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Addiction Recovery, Hope and Purpose

addictionIt’s nearly July already, and hopefully your summer is going smoothly. Perhaps you are finding yourself with some extra free time that will allow you to get outside a bit more than usual. One of the greatest parts about summers in Recovery is that you are afforded an opportunity to spend time with your higher power outdoors. Free from the constant noise of our technologically wired homes and apartments. Going to the beach or taking hikes with your addiction recovery peers is a wonderful opportunity to be grateful.

Even if you have not accrued years of clean and sober time, you are still able to appreciate the few gifts that recovery has afforded you. Just a couple months in the program can give you a new sense of purpose. Accompanied by the calm that comes from not having to worry about your next fix or drink. As you surely know, figuring out how you will afford your drug of choice or get away with it one more day is a great comfort.

In active addiction, we all spent an exorbitant amount of time and energy manipulating people and our surroundings. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, day in and day out. It could drive anyone to the brink of despair. An uphill battle that required all your attention and energy, just to wake up the next day and start the process all over. Perhaps over the course of your travels you came across Albert Camus’ “The Myth of Sysiphus?” Even if you haven’t, one need only read the first paragraph to spot the lot of the addict and alcoholic in Sysiphus:

“The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.”

Addiction Recovery is Hope and Purpose

While Camus’ short essay veers off into the theatre of philosophical absurdity, in the end Sisyphus finds himself happy with the task that the gods gave him. “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.”

The illustration of pushing the boulder is apt. In many ways, active addiction is a futile endeavor towards self-destruction. There aren’t any merits to slow suicide. A repetitive series of actions that strips you of your identity and casts you down to a living underworld. At some point, you no longer have the strength to push the boulder of addiction. One must either pivot towards recovery, or else. Conversely, addiction recovery is a series of repetitive movements that allows one to move, slowly, into the sunshine of the spirit. At times, you may feel like daily meetings and coffee sessions with your sponsor are both tedious and mundane. But, like the addiction boulder, the recovery boulder must be elevated each day. The difference is that your recovery is not futile, and your actions have purpose—saving your life.

The point, albeit in a somewhat roundabout way (no pun intended), is that there are ways to break up the monotony, and actually strengthen your relationship with your higher power. After you get to your daily meetings, take some time to embrace nature and all that is the natural world. Each day, try making a point to elevate your program to new heights, through prayer and meditation, perhaps. By doing so, the days where you find yourself struggling, may be fewer and farther between.

Independence Day Recovery

Next Tuesday is the 4th of July. A day that can be difficult for those who are working a program of recovery. Especially those of you who are new. Please make a point of having a plan in place. Avoid risky situations that might precipitate relapse. There will be meetings every hour of the day, and there isn’t a reason why you can’t go to several. There is a good chance that recovery BBQs will be going on, too. Try to attend, it is possible to have a lot fun in recovery. We are not a glum lot. Whether you have 24 hours or 24 years, we at 10 Acre Ranch wish everyone in recovery, a safe and sober Independence Day.