“You know I’ve been in recovery for several years and just recently it dawned on me that I still lose sight of what exactly I am recovering!” – SA member
The above quote was shared in a meeting in my hometown earlier this week. I’m here with my daughters visiting my mom, step-dad and siblings and found myself at a meeting despite my shame telling me I shouldn’t go.
What if I saw someone I know?
Well I actually did see someone that I know and it was great to catch up and talk about our lives as sexaholics and how recovery was the best thing to ever happen to us! It was an unlikely reunion but a welcomed one.
Take that, shame.
But back to the topic at hand. What am I recovering anyway? For me the focus of why I am in recovery has shifted throughout the last year. I have at times viewed recovery as a tool to help me gain something back. My old life. Relationships. My faith. Surely if I stay in recovery and work the 12 steps then I will gain it all back, right?
Not necessarily. Serenity cannot be tied to my expectations. Serenity must be tied to my surrender.
Parts of Florida are known for treasure hunting. In fact some call it the Gold Coast. On July 31, 2015 some treasure hunters discovered $4.5 million dollars worth of gold from approximately 11 Spanish ships that sunk off the coast of Florida exactly 300 years previous. It was the biggest find in the region in quite some time.
What a stroke of luck, right?
Well the reason the company came across this particular loot is because they had been searching for it for years. They had resources, they had leads, they had a plan. This was no random jackpot. This was reward for a lot of hours of hard work and patience.
This is how I want my life to turn out. Last year around this time, the treasures of my life were lost. The ship went down and my life was scattered at the bottom of the ocean. I got into recovery almost like a treasure-hunter. If I do the right things, work hard at getting rid of my addiction and wait patiently then I will find my treasures again. So many guys in recovery have experienced the miracles of reconciliation and living a better life than before. I wanted that and I wanted it badly.
I cannot view my recovery as a treasure hunt. If I do then I miss the point and will more than likely be disappointed and that could lead me back to my disease.
So what am I recovering? If I am not recovering a marriage or friendships or my dream job or any of these things that were lost – then what?
The answer seems so simple that I forget it all the time. The thing that I am recovering is literally right under my nose.
Back to the treasure that was found late last summer. The bulk of the gold was not found thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean. It was not in a cave, or did not take a submarine to find. It was in shallow water just off the coast! So depending on when the coins washed up, beach-goers have possibly been swimming alongside the immense treasure for many years.
I haven’t been in recovery very long at all in the grand scheme of things. However, like the guy who shared in the meeting a few days ago, I often lose sight that the treasure has been right there all along. The treasure is inside my heart and I can find more and more of it each day as long as I work my program.
I have learned that recovery is both the tool and the treasure and no matter what happens regarding my relationships, jobs, circumstances, etc – the thing that I am recovering – the treasure that must be found again – is me.