Competency Five: I can evolve

The single reason we bomb at sobriety is our failure to comprehend the significance and value of personal evolution.

Successful sobriety is evolution. Long-term sobriety,a quality life, these are the byproducts of development.

This process of recovery is not a onetime trip. It’s an ongoing journey. Within the journey I welcome growth, growth, and more growth. The moment I stop welcoming growth I have stopped evolving.

What is growth? The evolving mind is: progressing, maturing, metamorphosing, transforming, revolutionizing, expanding, applying, and adapting. The non-evolving mind is: stagnant, repetitive, arrogant, repressive, confined, disinterested, and detached. Despite these drastic differences most will fall back into non-evolving within the first year of sobriety. Why? The subconscious is working double-time to convince me that I am just fine not evolving. And because I have free will the choice for evolution or no evolution is mine. I make the wrong choice until I am devastated and desperate or until I decide I want something more from this life. Sadly for most, it is the former.

Evolution is the process of becoming something more than I had previously been before. All the knowledge I have acquired to this point has brought me to this moment. I must be willing to value some new information. I must get into cooperation with an additional source(s) other than my own thinking if I am to change. It is through this act of cooperation that I change.

Evolution is applying new and functional concepts and dispensing with old nonfunctional ones. It’s about contribution to the system rather than just to self.  It’s the cellular system functioning efficiently rather than a single cell doing the work alone. Limited capacity, limited opportunity, limited growth, and limited experience are the life of the single cell.

I have wanted sobriety to come easy and I have wanted it to stay easy, or at the very least, minimally disruptive. Here is the truth: Life isn’t this way and neither is sobriety. My sadness, drama, disappointment, and disbelief over being an addict have got to end.

Alcohol doesn’t agree with my body. I do unloving, downright unkind things when I am drinking and when I am not drinking.  Even when I want a drink and I can’t get one (or refilled quick enough) I am unkind. I have turned into a person who wants it their way, whether I am drinking or not. I can pretend I am okay, but I am dying inside. I am dying and I know I am dying, but I won’t let myself feel it—so I drink some more.

When I am done making a mockery of my life (and my drinking) I am welcomed to the real world. I face life head on. In doing so, I become more than I imagined …all because I chose to evolve.

I can glorify my right to drink all I want. It will get me nowhere. If I’m not evolving then I am dying. I can try to hide from you, but I can never get away from me and my thinking. I will always “come to.” If I am willing to evolve I will never have to “come to” again.


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