Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Coalface of Recovery

I used that phrase in my gratitude list, guide your eyes to the right and you’ll see it there. I try to update it at least daily.

I was starkly reminded of it yesterday at a very powerful AA meeting. I clearly cannot share who was there or what was said other than from myself. Bottom-line though was the underlying need to keep working your recovery, don’t be complacent and think you are cured as the drink is never far away from an alcoholic and especially so if they don’t remind themselves of what is was like (at the end utter despair) and what it is like now (hopeful).

Too often I can think. “But I’m okay I don’t drink anymore I can back off the meetings and the design for living that the programme is”. That might be true if I could live in glorious isolation from the world and it’s tribulations. But I can’t as most people can’t. Also if I isolate away from the world that frankly can be worse – I’ll just end up over thinking and analysing any problems or issues I have, I’ll start to project a future, either one with untold additional problems and heartaches for me or one which portrays an idyllic paradise which is so totally unobtainable I’ll then flip again to the negative cycle of thinking of why I can’t get there and start blaming me or others for that failing.

I am incredibly lucky. I live in a really nice country, one where I don’t have to dodge bullets or explain or justify myself to anyone. In the grand scheme of the world I’m very rich (60% of the worlds population have an income of less than $3000 a year). I have my family around me, friends in AA and elsewhere that are great people. I have a house, warmth, clothing, food in the cupboards etc. How fortunate is all of that? And then on top of that I happen to have a condition that can kill if you don’t do something about it but again my luck is that all I have to do is not drink alcohol and go to AA meetings and work the AA programme.

The coalface of recovery can feel hard work when things are against you – normally some emotion that is triggered by something external to me I can do nothing to change. However I’m glad I keep turning up at it and chipping away at my little bit of it.


  1. All strength to you old bean.

    Doubt I could do it - even if I wanted to.

    If I ever do though you'll be an inspiration.

  2. Well done. That's a very realistic and positive attitude to life and its pitfalls.

  3. You are doing a wonderful job!I toast you( with a cuppa) :o)