When We Get Ahead of Our Recovery

By: Marc McMahon

I do not know if anyone else experiences this but I know that I always do and knowing what I know now if it happens to me it happens to others as well. For one simple reason, I am in my addiction, far from unique despite what my mind tries to lead me to believe. You see when I decided to put myself out of my misery and get clean and sober this time I reviewed how it was that I had been trying to recover over the years and one thing I noticed became incredibly clear. I have been trying to get clean the same way, over, and over, and over again expecting different results but never getting anything but the same, failure!

Is that not the definition of insanity? So I decided this time would be different. What I had been noticing was that when I would get clean I would always refer to the same programs to help me and I never could get more than 6 months clean outside of the protected confines of a treatment center or even clean and sober house was enough to keep me sober that long but at 4, 5, or 6 months I would relapse like clockwork year after year, attempt after attempt.


I would either go straight to A.A. or N.A. any of the A’s, then to treatment when a bed would come available. Next, I would go straight to I.O.P. and back to sober living all while working on my next relapse without even knowing it. The thing was the way I was trying to get clean is the most popular method out there I think. Grounded in tradition over the years, standing the test of time, showing stellar results from those who used that method to recover over the years all proving it to be the most successful means to get to long-term recovery out there. Or; is it?

What Did I Do Next?

Analyzed my success rate over the years and that of others I knew of and compiled my own results from my own independent study of recovery methods. My results as they pertain to me and they only can here were startling, to put it mildly. I was 1 for at least 25 at getting past 6 months recovering this way over a 22-year time frame. Not good odds wouldn’t you agree? Based solely on that and your desperate desire to find some way, any way to get you off of illegal drugs and alcohol so you can have a quality life for once? Would you not look for a better way too?


Kind of thought so it’s the only logical answer there. Of course, we want better for ourselves only a fool would not. Feeling so strongly about the topic and knowing I have maybe two recovery attempts left in me. I set out on a quest to recover this time some way, anyway that worked regardless of popular opinion and that is what I have done. You see along with repeating the same ways to recover over and over again expecting different results. I also was doing the same things for leisure and the likes as well while in those recovery periods I noticed.

For example and I just noticed this, this time around as I went to enroll in college again. Two out of the last three times I have been in recovery I have attempted to go back to school at just a month or two sober and I tried it again this time but at about 7 months sober because I thought that would make a difference. The more I thought about it the more it started to resemble old recovery behavior that was unsuccessful so I out of terror scrapped the school idea altogether for now and simply moved on, safely.


I am recovering today in a way I never thought possible. Today my program of recovery consists simply of not picking up, socializing with you all and sharing my experiences here and anywhere else I can be used. And going to a meeting when I feel the very seldom need to do so. When I do go I go for on average about 30 minutes then I go home. Today I live life normally really I just don’t get high no more. It is so weird to just have quit and had that and this be enough to keep me clean, it blows my mind but its working.

Now that is the million dollar question. Why is this working now? I am not sure really I believe my age and turning fifty this year has something to do with it as maybe I have matured a bit :). Or maybe it was simply an answered prayer and the power of our Higher Power that did this. He has that power you know. Or who the knows and to be honest I don’t really need to know anything more than it is working for me! YES!! YES!!! YES!!!! Thank you all so much for taking the time to read, for sharing my journey, and most importantly for being my friend. I love you all, I mean that sincerely.

About the Author: Marc is a 48-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”




Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s