Early recovery is great when there’s a pink cloud following us everywhere we go. We are so relieved to have escaped our living Hell that we just beam at the thought of the fresh day that lies ahead of us. As the years move on and “life on life’s terms” sets in…not so much beaming happening eh? The daily chores like work, raising children, grocery shopping, house cleaning and laundry sink in as our gratitude spills out with the laundry soap. Ouch! And what about this whole aging thing? Another Ouch!
We in the program have two really great ways of escaping the pitfalls of relapse that threatens us. Relapse usually starts by losing our zeal for meetings and daily life then losing our gratitude. Next we experience emotional suffering and then perceive the drink and drug as a solution to depression and anxiety. Unfortunately this is the common progression of the classic addict thought processes and memory. Have no worry have no fear! Our solution for the mundane is in steps eleven and twelve.
Meditation puts our thinking on a higher plane. We start with a simple prayer, we pray for the knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out and we ask God to help us meditate. Next, we sit quietly seeking our Higher Power by repeating a mantra over and over. By this seemingly non-productive action we train our mind to shut out the chaos and fear the world and our own psyche offers us. Once we establish the ability to concentrate on one thought clearing our mind of all thoughts is the next natural step.
Once our mind has moved into the space that owns no fear, our mind is empty. We then are able to hear our Higher Power clearly while we absorb our God’s Spirit and enjoy His or Her or its healing power of mind, body and soul. When practicing this regularly we are in a position to do our service work with a supernatural kick. We have a fierce gratitude for life, we don’t forget where we came from and we work hard on keeping our side of the street clean and guilt free. By meditation we gain patience and tolerance toward ourselves, others and even the fearful and struggling relapsers. By chairing a meeting, speaking at jails and institutions or just working with a sponcee one on one we are reminded of our own progress and that classic addict memory that gets us in so much trouble is transformed to sanity. We no longer have the addict mind, we are free!
 Let me clarify I am not disrespecting those of us who have relapsed, most all of us have relapsed, if we resent relapsers it is usually because we resent ourselves. I have observed in the rooms people in recovery often become intolerant of those who have gone back out.