I have come to believe that the clichés, statements, and memories that stay in my head for over the years are meaningful either for good or for bad. One of those items I heard during my detox for alcoholism a bunch of years ago. The counselor, Joe Iverson, said that alcoholics never want to experience life as highs and lows – they just want everything to be on an even level – but the only time you truly experience a flat line is when you are dead.
I have come to appreciate more and more that the highs today are attributable to my being in recovery. They are gifts of the process. I enjoy the highs more now because I know that they are the result of actions and attitudes that I can take. In the same way the lows are not the results of the actions of others but of my own behaviors. If I binge on food, I am remorseful. If I procrastinate, am inattentive to my family, overcommit, and so forth, I go into the depression and experience the loss that comes with those actions or inactions – the things done and left undone.
In life, I will always have the highs and lows. In recovery, I am pleased to know that the situations and people who I always thought were “out to get me” have little to do with those highs and lows today. It is much more of an inside job and results from decisions I choose to make.