Friday, July 15, 2011

"The road to hell or how IT happens"

   So in the beginning, I like most all others in a recovery program struggled with how do I get well?  The program was truly the easier softer way.  Stop the addictive process, clean house, find God and love myself.  Fairly straight forward and easier than staying in my addiction.

   My mentors in recovery explained to me that I would once again return to my addiction in the reverse fashion of getting recovered.  So for years I have been watching people around me in the Fellowship and noticing what they were doing or not doing.  I wanted to know what it was like to go "back out" without having to actually do it.  Over the years I have in fact seen people develop certain behaviors that were indicative of "heading down the path".

   Spiritual pride seems to head the list.  That feeling that they were invincible and that as emissaries of God they could do no wrong and that in fact their Higher Power had sanctioned all they said and did. Seemed like that was the first noticeable trait.  This behavior was closely associated with the direct opposite or spiritual bankruptcy.  Many of the people who did "road work" for me, also had a complete loss of faith.  They just quit believing or seemed to be able to argue that HP did not work, at least for them.

   As these observable behaviors started manifesting in my friends,  I also noticed a definite and pronounced lack of "program activity".  For example they cut down on meetings, not calling people in home group, not communicating with mentors, not willing to give people rides to meetings.  This withdrawal from the "healing source" which is the support of HP through many, appears to be the most damaging behavior.  Once my friends had gotten to this point they had shut themselves off from all help both divine and human.  They no longer felt "the son-light of the Spirit".  The darkness of illness began to be the most prevalent feelings for them by now.  It appears that as they became more and more ill with their particular illness, the more and more they moved away from the aid of HP and all those that loved them.  Doomed is the word they used to describe this phase of relapse.

   This process was a serious eye opening experience for me.  I vividly remember the first time one of my home group members picked up her own personal "poison" after 23 years of recovery.  I was flabbergasted. I could not comprehend this occurrence.  Actually I think I finally got the message very deep within me for the very first time.  "This is what happens when you don't stay in recovery".  I was sad for her family and  I was very much brought to a  new awareness of the overall healing process.  I also remember vividly, the FIRST time one of my mentors aka sponsor, looked at me over coffee and said something like; "you my dear friend are on the road to hell".  In an instant all that I had studied in others and tried to keep in my conscious thinking flooded my mind.  Yes, he was right, I was on the road to hell and actually knew it.

   The final step for these beloved members of my home group was to begin to lash out and retreat when met or spoken to by their friends and peers.  I remember one man I sponsored and I dearly loved actually drove to my home and told me to lose his telephone number since he was just fine and did not need my help.  I was heart broken, for I knew what was going to be the next big event in his life.  I just knew it.  Yes, he decided 4 days later to end his life, and did.  Why could I not have helped?  What could I have done?  My mentors reminded me that I was not in charge of the Universe and must as best as possible accept the will of the Divine.  Hmmmmm, took a while for me to reconcile that one.

   So, what are the lessons learned here?  I think two fold.  One is that I have seen over and over what the process of becoming sick once again looks like.  I have watched and participated in many recoveries and many returns to illness.  I have studied, cataloged and written to memory what the signs look like.  Secondly, I have had to come to the awareness that as a rule, I of my own abilities am "Powerless" to stop this "road to hell" process.  I can certainly interact, warn, notify and then must sit and watch the Universe do what it knows best.  It is not up to me to make the person well.  It is up to me to be there if the person ever decides to get well.

   I am aware today that all the above thoughts and ideas certainly fit well and are appropriate for those persons suffering from some form of addictive substance or.  I am also very much aware that the thoughts and ideas also seem to fit reasonably well with some persons that while not addicted to a substance, they are indeed suffering from some form of neurosis.  The recovery process is nearly the same and the return to "insanity" also seems to fit well.

   So I have had to listen to that old cliche founded in scripture; "physician heal thyself" many many times in my head.  In the time I have been hanging around recovery circles I have had 3 very serious brushes with the "road to hell" concept. I have stood at the brink of doom and had to remind myself that I had the knowledge of how to stop my relapse.  In that instant all that is holy and divine became evident to me and I did the next right thing.  If you want to know what it is I did, leave me comment and ask me. :)

Love and Light,

aka ezduzit777 on twitter
also on Facebook




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