Thursday, August 21, 2014

Give it away...give it away now

 A little Red Hot Chili Peppers reference for you!!

So, if you're in a recovery program of any kind you are familiar with the phrase

"You've got to give it away to keep it".
Which means, once you've been given the gift of recovery, you need to share your
experience, strength, and hope with others that are in need.
Not just out of a moral obligation, but also it's how you continue to be in recovery.
Just like a true "Diet" is a lifestyle change, not just eating differently for 30 days to lose
a few pounds and then back to the binge, so is the recovery process.
It is a spiritual awakening, a psychic change that continues onward and upward.
You don't just get clean and then go home and say thanks, you have to keep going
and working and stay on the path that becomes more narrow with each new turn.
That is just the way it is.

Service work is something we can all relate to, recovery based or not.

When we help our communities by giving of our time and our service,
we are not only helping the community at hand, we are truly helping ourselves.
No one can deny the great feeling of humility and gratitude we receive when
helping others.  It is almost a selfish endeavor. It feels good inside and out.
It almost always helps us more than it helps the recipients.
We walk away feeling thankful and humble, we appreciate what we have and where
we are in our lives today.
So why don't we do it more?  Why do we not take part in this pleasure more often?
Just like most things spiritual, I put them off until they are really needed.
I know praying and meditating feels good and is so good for me and my peace of mind,
yet I don't do it as often as I should and a lot of times wait until I have some drama
and then I hit my knees begging for help.
Had I been "Prayed Up", this drama might not hurt at all........truly humorous.

In recovery, service work is a must. Working with others is necessary.

We have to give back, again not under obligation, but because our lives depend on it.
Mostly out of true selfishness, I need to work with others to be reminded of who I am.
When I hear the horror stories of those just coming off the streets, it reminds me of the horror
story of my life when I got here.  I was not doing good at all, life sucked and it hurt real bad.
But 10 and a half years later, my life is pretty awesome. I have everything I ever dreamed of and I
am so far from the drugs and the alcohol, it's easy to forget the bad times.
But the bad times got me here. The shit life I was leading of pain and suffering is the direct
result that got me in recovery. Being an addict is the reason I have a successful life today.
I know that is hard to comprehend, but if I was not an addict, I would have never worked those
beautiful steps and received the greatest gift of all, awareness.
With that awareness, I have been able to seek my dreams and have them come true before my very eyes.  That awareness of a spiritual world, applying spiritual principles, has helped me to achieve
everything I have today. I am thankful for being an addict and an alcoholic.
But I can lose it all if I allow my obsessive, compulsive, self-centered, egotistical mind to
take over yet again. It happens all the time. I am not immune.
I must be reminded that all I have is a daily reprieve, just for today.
One day at a time, one step at a time......
I have the disease of addiction and it centers in my mind.
So as much as I would like a big pat on the back for helping others and doing service work,
it's not necessary. I am truly helping myself.
I'd love to think that I am saving lives when I work with others, but the only life I am really
saving is my own.
And if you read this blog and think "Wow, Mike Zito is a great guy who writes this blog to help
others!"  Thats just really not true :)
I write this blog to help myself. I need to hear what I am saying the most.
It's like repeating lines to a movie I am - I am memorizing my lines for life.

I need to be constantly reminded on a daily basis who I am and whats wrong with me.

If I stopped reading my literature, going to my meetings and working with others,
I would soon forget who I am and my crazy mind would start to tell me that maybe
it's ok to start doing the things I used to do.
So, day in and day out I do the work and walk the walk, thats who I am and thats what I do.
Like it or not, I am addict.

Like my sponsor always says - "Thats just the way it is, so suck it up."