My Discovery in Early Recovery
The first time I felt a part of was in my Home Group, 2007, Farfromusing. I noticed a distinct feeling as me and the other home group members were joking around before the meeting: camaraderie. I had friends growing up, but never a group of friends. Also the interesting thing about it was my friendships were based in purpose. We all, or most of us, wanted the same thing: freedom from active addiction. We didn’t want to hurt anymore. So no longer was it important to me that old way of choosing people to hang out with. Judging based on clothes, hair, style, music, money, etc, but a new way:
does this person want to stay clean?
can I help them stay clean?
can they help me stay clean?
A lot of people in early recovery met this requirement for me, In fact the people I was accustomed to hanging out with didn’t appeal to me any longer. Please keep in mind, in hindsight, I realized that is who I stuck with, and the people that didn’t fit these attributes were slowly not part of my life.
The wall I built up of who I thought I was, and what was keeping me sick, was crumbling down. I might have had a smart ass comment for some of my new friends discussing music etc, but it no longer was critical to me for my own self image.
Breaking my beliefs about myself was an interesting process, and not exactly smooth. For instance, I thought I had refined culture more than most anyone else in NA. When I would hear a discussion about a current topic, I used to judge people so harshly. I would think to myself, “God these people are lame and typical.”
Recovery has changed me and my reactions.
Luckily, I grew to have a Higher Power that helps me know the difference, sometimes, from reality, and my own beliefs.
My ego told me, “you are grrrrrreat”, and my Higher Power reminded me, of the hell and trauma I had went through; the lack of joy or happiness, no friends, nothing of value in my life, suicidal hopelessness.
It wasn't a hard sell to even my stubborn brain: “leave these people and this program to go back to a life of no value?”
I slowly I no longer cared how a person looked, their age, their tastes, I just wanted to stay clean, and that was a big step in getting better.
For me, a lot of things were changing, and it was a painful process; that’s why I remind anyone who will listen, the definition of addiction:
The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
I love the last part about trauma and agree it’s traumatic to break down those walls and find a new way to live.