Spirit Over Matter

Photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash

June 12, 2012

The other day, I wasn’t feeling so joyful. My wife and I were having a hard time, and although we kissed and made up, I was still emotionally hungover from our arguing. The next day, I was triggered what seemed like the whole day. I was distracted at work and got into slippery territory on the internet. When that happened, I immediately called my closest friend in the program. I had already called him on the way to work that same morning and had shared my frustrations about the previous night.

But he didn’t pick up. So, I called my sponsor. He didn’t pick up. So, I left a message and I called my friend in program with whom I talk almost every afternoon. And he didn’t pick up either, so I left him a message.

When I found myself still cloudy-minded, I texted all three of those men and yet another friend from program and told on myself. “I’m in trouble,” I said. “I need to stay off the internet for the rest of the day. I’ve already played with fire and don’t want to risk my sobriety. But clearly, I’m in a place where my addiction is relentlessly pulling at me.” I bookended with all the folks I texted because, it turned out, I had to get online for some job-related reasons. I then started receiving calls back and kept talking out my difficulties and through my emotions.

I dealt very directly with the addictive challenges of the day brought up by my stress. I want to keep experiencing the joys of everyday life as much as I want to readily work through the trials of everyday life. Recovery allows that; recovery encourages that.

Maybe the day was more about surviving than thriving, but at least I had the awareness that I was easily triggered. At least I stayed committed to surrendering. At least I exercised my program of recovery. Once I caught myself and realized my willfulness was getting the better of me, I got out of my own head, got out of my own way, and reached out to all the wonderful people in my life who, like me, are on this spiritual journey of self-awareness and improvement. For each and every one of them, I’m grateful. They are representatives — avatars — of my Higher Power. I remembered that I am not alone and recalled that seeking out my friends’ help would help me keep my sobriety. I stayed committed to my recovery and took contrary action in the face of jeopardizing my sobriety and my life. That’s the miracle of this program; that’s spirit over matter.

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