My recovery’s constant crossroads
Armand’s post Another Way To Look At Step 10 prompts us in recovery to stay persistent in our program. In reflection, I realize that much of my ‘latter-step recovery’ finds me at a crossroads.
The road up:
I have the option to pursue the 10th step for example, to think about my 24 hours ahead each morning and reflect on the 24 hours-passed each night. Throughout the day, I can be mindful to pause when agitated or doubtful in order to ask for guidance and do the next right thing.
I consider this proactive recovery, aimed to change my behavior by the moment.
The road down:
It is easier to sit on certain steps, such as the 11th step’s prayer and meditation, rather than move through them. I have rationalized that I’m on the 11th step while not doing much of anything.
And I’ve learned that in my program (and I believe in all my behaviors and attitudes) there is no neutral path. I am doing things to feel better, mature, and grow, or I am not. I am constantly moving either toward or away from a drink.
I can far too easily get caught up in “eternal vigilance” alone. For me, this means reactively dealing with life, instead of proactively working toward happiness.
A simple example confronts me on a regular basis. The ramp off the highway is backed up half a mile. Do I sit in traffic like everyone else honestly exiting the highway, or do I speed past those suckers in the next lane over and cut someone off at the exit.
Do I do the right thing, or am I content to do the wrong thing and pray for forgiveness later?
I’ve heard that the road to hell is paved in good intention, and I think that saying fits in here somewhere.
I was recently suckered into some heavier 10th step work. My sponsee asked what more he could do so I told him. And, as I’ve learned, I cannot transmit something I haven’t got. So I stepped up my 10th step work too.
I can rationalize vigilance into a reactive state of mind. What my program needs is persistent action.