I’ve just read an article about English cricketer Kevin Pietersen, after the sub-headline caught my eye. It read “Kevin Pietersen has paid the price for putting his interests before the team’s” and it reminded me that this week I have been determined to find out more about the structure and order of the healing process in the Narcotics Anonymous programme.
There are weekly meetings, but I have been an infrequent attendee, and find that I have been haphazardly wandering though the steps as and when I can be bothered. I always found an excuse not to go: it was cold, I had work to do, I was tired, it was raining, I had no car…always a story.
I’ve also been battling with a blockage in my healing process, in getting over Cris – he makes too many appearances in this blog, and in my mind. I have had long chats to my family about him. Their advice was that it would take time – and I resented that, because Tom, the first man in the epic drug story of mine, took up 18 years of emotional head space, because I let him, and I don’t want to gift that time to Cris. I want to hurry up and heal, so that Cris, his affects and effects will become just so much history, with no impact on the present.
On Monday, as I sat in the NA meeting in Stellenbosch, I realised that this making amends and moving on is step nine – I am only five months into the programme, and because I have not been following it regularly, and in order as I should have been doing, I am really only still at step one. It’s no wonder I cannot effectively consign Cris to the past. At best I manage to refer to him as a fellow meth-head I shared a house with; at worst I pine for him, resent him, hate him and miss him – it takes a lot out of me.
So, technically, when I posted about the natural order of things, I was laying the foundation for me to follow the step-work – the twelve steps, principles and traditions of the NA programme.
And this is where the alignment comes with the sub-headline for the Pietersen article: In my mad haste to heal, I have become that Captain Recovery that we are warned we might be if we let personality stand ahead of the principles. I have put my own interests ahead of the group’s.
Funny though, that I initially thought the group’s interests were for the group, i.e. the structure, the venue, the name – but that’s not quite right. The group’s interests are in the healing journey of each member, so that means it is in my interest to keep the group’s interests ahead of mine, because the group’s interests ARE my interests – but these can best be achieved through and with the group, and not on my own.
Yes, I have a powerful personality, and am head-strong (a nicer way to admit to being stubborn!) and the telling of my story in a very public arena has the risk that I may succumb to the Captain Recovery personality – but in my own way, in my own life, I have to be Captain Recovery! I have to be the superstar where before I was the evil incarnate – the pendulum swings both ways.
Moderation – that too, too painful word I eschewed for so long – dictates that I will meet the process halfway, I will embrace humility, and the community that guides and protects me, and in return, I will offer my industry, and my honesty, and strike a careful balance, knowing that at any moment, if I let my guard down, I can topple from this lofty place of recovery.
These are the founding days of getting it right.
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