Newly sober addicts will probably find a myriad of situations suddenly requiring their attention. These types of situations can be relational, financial, work-related, health concerns, loss of a career, divorce or separation, homelessness, legal issues, and many other types of difficulties. It may appear to the addict that he has entered a long, dark tunnel with no light appearing at the end. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel only it is now obscured by the wreckage we created while practicing our addiction. We become so bogged down by this wreckage that we may lose hope of ever clearing this wreckage away. We may lose hope in our Higher Power, the 12 Step program, and the ability to navigate these shark-infested waters.
At this point in our sobriety, it becomes very important to have a sponsor and other sober people in our lives who can offer hope and encouragement to us during this part of our journey. Others can share with us how they handled the wreckage they created and we may find that their wreckage may have been far worse than ours! This is one of the very important parts of building a sober network of friends and acquaintances we can call upon for guidance and assurance that “this too shall pass.” Hearing others share how they navigated their way through the tunnel and were able to resolve their issues can help to keep us on the right track. We may suddenly find that when one door is closed, another one is opened. The big issue is that we tried to open the wrong doors instead of the ones that led to peace, resolution of situations, happiness, and sobriety. Our self-seeking behaviors had defeated us and led us to a life of despair.
At this point life on life’s terms appears to catch up with us. It may be useful to seek guidance from professionals such as an attorney, financial advisor, 12 Step friends, a clergy person, or someone who has been through a similar situation. Seeing that others were able to find resolutions to their issues gives us hope. We also learn that some of these issues will be not solved overnight. It took us a while when practicing our addiction to accumulating this wreckage. It stands to reason that it will also take time to find resolutions to these issues. The addict just has to realize that progress will definitely be made in rectifying these situations, with sober thinking and appropriate action. The resolution may take longer than the addict’s timetable, but eventually, a resolution will be found.
In my early sobriety, I had a wonderful man as my sponsor. We were close until he passed away a few years back with 40+ years of sobriety. I would go to him early on and present him with my “drama of the day.” He would patiently listen to my story of how the world was not doing things my way. He taught me to look at adversity as the “seemingly bad.” Loss of a job can appear to be a bad thing especially when we are providing for others. We learn to “do the footwork and stay out of the results.” We may send out resumes and inquire of friends and colleagues if they know of any job openings that fit our skill set. The point is we get into action in looking for new employment. We don’t allow ourselves to wallow in self-pity or to procrastinate. Sooner or later we will become employed again. Possibly our new job will be better than the one we lost! This is how the concept of the “seemingly bad” works. To this day I still apply this concept when an adverse event occurs in my life. And it still works to allow me to assess a situation, seek guidance and take appropriate action.
Hopefully, you can use the slogan “this too shall pass” on your journey to becoming happy, joyous, and free from the bondage of self. And yes there is light at the end of the tunnel.