Where Do You Want To Go?

by The Discovering Alcoholic on September 9, 2007

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? She asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don’t know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn’t matter.~ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I want to stop drinking and using drugs.
I want to stop hurting.
I want to enjoy life.
I want to be normal.

These are some of the answers I get when I speak to people about what they seek in recovery. All good answers, but when I ask how they intend to make this happen often I get a blank stare. I think it is a misconception of many that recovery is instantaneous, as if one day you quit drinking and drugging and the next day you have a shiny new life. It would be nice if alcoholism and drug addictions were like a 24 hour stomach bug that was no doubt nasty but ran its course quickly, however there is a reason why they are categorized as CHRONIC.

So if you are currently in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), attending 12 step groups, or practicing a personal program there is one thing you really need to think about; where I am going? MMT is a great first step, the 12 steps can provide a refreshing catharsis, and sobriety is definitely a good thing but recovery is a never ending process that requires constant work and definitive goals.

If you want to stop drinking and using drugs, then give your recovery program priority over all things that distract and work it every day… every day. If you want to stop hurting, then you will need to identify what is causing it and a method of alleviation. If you want to enjoy life, identify those things you deem pleasurable and a path to obtain them.

These things don’t “just happen” because you attend a meeting or work through a list; they take lots of hard work. We found none of these things in pill form or at the bottom of a bottle, just as we will not find them just because we are in AA or MMT. Identify your target, make a plan on how to get there, and then DO IT.

I forgot about the “I want to be normal” part didn’t I? Well for that, I will leave you with another one of my favorite quotes form the Cheshire Cat:

‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ said Alice. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat. ‘We’re all mad here.’

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