What I once thought would be amazing to achieve is now small. As we grow and succeed, we keep moving the goal posts. That’s how it’s done.
When I first came home from treatment, fresh off a mind-blowing spiritual experience, flying high on my pink cloud and ready for anything, I was very suddenly smacked by a loud wake-up call. Just checking the plethora of deranged messages on my cell phone was enough to send me over the edge. I felt myself going crazy again as the reality of life and the mess I had to clean up pounded at the gates. Ten minute conversations with creditors, or anybody for that matter, would necessitate a 20-30 minute meditation session all alone in my car just to clear my mind and bring me back to the ground. A job I got the first week home lasted one night. So it was just Steps and foundation building for the first 6 months. But it worked, and I got stronger. In fact, I became recovered.
Six months later I finally got that first job – cooking in an assisted living senior home. It was menial, 40 hours a week and 13 bucks an hour. I loved it. I ran around the kitchen all day and not a thought entered my mind except if I should make pineapple upside-down cake or not. I chipped away at my debt. I made a deal with the lovely IRS. I finished my undergraduate degree. These were, at the time, big accomplishments.
After my first year, I began to help others. I engaged in addiction treatment training, sponsorship, professional work, you name it. And at the time, these seemed like great things for me. Running a group every week and working with others all day long was a miracle, something I thought I could and would never do.
And now that part of my life is a distant memory. Speaking to groups or sponsoring a newbie is not only comfortable, but boring at times. Step work doesn’t lift me up, it simply keeps me from moving backwards. And due to what became an anti-climatic familiarity with the subject of addiction and recovery, I wrote a book and shared all of this nonsense with a wider audience. And then in 2009, I jumped into the market and made some money. Then my wife and I bought a couple buildings and started our own business. Then the dog… and finally, our beautiful boy.
Three years later, much of the pride of our business accomplishment is already gone, and I’m bored once again. In other words, I’m ready to move onto the next thing. That has been my recipe for success. Conquer one thing at a time. Relax into it for a while. Once you plateau, then you can tackle the next thing, a bigger thing.
This is my ninth year recovered. I think I’m finally ready to just be myself, to become who I am. I’m ready to do what’s always been inside me, what I was born with, what I was born to do. Probably better not to waste 15 years drinking and using like a pig, but hey, better late than never, and better yet, I wouldn’t have the life I have now without suffering enough to necessitate a spiritual experience.
God, help me to be where I am now, that I may do one thing at a time…