There Is No Traffic Jam On The Extra Mile on the Road To Recovery
As I look back on my journey of recovery, I remember how I wasn’t sure if I was ready or even wanted to stop using substances, but I clearly remember that I wanted to feel differently. At about five months on my road to recovery, I had a profound spiritual awakening where I asked myself, while looking up to the sky, “Why did I have to hurt so many people?” From that day until this, I have remained acutely aware that I have a choice to either heal or hurt myself and others. I could continue to remain a part of the problem or I could learn and practice how to be a part of the solution. Gratefully, I chose the latter.
A simple principle had been instilled during my time at a long-term inpatient program, that is, I needed to make changes for myself, but that I could not accomplish that by myself. When I left the Credo Farm program after 11 months, four days, six hours and three minutes in June of 1984, I knew my number one objective was to connect with others and find my place in community recovery groups and activities. I found ongoing recovery opportunities at self-help meetings, family support groups, barbecues, conferences and eventually in college courses that I enrolled in for broader and deeper education about substance use disorders (SUD’s) and recovery.
I have some regret that I cannot say all continued well from those days until this. At about 7 1/2 years of recovery I found myself considering a false belief that I could say yes or I could say no to a drink. Once I said yes, I could not say no and for the next two years proved beyond a shadow of a doubt I was a “real alcoholic” and I was truly powerless over substance use. I thank God for the relationships that I had established early in my recovery that remained, until I was ready to once again surrender my will and my life over to a simple program of recovery.
There were many challenging and difficult portions on this road to recovery. Facing losses and processing grief, managing unpleasant emotions when faced with expectations that were not met and maintaining healthy boundaries when I found myself in socially pressured situations. Life is difficult. I’ve chosen not to be a spectator but an active participant in this thing we call life. I would like to describe a simple illustration for what I mean. Imagine a plate that has bacon and eggs (2 over-easy) on it. There are two animals that participated to produce that breakfast. The chicken was involved; it gave a couple of eggs. The pig was committed, it gave its life. The development of my character and the integrity of my recovery when no one else is looking is my constant focus. I also needed to have balance when it came to recreation and leisure activities. I played ice hockey the majority of my life but also pursued interests in falconry, scuba and commercial diving, downhill skiing and snowboarding, golf and even began practicing various instruments (an area I need more motivation and commitment to continue.)
My name is Timothy and I am a person in long-term recovery. For me, that means I have not wanted or found it necessary to use any mood altering substances for more than 26 years. Somehow, I was gifted with the willingness to go above and beyond simple expectations and found that there is no traffic jam on the extra mile. I have lived by a simple definition for humility: Finding my place in this world, taking it and bringing the best me I possibly can, nothing more and nothing less. I have devoted my life to being of maximum service to God and my fellow man through continued personal growth and commitment to providing the opportunities for others to experience and attain what I have been so richly blessed with.
Today, I have a loving, strong and vibrant marriage with a woman who at times seems to be even more committed to the things of God than I am. I am dedicated to my career and vocation of bringing the principles of recovery to individuals, families and the communities I have the opportunity to influence. I serve my God, my family and friends, at my job, my home group of AA, at THRIVE-our local recovery center and community outreach and with the Long Island Recovery Association (LIRA). And that’s not all, I look forward to advancing the peer advocacy movement and helping others find their place in this world.
“For those who have received a greater revelation from their master are required a greater obedience. And those who have been entrusted with great responsibility will be held more responsible to their master.”
Luke 12:48 TPT