Recovery has allowed me the best opportunity to be true to myself in all aspects of my life. When actively practicing my addictions, I measure my successes and failures by the standards of others. I find this true in everything from body image to what I considered a successful career. The goals or roads I traveled were those set by others. For me, this inattention to true self results largely from never simply sitting with myself and asking myself the hard questions. Rather than go on that route of self-discovery, I chose to abstain primarily through numbing my existence in alcohol. In so doing, I realize that many of my decisions were in response to actions taken by others.
In recovery, I experienced for the first time the full opportunity to take a drive down the road toward true self. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When I ask this question of 20-something students today, I preface the statement by saying that at the age of 62, I continue to ask myself the same question as well.
I write these words today as I make a decisions today about what to focus my attention on in the career activities of my life’s work. I enjoy that on our AA anniversary coins is the line “To Thine Own Self Be True” and that I can act on that mandate on a daily basis.