I was on the phone last night with a friend. He is not an addict and has been a friend for a number of years and is aware of my struggles. He has been steadfast in support and said something last night that brought me to tears….
Bob, if I can give back half of what you have given to me I would consider myself rich.
WTF?!? What have I given you?
You listened when no one else did.
I’ve always cared to some degree about people. I guess I couldn’t find that same level of self-concern when it came to my own life. I’ve been talking a little about desperation the past couple of days and what is drawing me now is the word desire.
A dictionary defines Desire:
To Long or Hope for; To express a wish for.
See, I thought I was the smartest guy I knew until I actually picked up a dictionary and started reading what words meant. Desire, to hope for.
What moves one from desperation to desire? Desire cannot be measured and is often misunderstood. I’ve had a desire for a number of years to go skydiving, but it doesn’t mean that I have done it.
In talking about recovery the 3rd Tradition of NA talks about, “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using”. The only thing I was a member of in the past was the old Columbia House Record and Tape Club where you got 11 albums for a penny, and I defaulted on that.
So I have a desire and that makes me get clean and stay clean? Perhaps, but it also has to deal with the commitment I make to myself, my HP, my family, my fellowship. I can wish and hope all day long and it is just that day spent wishing and hoping.
There is action and effort required on my end to take that initial spark of desire to stay clean and fan it into a flame.
I remember being at my first NA meeting and seeing a guy there I had run with over 16 years ago (at that time) and he said he had been clean for 16 years. My initial reaction was, “If that crazy fuck can stay clean 16 years, I can certainly stay clean for 1 day!”
That’s not to say he keeps me clean today, but for that moment, that day, the power of the program working in someone elses life was enough.
There have been really cool days in recovery, and I have had days I thought would never end. Life and the world continue to go on whether I accept them or not. Throughout it all there has been some level of desire and commitment or I wouldn’t have stayed clean, that’s just the simple truth. My hope today is that today I will become a little better than I was yesterday. That I will be able to help someone in some way, whether it is recovery related or not.
There are days I don’t feel that damn spiritual and I have had days where I have felt the presence of a power greater than myself in a moment that I could not bear alone. Our literature reminds us of this, that I do not know when the day will come that it will take all the effort I have just to stay clean.
Even after 4 years, 3 months, and a few days I still think about drugs. For some this may seem abnormal, for me not using is abnormal so were on the same page! The thought came to mind last night, almost to the point of euphoric recall. The difference today is I know what is going on. The disease concept of addiction is in my thinking patterns and my emotions. I realize that the feeling will pass and it did. I am no longer bound by impulsive action and compulsive behavior, I am set free.
I talked to my wife last night after my friend I mentioned earlier made some things clear. I knew what the answers were but I have been looking past them. I told my wife if she really wants to move down south to be with her family, we would make a go of it. It’s crazy I know but here is the thing…
My wife for 18 years has made selfless decisions and thought about our well-being first.
I am capable of making good decisions today based in the right reasons.
Those 2 things combined, we can’t be all wrong.
She cried last night and looked at me. She said this was one of those decisions she wasn’t even sure of. I told her whatever we decided to do, we would face together.
There are a lot of people on my mind and my heart today. So many people passed through my life that I never thought of telling how much they really meant to me. With that….
For whatever I did or didn’t do..
Know that I Love You.