April 1

The Eighth Promise

 “Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.”

       When we were locked in our addiction cell we were powerless to make any significant changes.  Sure, we could make changes about what kind of drug we would use, what kind of behavior we would exhibit and where we would act out.  But one thing was constant; our lives continued to get worse.

       We believed that there was only one way to get through the day and find enjoyment in life:  Our addiction.  We used mood altering substances and behaviors that sedated us so we couldn’t feel any bad feelings.  But this blanket of emotional numbing made it difficult to feel even the good feelings.  Feeling anything was almost impossible. 

       We were absent when our presence was needed, emotionally unavailable.  Sometimes we would rage if we didn’t get our way or if we went too long without our ‘drug.’  There was only one way to survive:  Our addiction.  The only people we got along with were the ones who enabled us.  And we erected a big wall to protect us from anyone who dared to challenge us.

       Living in the real world wasn’t an option for us.  We remained in our make-believe lives where we were always in control and able to cope with whatever came our way.  Reality was unacceptable; fantasy provided our escape.  Our attitude to life was one of intolerance where we would run from certain situations in order to isolate ourselves.

       As we got sober and began to recover from our addiction we started to change.  It wasn’t easy but we were able to accept life on life’s terms.  We started to feel things deeply, like we were ‘thawing out’ emotionally. We were more present, more emotionally available.  We were now able to see beyond our own selfish needs and  embrace the real world.  As we began to heal our whole attitude on life began to change, and we found that we were now ready to grow spiritually.