Preparedness in Recovery
Every person who prepares is one less person who panics in a crisis.
(attributed to Mike Adamson, British Red Cross)
This morning as I write this, I am watching the lake next to my home rise from the backflow of the Arkansas River. I can only imagine how much MORE stressful this situation would be without the benefit of my recovery program. This morning as I prayed and meditated, considering the impending flood and my recovery journey, I was struck at the similarities.
I have no control over the reality that flooding will occur at my home. What I do have control over is the way I prepare for the situation. Around my home, I have placed sandbags with the assistance of dear friends who love me. We have evacuated all our furniture and important possessions in a safer place. I have gathered what I need to live ( a handful of clothes, medicines, important items like my Daily Office/Book of Common Prayer, Bible, and photos of the family) and have them at the ready when it is time for me to leave. My gas tank is full in my vehicle. When (and if) the flooding happens, it will do as little damage as possible.
I also have no control over the reality that I am a recovering sex, love and porn addict. My recovery gives me the tools to prepare for the powerful force of that addiction and safeguard against any damage it may do. I have a routine of that includes the Serenity, First Step, Third Step, and other prayers, meditation, and journaling. These remind me that there is a Higher Power who is at work in my life. I do not face the challenge of addiction alone. I can reach out to my loved ones and friends to ask for help. I can go to meetings online or in person to get grounded and refocused on my recovery work. I can aid my recovering fellows by doing service work which always makes me grateful in my worse circumstances. I can create a gratitude list and consider my blessings in the light of the challenging feelings with which I may be dealing. I can look at a photo of my grandchildren and experience their love and diffuse any anger or loneliness surfacing.
I do not know how bad the flooding will eventually be at my home. I do know that my life and the things that matter most will be safe because I have prepared. I also know that in my recovery, no matter how intense the struggle, I have the tools to remain sober. In both situations, I am, with the help of my Higher Power and those who love and support me, able to go through either challenge and grow into a better me.
That is something for which I remain grateful.
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