Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Recovery is the Best Revenge

Recovery is the Best Revenge. That's one of my favorite sayings and a piece of 12-step wisdom I hold onto. It's not quite a slogan, but one of those pieces of wisdom heard in the rooms that just makes sense, and is so smart.

The related saying that I try to remember is "You are the one with the 12-step program." I heard that first in a meeting where people were talking about resentment and getting even and one-upping another person. "You are the one with the 12-step program" levels the field. It changes perspective. I don't have to get even..I get what makes it better for me by living my recovery and practicing a 12-step program.

Now that takes me back to my first few years in recovery when a sponsor, a smart sponsor, said to me: "Don't do anything that you going to have to make amends for." That sentence was especially powerful and reinforcing after I had begun to actually do some 9th step work and knew how awkward, painful, embarrassing and difficult some amends could be. There's a certain satisfaction in knowing that while I may not have gotten even, or had the satisfaction of a snappy comeback, or told some one what I fantasized telling them, that at least I don't have to slide further into misery by having to go back later and further humiliate myself by making amends for my barbs, smart words or stinging comment to them.

I think it may have been the same sponsor who also said to me once when I was telling her how hard it was to try the new things I was learning, "Max, just stop doing the old shit, and the new will take care of itself."

What gems, what wisdom. All this distilled to a few sentences. How lucky do we get?


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