Some of the obvious lessons gained from the past are very clear in recovery. If I drink, I will get drunk. There is really no question about that. I have tried playing that game from every angle possible and I end up losing every time. Actively engaging in some other activities also produce very predictable results – like resentments and anger. If I live into them, then I am headed down a path to relapse. Although less in the forefront of my mind than not picking up the first drink, I enjoy that I have learned the early warning signs such behaviors produce. I know that if I choose to dwell in anger or resentment, no good will come.
But there are more subtle issues as well that are obstructions to living fully into recovery. One such issue is procrastination. I know full well that putting off till tomorrow what I should be doing today only causes more stress, anxiety, missed opportunities, to name but a few results. Procrastination is like active addiction because I just become a passive agent in life. This passivity is much like being anesthetized with alcohol, drugs, or food. I do not take responsibility for my life but let other people and circumstances dictate the terms of how I exist.
I appreciate that these more subtle issues will always be with me. Addressing these behaviors is truly a life-long process and not a singular event. In recovery we speak of progress not perfection.
When I first got sober I just wanted to stop the self-loathing, blacking out – what I considered the big issues. I am grateful that I am given the awareness and opportunity to deal with so much more in traveling the road of recovery.