This is a guest post from my good friend, The Discovering Alcoholic, who writes a top rated recovery blog, www.discoveringalcoholic.com, covering alcoholism, substance abuse, treatment and recovery issues.
From the timeless teachings of the ultimate spaghetti western we learn that good, bad, and even ugly are relative terms dependent upon situational interpretation. This is a very important concept for the discovering alcoholic both in early sobriety and mature recovery since society for the most part considers addiction a moral failing or an unsightly matter to be relegated to the family closet. Considering this societal view it is no wonder that most available support, especially the free kind, will tend to be faith based.
Regardless of one’s conviction however, it is hard to deny the effectiveness of religious based recovery programs and moralistic methods. So what happens to those who are “bad” or bristle in resentment as they connect the dots to a perceived or even real conversion? Sick of asking for explanations and getting nothing deeper beyond the indefinite “it works if you work it”? Not too keen on making a doorknob your higher power? Fear not my friends of questionable faith for I have a couple of thoughts you should ponder.
I have no doubt there is good and bad, righteous and evil, but relative to my disease there are only thoughts and actions that are conducive to addiction or recovery. Selfishness, prevarication, and theft may be the marks of immorality, but they also just so happen to be the addict’s modus operandi. Don’t buck on me here, these are the tools of our trade that eventually become necessary to feed the disease, this brutal introspection is liberating though. It means that one need not be a good Christian to walk the path of recovery or even a better person for that matter, just don’t be an addict or an alcoholic… and do so by mapping out a program (what you work)of selflessness, honesty, and hard work. The rewards of following this path are exponential. Training your brain in the ways of recovery also leads to being perceived by others as “good”, even when sobriety (higher power) is one’s only principle and faith. Travel the path long enough and you may even start thinking this yourself.