Begging for Recovery

by The Discovering Alcoholic on December 22, 2008

Original photo by amanderson2 now at The Discovering Alcoholic

It’s always tough to tackling topics on alcoholism and addiction without sounding as if either a snob or a hyprocrite. It would be different if some of the characteristic traits of the disease involved uncontrollable veracity and excessive charitableness, but unfortunately the aspects of the condition we discuss are usually less than flattering. So it is with the caveat that I’m pointing the finger at myself, a recovering alcoholic, first when I say that the only characteristic of practicing alcoholics that would give deceptiveness a run for its money is selfishness.

Click “Read more” to continue…

It is usually this selfishness that is the root cause of the web of lies we spin, providing cover for theft when we feel that our needs exceed that of others so much so we will steal and usually from loved ones because we know that we won’t go to jail if caught. It is the very definition of our disease that we will put the pursuit of drugs and alcohol as a priority over all other things, thinking of ourselves first and neglecting the needs, rights, and emotions of all others. We could teach a gas pump a trick or two about self service.

Even in recovery it is hard to break out of this selfish mindset. It is very evident in meetings with those in their first months of trying to walk a different path. You can almost see the internal struggle as their own recovery, and then that of others, slips in importance as midway through a meeting deciding the vibrating phone or a smoldering problem is now priority. It is disconcerting to all that witness the spectacle as it unfolds, usually exacerbated by a barrage of hastily made excuses to justify the bolt from the room. I know I did it, probably would have done it more back then if I could have afforded a cell phone.

Even today I battle the trait, but with practice it has become easier and the spiritual reward of putting the needs of others above my own has been one of the secrets to my recovery. This selflessness is very hard to maintain, I must assume it is in diametric contradiction to the way my brain is wired because rarely is my first thought of others… I have to work at it. Thai monks have found a way to shorten this path to enlightenment as their novices shave their heads and renounce worldly possession, vanity, and vices- they depend on their beggar’s monk bowl and the kindness of others to survive while they serve the spiritual needs of a community. The method doesn’t work well here though, just ask Britney.

All addicts at some point plead for an answer; they want help to battle the cravings and skewed logic of a diseased mind. I guess the point I am trying to make with this long post is that before you can beg for recovery, you must renounce all else. Recovery must be the priority- not cell phones, money troubles, health issues, or legal trouble- recovery comes first.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: