Archives

Hello Recovery, Hello Amends

adelle-hello“Hello”

Adele’s “Hello” hit the air a couple months back and by now it’s starting to get on everyone’s nerves because it is played so much you almost want to say “goodbye” and not listen to the song. This song hit me hard when it first came out. I remember the day it hit the air, I had to pull over because the words immediately catapulted me back to my first year in recovery…amends.  Such a painstaking phase of my first year in recovery, don’t get me wrong I grew but it was painful growth.

Adele goes on in her song to say “she’s called a thousand times and hello from the outside”…I could relate… I had gotten out of treatment, I was outside of bondage of my disease and I had a clear head to start calling and make the amends that were much needed to those I had wronged.  Although I thought I was reading to do all my amends my sponsor had me do them in the order she thought was pertinent, and so I did.

I made those and amends and thought I had let go but Adele broke me all over again head, heart and soul…she brought back every emotion that I felt that year in a three minute song.  At the first part of the song she talks about healing and how time was supposed to heal wounds but she hadn’t done much healing. I felt that pain, getting out of treatment and anxiously waiting for the healing that was supposed to happen.  I knew that I would need to do my amends to start my healing process, I had wronged so many people and I needed to clean my side of the street.

Five years ago I picked up a phone and called a friend to make an amend that I knew would not go well at all.  I was nervous, hands shaking, my heart was about to pound out of my chest and she answered…I didn’t want to make this amend but my sponsor had told me I was emotionally ready.  I wasn’t feeling very emotionally ready as soon as I heard her voice come over the phone.  The first thing out of her mouth was, nothing changes if nothing changes…so, have you changed?  I didn’t expect her to say anything like this so I was taken back, I swallowed hard and fought through my crackled voice and said Hello.  I went on to tell her I was sorry and I had gotten out of treatment and I was working on my first year in recovery and she remained silent.  I kept talking and telling her how I’m working a really good program with a really good sponsor…she was still silent.  I finally said her name and looked at the phone, she had hung up.  That was a hard amend, I tried my best, I did what I was supposed to do.  Did she hear everything? Did she know I truly meant what I was saying?  I don’t know the answer to those questions and I never will and that isn’t my responsibility and that wasn’t my side of the street, I cleaned up mine and I made that call.  Adele’s song tugged at my heart…I wanted to tell her I was sorry for breaking her heart but I never got that out.  I guess I will never get to tell her myself but maybe Adele can do that for me.

Here I am almost six years later and the world “Hello” from one song took me back to that heart pounding, voice crackling moment.  I have to thank Adele for letting me feel my past in a very soft gentle way.  Amends can be difficult but the growth that comes from amends is so precious.  Short term loss can be long term gain…so I took the short term loss of a friendship but through AA and myrecovery.com and I have gained so many more relationships.

Adele’s last words in her song “At least I can say I tried, But it don’t matter it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore”…I could add and say it doesn’t tear me apart anymore either because I have grown and let everything go, these are the great gifts given to us by our program of recovery!  Stay strong everyone!

Whales are Bigger than Me

I grew up identifying as Atheist until I was about 34 years old, just 2 years ago. Religion, in my mind, was ridiculous. I thought people who believed in God were nuts. I was “sent” to Catholic school by my parents in the middle of 10th grade. This was a shock to me because I had minimal experience with religion. I stayed seated when my classmates went up for communion every week. I cringed when I heard the word God. The problem was that I was judging something I knew absolutely NOTHING about. I stopped drinking on 10-25-2006. I stopped on my own and did not seek treatment or any help to treat my alcoholism. I was a dry drunk for 4 years and filled my void with everything outside of myself, instead of looking within. That is, until a special force brought an amazing sponsor into my life. This was certainly my first God moment in AA. Continue reading

Early Recovery Struggles

Hello my name is Joe and I’m an alcoholic and an addict! I came through the retreat on December 5th of 2012 and my journey ended on January 4th 2013, the retreat saved my life!!! I was addicted to crystal meth and it was running my life inside and out. I needed help and couldn’t find a way to tell anyone, one night things got out of hand with my fiancé and me. The next day I went to my mom’s to stay a couple days, two days later my fiancé came over to my moms and with that urgent look in her eyes saying we need to talk. Continue reading

Sober House Living

Many of us, myself included, are hard headed, stubborn and believe ourselves to be completely self reliant. Of course, those attributes have directly contributed to where we find ourselves today: sitting in a treatment center. Our self reliance has completely failed us. In order to stay sober, we need others in AA to help us. This realization is the beginning of our new journey and leads into the topic of living in a sober living home.

The last time I went through treatment, it was highly recommended to me that upon leaving treatment, I should move into a sober house. Deep down, I knew this was the right thing to do but it was nonetheless a smack to my over inflated ego and pride. My ego/self reliance told me I was better than that. It told me I didn’t need to share some bedroom in some grimy sober house with people who didn’t have jobs or not much of a future. Continue reading

Cost of sobriety?

Is there a cost to sobriety?

I personal believe there is and what it truly requires is some change. I’m not here talking about the monetary type but more so the inner self type. Change comes form my willingness. We don’t need to change our physical features or the state we live in but we do need to change the things we can’t physically see in ourselves. We know they are there. The important stuff. We need to allow this program to change us. A little change in the beginning will always turn into a lot of change for the better. When I say I am willing in this program of recovery, I am saying I am willing to change the way I think, the way I feel and most important to me, change the way I act. I had made this decision in Step 3, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” In this step when we say our “will”, this is the way we think and feel. When we say our “lives” we are talking about our actions. It’s no wonder I struggled for many years in Recovery and I now see it was because I wasn’t willing to do a thorough 3rd step and I sure as heck was not willing to change anything about me. Continue reading