The road back |

The road back

Jill Ann Fryklund
Vail, CO Colorado

So it’s a small town. Secrets and mistakes are short held. Road maps to the messes you left behind are always available.

When speaking of addiction issues and the resulting destruction, pain and personal tragedy — I’m still a proponent of the fresh start theory. I suggest (with no doctorates or titles to vindicate my opinion) that those of us who are really turning things around should still be allowed all the human faults and frailties common to those not yet labeled as “something.”

We still falter, we still become short-tempered and occasionally still seek hiatus because we’re imperfect since birth, not necessarily because our habit has returned.

We also tend to want more than we’ve got, and quickly, not out of selfishness so much as because we screwed up for so long and we are behind.

Not all of us thump a hard blue bound book as a requirement for success, though that book is often the basis for our initial change. We are not necessarily limited to the single most-quoted outline of recovery. That’s a time-stamped plan born in a depressionary culture. And I apologize in advance for saying, it is hypocritical, judgmental, chauvinistic, preaching and full of self-fulfilling, often negative predetermination. The true gifts it offers are confused by less than contemporary references that counter gender equality and religious choice.

Additionally, my hope is that people in some form of addiction recovery be publically regarded in this order: Joe Blow, a foreman at the plant doing a hell of a job, pretty wife and nice kids, coach, landscaper, jokester, friend, community member, and oh I guess he put down the bottle or whatever and it did him a hell of a lot of good to do so. In that order. Names first, stereotypes last or avoided.

I think the program of AA gives you a beginning. You initiate a journey back to yourself, to an image you can smile about. It’s a foundation that reminds you how to be decent to yourself and others, and how to get back the fullness you lack. Normal conversations, normal days and the return to happiness.

If you haven’t seen someone at a meeting, and they’re smiling and sober, don’t push so much the way you did it. Let them fill their time with all the life they’ve been missing until now. They’ll stop in a meeting when they honestly want to. They did before.

Peace and serenity are within the soul — not only in a regularly attended four-walled room.

Just my opinion. Perhaps not popular, but there it is.

Jill Ann Fryklund


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