Thursday, January 21, 2010

“That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind” ~ Neil Armstrong

Happy New Year! As we journey through new beginnings in 2010, I can think of no better way to do so than by looking at the foundational principle of recovery: Step 1 “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol/drugs– that our lives had become unmanageable” (adapted from A.A. and N.A.). The essence of the first step is surrendering the right to indulge your addiction. Although they had a different mission, the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission had to do the same thing back in 1969.

Space travel, astronauts say, is full of twists, turns, and surprises. It is filled with challenges, shock, awe, wonder, fear, and even great joy. Giving up control and surrendering to the process of space travel was essential in order to successfully get to the moon. The same can be said for the process of recovery.

Everyone takes “steps” in their lives and not just the obvious ones that get you from point A to point B. From kindergarten through college, children take academic steps as they grow and improve their mental acuity into young adulthood. Entrepreneurial business ventures take many steps to go from a creative concept to the cash cow monolith that is Google. Whether educational or business, growth requires forward motion.

To make the decision to quit alcohol and/or drugs is the hardest decision to make in the recovery process. But it is very doable! When President Kennedy said he wanted the U.S. to put a man on the moon, many thought he was out of his mind. You may think you are out of your own mind for trying to quit using addictive substances. Of course, that is not the truth. If you choose to take that first step, the rest is, downhill, as they say. To be sure, there will be bumps and bruises along the way, but you will have a daily reprieve from your addiction one 24 hours at a time. But, first you have to admit your powerlessness over this disease. If you’re willing to do that, then you really have taken the most important step in your life. Remember, it is one small step for yourself and one giant leap for the rest of your life!

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