Sunlight, at Last

July 15th, 2016

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When I was young, wrapped in naivety and the fierce but familiar clutches of addiction, I was sent to treatment.

Looking back, the Center to which I was sent was neither cutting edge, nor particularly prize worthy, but the staff were kind, and God knows they meant well. We did some talk therapies, a few chores. An occasional trip to the zoo; I was handled a small diploma made from a color copier in the office, and on my way.

I was drunk a short time later.

I knew not then, mine was an illness which would not yield to friendly conversations, or simple family history dialogue. They saw how it looked, but I knew how it felt. My skin crawled in those places, itching for excitement, something outside of the routine. Each day was met with a great *Sigh*, and, as was expected of me, I soldiered on, only to fall prey to unexpected thinking when I was left unattended.

Again, I’d drink.

Again, they’d try.

More money, more counsel. New facility. Same old results. It was I, after all, time & again, left to my thoughts, and a whiplash mind that generated bad plans rather quickly.

Several facilities later, an odd thing happened: the light, the hope, the promise of recovery dissolved. Like Pavlov’s Dog, I suddenly began to equate the two: Yes, recovery. Where you make your bed at 6:30, and go to breakfast at 7:00. Oh yes, recovery, where group starts at nine, and chores fall thereafter. Yes, recovery, which it’s adherence to dress, and early curfew.

My options than lessened, and part of me gave up.

I’d been stuck in a doorway so long, all I could see was a door, and not the green hills beyond.

My experience, with Chapterhouse is the solid assurance that the extremely skilled practitioners there offer way more than a cot, and a meal, and the well worn basics. They offer a solution, because they live it. By necessity, disciplines are in place, practiced to the measure that most certainly will become life long habits that will yield much.

I am so grateful to be an extended part of such the powerful, powerful recovery family that is Chapter House.

No longer am I stuck in the doorway of recovery, lowering my standards, and looking for a handout- blaming my misfortunes of those looking to help. I have stepped past the gate, into the grass beyond. I travel the planet and have found my own interests, passions and an internal blueprint that perhaps I was meant to follow. I live my life in the dedicated service of others, and have poured out more alcohol than I can fathom, to help them make a beginning. Sunlight, at last.

Contributed by Jeff Gould

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