BY: Marc McMahon
AA remained a mainstay in my tool belt from entering treatment innumerable times in the past. That’s what they preached and equipped me with, so that is what I did. I went to meetings, got a sponsor (sometimes), and tried not to use in between.
Not in blame of Alcoholics Anonymous, but through my own personal failings, the program never panned out for me long-term. So this time, through the guidance and miracle working of a Big Ass God of my understanding, my recovery program morphed into what it is today. Recovery Very Out Loud saved my life, and it continues to help me stay clean. (You can read more about the movement on my blog.)
It is o.k. to use his name and ASS in the same sentence.
The God of my understanding is wonderfully open to self-discovery and personal growth; non-condemning, all loving, and always, always, puts my- and the best interests of his people- at the forefront of his mind.
He knows what we are doing is a very difficult task and being patient with our craziness and occasional slip of the tongue, knowing that in the end, we will ultimately achieve the task he set before us.
2. Discovering Recovery Through Spirituality
Having a connection with an awesome God is the first and foremost reason that I have not put a mind or mood altering chemical in my body for the past six months. I found my strength in staying clean with the illumination of my higher power and self-discovery.
Expanding personal awareness and self-perception has been instrumental in helping me abstain from self destruction. My perception of myself as a man, a father, son and all-around human being, is vitally important to my recovery. I’m finally discovering to find my true self. My self-worth is determined in my mind, by how I see myself in those roles. I will never again allow my self-worth be determined by how others see me; not how my therapist tells me I should see myself, but simply how I see myself.
Self-love is the beginning of opening my heart to love others.
3. You Must Love Yourself to Love Others
The third thing that helps to stay on this path of continual growth: Don' take yourself so damn seriously all of the time Marc.
Knowing that I am going to make mistakes. That every day I may not feel totally awesome like I want to and know that it is simply going to be okay. That’s what makes staying clean manageable. Attainable. Glorious.
I give myself permission to occasionally bump my head on something because it is a new path and I don’t know the lay of the land yet. And if I do fall down and go boom, I just need to get right back up, dust the dirt off of me, and keep pushing forward. Just like I did when I was a little boy, trying to always learn from my last mistake so I can continue to grow.
4. Staying Clean: Support, Support, Support!
My mantra, so to speak, has been; alone we don’t stand a chance, but together, we can change the world. That idea was spoken to me by the voice of my soul in the fourth article I had ever written just a handful of months ago. I cling to it like it was a scripture in God’s written word.
I believe it to be 100% true with every ounce of my being. My addiction was too strong for me to beat on my own. I know this now. It was not until twenty years after my first use that I was able to admit it, I think I knew it back then too. I just could not subdue the co-occurring affliction I suffered from that also hindered my recovery.
5. Defeating the Ego & Getting Help
With my male-ego subdued, I’m free to open myself up to the help I need. It’s okay for me as a man to say, “I am scared shitless over here, will somebody please come help me? I cannot do this alone, please, someone show me what the hell I need to do to beat this thing, PLEASE.”
And they do, they hug me, they tell me they love me and most importantly, they say: “Marc, everything is going to be okay.”
I believe them, and I stay right in their hip pocket. Like an overstuffed wallet on payday that you cannot seem to get out easily to pay the clerk at the grocery store. I stick to them like glue, I ask how and, why, and “did you ever feel like this, and if so, what did you do to make yourself feel better?”
I call them on the telephone, I text, I even have support people online who I have never met in person- or even heard their voice before, that I message and do the same with. Support for me is open to anybody with any information that can help me grow as an individual, and aid me in abstaining from the use of mind-altering chemicals in any form. And I return the same.
Staying clean is not a single affair.
6. You Create Your Best Recovery Network
My support options are not limited by a government agency, an insurance groups coverage policy, or the guidelines or rules of any treatment organization or individual recovery program. It is open to the helping advice of addicts in recovery and those who have never been in recovery. Anybody who can offer support in a healthy way and aid in the facilitation of personal growth is welcome to participate in my support system. Together we can usher our own self-discovery to recovery. It begins within. With us. We are the masters of our fates.
Be blessed you all!
*This article was previously published for me by Harbor Village Detox Florida.
About the Author: Marc is a 48 yr. old Author, speaker, and soldier against the disease of addiction. He resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Marc’s hobbies include writing, Mt. biking, hiking, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Marc is also the proud father, of one very outstanding young man. As Marc always likes to say “Be blessed, my friends.”