager grow a frontal lobe now that she is in a romantic relationship? All to quickly us addicts tend to forget that underneath all this new found health that our disease is still there..... in remission.
When we are not paying attention our addict is at the gym doing push ups. Awaiting the perfect moment to kick the shit out of us. The more we forget this the harder the whooping is going to be for us. Be humbled or get humiliated. It seems like a bit of common sense to me, stop treatment and get sick. Meetings are treatment, steps and fellowship are treatment. Stop treatment and.... get sick.
Now with that being stated let me flip the coin and work towards the reason why we should stay in the rooms, other then the above mentioned. Let us also touch on finding balance and not having to be in the rooms every night. Our life does not need to become completely fellowship stuff in order to stay connected. To be honest my personal opinion on that one is....... by making the fellowship our whole life we have just transferred our addiction and have not essentially learned how to live yet. Living as a productive member of society is our aim. When we come in to the rooms we do ninety meetings in ninety days because we need to build the connection. Its the bridge for us. Then we begin to step our toes back into life. Re integrating back into society. Keeping a tethered line to the fellowship is what is at question here.
Going back to the header line.... Being out of the rooms longer then a week makes one weak. This of course has to do with the disease aspect of our addiction, but what about the newcomer in the room?
What about the newcomer that has resonated with you and looks forward to hearing you speak each week. Your the only one that seems to make any sense to this person and it's your words of wisdom that keep them coming back. Every week they know they can find you at Tuesday nights meeting and they hold on with white knuckles for that next meeting. If they can just make it to that meeting they will be okay. Hearing you speak will ease their tension. ..... Then your not there. Nor at any meetings that week or for the next month. They don't remember hearing you share about going out of town. WTF? Did she relapse? After all these years she relapsed? Then the newcomer during the next week slips out of her white knuckle embrace and falls back into addiction. Thinking that if you can't stay clean then there is no hope for her.
I think we tend to forget just how important we are to the newcomer. I know for me when I came into the room I was not looking at the people that were there everyday and made their life the fellowship. I was looking for the people that had the life I wanted... jobs, families and commitments outside of the fellowship. I hated that I was an addict and did not want my life to be tied to that forever. (don't misunderstand that sentence though, I loved identifying with an addict because now I felt like I belonged somewhere, but i didn't want the world to know i had an incurable disease).
Getting romantically involved with an addict was horrible for me because it tied me even tighter to the rooms. I didnt want my daily life to be all fellowship, meetings and Anonymous stuff. I wanted the life of the woman that showed up every Friday night and talked about staying clean during a marital fight. The same lady that talked about working long hours and staying clean. And again the same beautiful blonde lady that spoke of raising her children amongst all of this as well. She is the one I kept coming back to see, then she stopped coming. So did the next five ladies I tried to follow. It was frustrating for me.
Today I am always mindful of that and even though I still need a couple meetings a week to keep my balance I am moving into landing a great job which will be many hours. I have a beautiful daughter that I want to spend every waking moment with and I am rebuilding my relationships out side of the fellowship. All these things are wonderful. They all take energy however. Energy I get from my recovery. Energy I derive from the excitement and gratitude I feel when I get to share with a newcomer. Meetings refill my recovery tank so that I can transfer that energy back out into all the things I got going on in my week. Without a full tank I cannot do all these things to the fullest of my light. Writing this blog helps me fill my tank, but even this does not replace my Saturday night meeting.
I have seen so many people move away from the meetings and not so much go back to using dope, but begin to live half lives. Miserable again within themselves. Why is that? Oh right.... let me remind us all once again.......because we have a bloody disease!! This disease does not go away because we wish it away. It is a proven fact we are not like other people, we did not choose to be addicts. It is in our DNA. Cancer patients did not choose to have cancer, why do we still think ourselves different? We are not responsible for our disease.... but we are responsible for our recovery. Our recovery is completely inclusive of the newcomers recovery. To walk away from that is to indulge the selfish nature of your disease.... she's doing pushups and your eating popcorn at the movies.
Missing your home group meeting this week will begin to make you weak.