Recently, there was a discussion among some of the #Recoveryposse about Quality recovery; what does that look like?
There has been discussion about which is more important, for all the years that I’ve been in the Rooms. Usually, the “Quality is more important” camp included Newbies that have seen how ugly some of the Oldtimers can be in their approach to the world. And who can blame them? I’ve seen way too many Oldtimers that had NOTHING that I wanted! At the same time, there’s a lot to be said for that saying about finding whatever you look for. Many of us come into the Rooms looking for reasons to not come back.
In my experience, Quality Recovery is a thing that kind of requires a certain amount of, well, Quantity Recovery. Not by ANY means am I saying that a person with an extended length of time sober is better or wiser than a person with just a few days. I’ve heard folks with a week sober who were infinitely wiser than certain Oldtimers in the room. And definitely more “happy, joyous, and free.*”
The Promises in the Big Book of AA (Pg. 83 & 84-ish) are one way to assess where I am.
For those of you not familiar with the AA literature, here are some of the highlights of The Promises:
• We will know a new happiness & a new happiness
• We won’t regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it
• We’ll comprehend the word serenity & we’ll know peace
• We’ll see how our experiences can help others
• No more feeling useless, & self-pity will disappear
• We’ll lose interest in selfish things & gain interest in our #Recoveryposse
• Self-seeking will slip away
• Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change
• Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us
• We’ll intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us
• We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves
Not a bad list, huh? I can tell you without reservation that I’ve seen every one of them come true in my life. Not necessarily when I would have liked them to, and not all in the same day, but looking back, The Promises have really become a constant in my life. Some days I’m too freaked out to notice whether any of them are happening or not, but I’m pretty sure that the occasional emotional roller coaster is just a sign of life.
It seems to me that judging between quality and quantity is a thing best left for every person to do for themselves. It’s really not even a thing, if you get right down to it. There is sober, or not. There is abstinent, or not.
So the age old debate of “Quality vs. Quality” will likely be happening wherever a group of clean/sober alkie/druggies congregate. Cos that’s just human nature.
At 23 years, I’m feeling like I have the Quantity thing pretty much covered, but that doesn’t mean that every day is rainbows and unicorns. In fact, if there is a person in my position who HASN’T had a few absolutely sh*tty days, weeks, or months…well, I’m betting they’re not really one of us. Possibly not even human.
So, from where I stand (long-ish in the tooth, I suppose), I judge my Quality of recovery by my willingness to serve others, my ability to stay out of my own head, and how quickly I reach out my hand to lift up the still suffering addict/alcoholic.
*this could be attributed to the Pink Cloud, so it’s not really a good measuring stick.
Posted from my cabin in the hills.