An individual new to our community forum discusses being two years in recovery from opiates, using medical assisted therapy, but just having a difficult time giving up weed. There is an air of pride in the writing that seems very justified to me. Shall we talk about that? Always lovingly, of course.
Gene Gilchrist Community Member
I was moved the other day by the quote from the Hall of Fame baseball player who had accomplished so much yet felt that he had not contributed to society. My friend, Mike, mentioned in one of our on line Recovery Meetings that Mr. Kaline might have appreciated that he had a job and paid taxes provided a past time and entertainment for people who enjoyed the sport and his artistry, he was part of unifying the city of Detroit around a pennant drive or two and probably at times when that beleaguered city could use the energy. Mike is so right. Too often I look for the big contribution and fail to realize that by doing my job, maintaining recovery, doing the next right thing, I am making my contribution. When I was young a variety show hosted by the crooner, Perry Como, had Mr. Como sing "If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be". Thanks, Mike.
Al Kaline was a professional baseball player, 18 time All Star, 10 time Golden Glove winner, Hall of Fame inductee. He played 22 years for the Detroit Tigers. In his time he was one of the top 10 players in the league. Few reading this post, outside Detroit, have ever heard of him, In 1969, reflecting on his career, he said, "Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing, if I've wasted my time all these years. And sometimes I think I have. I would like to have more to contribute to society. Something where you play a really important part in people's lives. What good is all this thinking about me, me, me." Hopefully, at some point in our personal journey we arrive at a point where life is less about how we interact with the world, and more about how we interact with others and how that influences how they interact with the world. Then we can "... play a really important role in people's lives". I hope that in mature recovery I can keep Mr. Kaline's humility and admonition in mind. Al Kaline, age 85, died April 6, 2020. Thank you, Al.
Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, says that, "You yourself, more than anyone in the universe, deserve your love and affection". It is often difficult for people in recovery to come back to appreciating and loving themselves. Yet the Buddha tells us that we can live in our spiritual awakening, unapologetically, and with appreciation for ourselves. Don't be afraid to love yourself.
The civil rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson, has often exhorted us to “Keep hope alive”. I was reminded of that as we all suffer some level of despair today as we see deaths from covid-19 mounting, hear from stressed health care workers, and all of us feel the stress in some way. The web site “12 Wisdom Steps” reviews the many spiritual traditions that have hope as a central tenet. The Buddhism advising that we learn to accept things as they are, Hinduism that tells us that the journey home is through others to help clarify our delusion, Judaism that tells us that difficulty in faith is natural and not a sign of failure, as well as Islam, Christianity, Taoism, Native American spirituality, Cosmology all have maintaining hope as central to their spiritual journey. People in recovery know that life’s ups and downs, even the most severe, are no reason to give up our heartfelt, grateful and well-earned recovery. At Stay Clean we hope that you find hope today in whatever form it presents.
Welcome to everyone who has joined us in these past few, trying days. The four founding members of this effort have a collective 107 years in recovery -- we get it. We are not here to compete with anyone -- AA, NA, GA, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, Gam-Anon or the counseling community (though we do offer clinical services on-line) -- those things saved our lives. We are here so that everyone who cares about recovery can have a place, whenever they need it, wherever they are, whatever the struggle. We know that even though we got clean and sober that life will sometimes sends us challenges. This time she sent it to the entire planet. We know that our recovery will survive. We know, too, that we do not and do not wish to do it alone. I, for one, will be happy to leave the house again. Until then, thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope. Gene