The topic was problems piling on the addict in early recovery. One person wondered if his Higher Power was testing him by dumping problems on him. Another speculated that God has a supply of celestial shitballs on hand, and when things seem to be going too well for a recovering addict, the missiles descend.
Growth moments. They seem to have been waiting in ambush to drop upon the addict new in recovery. Friends, close relatives dying, things break down, troublesome health news, terrorism, unemployment, atrocities, poverty, and the entire world inventory of things that can and do go wrong.
Addiction sees these things and couldn't be happier. The more miserable, the more troubled the addict gets, the closer that addict is to picking up that next drug, that first step back to the nightmare of active addiction.
The truth is, many of the problems we get hit with in early recovery have always been there. Using addicts either didn't notice or didn't care. Now that we're clean and have a growing awareness as to what's going on, Ouch!
Using drugs is how many of us coped with problems. It was a treatment that has unpleasant and terrible side effects, not the least of which is addiction. The problems are still there and the program gives us the tools with which we can deal with problems without using drugs. Meetings, sponsors, the telephone, writing, program literature, meditation, prayer, working the steps, and the slogans: Easy does it, How important is it?, One day at a time, Think it through.
No one became clean to be miserable, and we get absolutely no points in life or in the hereafter by beating ourselves or denying ourselves happiness.
Deal with problems by dealing with them.
On the list of those to whom you need to make amends, place your own name at the top.
Balance your view of things that are going wrong with a gratitude list of the things that are going right.
Use all the tools of recovery.
And remember, happiness is a choice. In the words of Latin writer, Publilus Syrus, "No man is happy who does not think himself so."
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