I was talking to a fellow this morning who was with the four horsemen: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. He had been sober for six months until Christmas and then decided to join the festivities. He now finds himself with no job, no home and few resources. It’s never his fault: someone else is always to blame for the soap opera that he’s living. It’s work, relationships or politics. All fingers always point away from him. We’ve talked about program in the past, about rehab, but he’s always sure that he can do it on his own. He believes that his relationship with his Saviour will save him. Only it doesn’t seem to be happening this way.
I’ve seen him repeat the process of sobering up, cleaning up, getting along okay for several month and then binging out of control until he comes to, one morning, realizing that they’re back again. I hope someday soon he’ll be ready to stop trying and start doing. I’ve learned in recovery that I cannot give him my sobriety. I can only tell him my story and hope that he can relate to it enough to make changes for himself. We carry the message, not the mess.
How do we stop and stay stopped? I believe it is by embracing our addiction. I believe that what I resist in my life will persist. If I resist the changes in my life, I will be faced with lots of changes. If I resist conflict, I will be surrounded by conflict on all sides of me. If I resist anger, then people, places and things that I cannot control will be all that I see. I have to stop resisting these things and embrace them, accept them, and ask myself what I can learn about them.
When I resist something I am putting my focus onto it. I resisted before I arrived at the meeting rooms. I told myself I could manage this, I could control it, I could function, I wasn’t living on the streets. I was focused on trying to prove to myself that I wasn’t one of those people. Only, of course, I was. Coming into the program of recovery I embraced my addiction: I accepted it as a part of me and I accepted that ‘I’ wasn’t able to do anything about it alone. I dropped my resistance and that allowed me to change my focus onto recovery, but first I had to realize that I needed recovery.
My buddy who is facing the Four Horsemen? He’s still resisting. He’s still focused on his disease and unable to admit he can’t control it; he’s trying to push his disease away. I hope that someday soon he will make the choice to accept and embrace his addiction. Once he does, I’m sure that he can leave behind the Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration and Despair that have been stalking him and find his own long-term serenity in recovery.
Peace my friend.