It is a tricky question. The substances of our past are a subtle foe, often lying in wait for that moment — sometimes decades later — when complacency gets ambushed and suddenly it's all about being stoned or drunk and not being able to stop. Of late, I've seen many people relapse precisely because they stopped doing whatever it was that worked for them.
I've gotten ambivalent lately, too. Not to the point of wanting to get high. Hardly; I love my recovery and owe my life to it. But I'm weary of the repetitive prescription I'm supposed to take every single day to stay sober, including my recovery meeting every Monday night. So on Sunday, I went to church, where I haven't been for a while. In the light streaming through the stained-glass windows, the minister's sermon to kick off the Lenten period, the soaring music and the fellowship of my congregants, I found what I needed, a healthy choice, a satisfying alternative.
It reminds me of the story about a man who, in the throes of his alcoholism, suddenly had a "white light" moment as he lay in a hospital. "What was that?" he asked his doctor. "I don't know, but you'd better hang on to it," the doctor replied. And the man did, for the next 35 years.
For now, I'm holding on to my Sunday in church.
William Moyers is the vice president of public affairs and community relations for the Hazelden Foundation and the author of "Broken," his best-selling memoirs. His new book, "Now What? An Insider's Guide to Addiction and Recovery," has just been published. Please send your questions to William Moyers at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about William Moyers and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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