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. 

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