When is enough, enough?
“What is the difference between full and all? Don’t know? Well, let me tell you,” said my sponsor with a wink. “Full is when the broccoli that went perfectly with the entrée leaves a pleasant smile on your face, full is when the arrow on the gas gauge points to F, these are little indicators of full. Indications that you have reached all: the wet scary feeling in your mouth after your second piece of pie, all is the gas pouring down the side of your car because you have to try to squeeze more in.”
“Yes, yes,” I reply, “I know when I’ve overdone it; I resent everyone or at least I am cranky about everything. I know when I’m under doing it, too; I get either a lost feeling or the sense that I should be in charge, but how do I really know that I am doing enough?”
“If your sponsor has a good idea of where you are mentally, physically and spiritually; if the people in your home group can count on you to contribute service regularly. If most people in most meetings know not just your face, but also your name. If your sponsees freely admit that you are their sponsor, those are sure signs. Though the biggest signal for me is how constant my contact is. If I’m reluctant to pray I’m usually not doing enough of something.”
Learn from pain
If this is the solution why aren’t I happy?
I ask my sponsor in a piteous whine.
You’ve run the equation and the solution equals happiness?
She queries, that’s the whole and total answer?
How many times did you go through the computations?
What’s your point?
Are you saying happiness isn’t the answer?
What about joy and freedom?
I heard someone say that was the goal
I know that’s what I heard.
Let’s think about it for a hot second
What would you think
If I worked the steps as hard as I do
And as a result walked around in a perpetual grin?
I’d think you had lost your mind.
So you’re telling me you believe
The product of recovery is idiocy?
The thing we all are aspiring to is bliss and nothing but?
No, I guess not.
Then what is the solution for you? I ask.
A tally which fits the day I’m having
Joy sometimes fits that bill
But other days it’s sadness or concern
There have been days when disbelief
And dismay were part of the appropriate response.
For me, the solution is having an equation
That helps me respond to life
Instead of reacting to it.
That’s better than unending happiness
That’s wholeness she said with a grin
You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault