Passing It On

I was a couple of week sober as I sat in group therapy in the treatment center whining about not having a job and running out of money. The woman who ran the center gave me a look of disgust. “You’re so full of crap, Jeff. Why don’t you make recovery your job?” This woman had a mean streak and I knew better than to challenge her, but the idea of making recovery my job stuck with me.

A couple of days ago I was sharing with a new guy who was struggling. He said he was so worried about not having a job and running out of money that he was paralyzed. He said he hadn’t been to a meeting and wasn’t taking any other recovery actions.  All he could do was sit on his couch. I said, “Why don’t you make recovery your job?” It’s funny that what sounded completely silly to me twenty years ago makes perfect sense today.

I asked him —if he had a job— what would happen if he called his boss and told him he didn’t feel like coming into work today. “I’d probably get fired, he said.” Right. Only in our case if we don’t work at enlarging and perfecting our spiritual condition we won’t get fired. We will get drunk.

My first time through the book, I related to the idea that God was my boss. “We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well.” My job objective is to trust God, clean house and help others. I accomplish these objectives by taking the recovery actions suggested in my first week: meetings, steps, service.

Looking back I can see that being unemployed when I was new was an absolute gift. I had the time to build a great foundation in Alcoholics Anonymous. I went to more than 400 meetings in my first year. I worked my way through all twelve steps with my sponsor and did everything else suggested, sometimes grudgingly. I began a relationship with a God of my own understanding that has served me well throughout the years. Oh, I was still concerned about finding work, but I was not paralyzed in fear. I suggested to the new guy that he be grateful he was not working so he could devote unlimited time to his recovery. I’m not sure he was convinced, but you never know.