Doing Recovery Alone: The Hamster Wheel @ 100 MPH

Halfway between where you were and where you want to be is a scary place. Can’t look down – as far as you’ve come, it’s that far to fall. Don’t look up – it’s further than you fear. You need to catch your breath, rest, relax…if only it felt ok to.

Can’t stop – afraid we won’t get started again.  We’re bulls in china shops. Heads down and charging. Gotta get there. Gotta get there. Gonna be better when we get…there.

“There” is a mythological place where there is no more fear. It’s where you know with absolute certainty that you’re not gonna self destruct again. You’ll be out of the woods and can rest assured.

Stop. You know that place isn’t real and still you’re still franticly searching for it.

Can’t see shit but you’re making good time. 100 mph is your speed. Forgot the GPS and this fog is really something. You’re making up for lost time but you’re still lost.

Pull over.  Stop. Ask for directions. I know. You were taught not to. Ask anyway. The road you’re on is a rotary. Stop searching for where you think you’re supposed to be and get honest about where you need to be.

You have a checklist. New job, new car, new home, new lover, money in the bank. That plan has been done before. What’s gonna be different this time? Stop pushing and take stock. Emotionally bankrupt. Mentally wrecked. Spiritually empty. Sleep deprived. Running on coffee, cigarettes, and guilt.

Your head’s writing checks that your body can’t cash. Stop. You’re afraid of falling apart. Falling apart allows you to choose which pieces to pick back up. Too much to carry. Too scared to let go. Just throw down one piece. One fear. One memory. One bit of pain. You can always pick it back up if you really miss it.

You’re sprinting the first leg of a marathon and looking for the finish line. You’re not a kid anymore and you know you can’t do this alone. Stop resisting. Surround yourself with some good people and listen to what they’ve learned. You know they can see right through you but do you get why they can? They know what you’re trying not to know.

You’re thinking like a child: as long as you don’t say it out loud it’s not really real. Truth – whatever you can’t speak holds power over you. Say it. The voice that’s screaming in your head is your true self. What’s it saying?

Its pleading, “pleasehelpme pleasehelpme pleasehelpme!”

Your life’s a house of cards and you know it. Your fear of losing it all has blinded you to the fact that you already have. It’s all an illusion. You can’t do this alone. No one can. Hit a meeting.

I know…you have trust issues. We all do. You have social anxiety. Welcome to the club. You don’t like religion and you don’t wanna hear about God. Good. Recovery isn’t about religion. It’s about spirituality and sanity. We’ve heard all the excuses and all the reasons why you can’t possibly do this…and we’re waiting patiently for you to come to the one and only conclusion – you can’t possibly do this alone.

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” – Buddhist Proverb

Appearing morning, noon, and nightly at a church basement near you. Google:

“AA (or NA) meetings Bangor Maine”

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.