I mentioned earlier today that I had my Monday meeting tonight. It was good, really good, which means we had to search for the box of tissues and pass them down the table to where they were needed. This illustrates one reality of Recovery: there will be tears. If your life has somehow outlawed tears in public in front of total strangers, well; welcome to the Real World. Mostly, the people who end up in “The Rooms” got there at the very last second. As Recovery proceeds and as your history is uncovered and held up for all to see, many people find that the evidence has been there all along and somehow it just wasn’t seen. The Truth had been stuffed away with the accompanying tears.
Somewhere in your life, you’ll have run into The Serenity Prayer:
God. Grand me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
This prayer is normally spoken aloud at the beginning of every 12-step meeting in hushed and reverent tones. I live by it, but sometimes I think we can overdue the Serenity part. Recovery is not a simple Zen-like retreat from daily life, it may in fact be the battle of your life. The prayer also encourages Courage and Wisdom to apply it when the circumstances call for it. Not all battles are fought by armies and not all battlefields are obvious; some of them are living rooms and kitchens and office cubicles and bedrooms. The world of Recovery is very egalitarian: the grey head may be a newcomer who’s addicted child has pushed them to the breaking point so there was no option besides coming to Al Anon. On the other hand, the quiet young person in the corner may have more wisdom and may have lived more Hell than you can imagine. You would easily walk by either of them on the street on in the supermarket, so remember: