Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Believe in Magic


A person that I know from AA in this town was riding his bike past my house the other day. I was watering my plants and hollered a hello his direction. He stopped and asked me why I stopped going to AA. There was no judgment in his question, just simple curiosity. Because I wasn't immediately put on the defensive (because usually this question is asked in a quite accusatory manner), I was able to formulate a short concise answer that is the truth for me. And this is it.


I do not believe that because you once had an alcohol or addiction problem, that it is a lifelong sentence. Part of the foundation of AA, and really, most recovery programs, is that the old cliche', "once an addict, always an addict" is true for everyone, all the time, forever and ever Amen.


Here's what I do believe in. I believe in growth and grace and evolvement. I believe that limiting yourself with beliefs like "once an addict, always an addict" makes that true for you and that's the only thing that makes it true for you. I believe in intention and the right arrangement of desire and self-discipline and I believe in throwing it all to the wind at times. I believe that one must be very, very careful what they decide to believe and be willing to toss beliefs that no longer work and try on new ones to see if they do. I believe that any fracture in a human soul or psyche is up for complete and total healing at all times if we're open to it and I believe there are forces that aid us in making that healing real for ourselves. I believe in magic.


What do you believe?

20 comments:

Jane said...

I was just having this conversation the other day. Mind you that I am not coming from the viewpoint of being an addict. However, I have seen people grab on to AA when they first get out of rehab. I think that's fine when you are still completley vulnerable and scared. As time moves on though, I think people need to find their strength and grace and not be limited to the view that they are "forever damaged by their disease". We all have the power within us, addict or not, to turn our shortcomings in to strengths; our negative thoughts in to healthier ones. The power of intention is HUGE. What we put out there in the universe will come back.

thailandchani said...

I believe basically the same as you do. When I first got sober, AA was wonderful. It provided the support I needed and gave me somewhere to go each day. At the same time, there came a point where I grew out of it and needed to move on.

In some ways, I haven't moved on in the best way possible because I still have residual issues. (Example: AA was an instant social network, kind of like the bars and I haven't yet built another one that I feel good about.)

But still, learning and growing is important. I do know that.. even though I don't always practice the way I preach.

Island Girl Spirit said...

Beautifully written Angela. My feelings too.
A.A. gave me, and taught me so much. Without it, and N.A., and Al-Anon, I would probably not be alive today. But I also was ready to move on. I do believe in the power of positive thinking, and was so tired of having to continue to look at my negative self . . . like "once an addict always an addict".
I think the biggest thing I struggle with today, like thailandchani is the social network. Although I am beginning to find that in my Yoga classes. . .

Olivia said...

Another wonderful post, Angela.

I so agree with you statement "I believe that one must be very, very careful what they decide to believe". What we believe can affect our life, our health---so much!

I also believe that I must "be willing to toss beliefs that no longer work and try on new ones to see if they do". This takes so much courage.

Some people will stick to childhood beliefs for their whole entire lives---good for them---because they work for them, help them, give them security. Others (like me) will be always seeking to grow and change because this works for me. I don't think either way is better or worse than the other. Obviously I prefer to grow and change and I'd rather be around those who do, as well. However, sometimes I envy those whose beliefs work for them for long, long periods of time.

Dogma is something that is hard for me to process. Things that are always true for everyone everywhere. Maybe there is dogma, and maybe it is true. I am not yet sure.

I don't think that the labeling of the Twelve Steps works for me as well as other things, though.

Very provocative!

Peace,

O

Anybeth said...

oh honey, you know from reading my blog I agree 100%.

Beverly Keaton Smith said...

I like to live in possibility...which includes no limitations. I also believe that part of the journey includes healing...growing...evolving...I strongly believe in magic and miracles...and have gratitude every day for their existence. Thanks for the though provoking post Angela. Bev

Rick Hamrick said...

Who are we? We are not our jobs, our habits (good or bad), what others think of us, or what our egos tell ourselves we are (more often bad and wrong than anything, at least when my ego gets to take the podium).

Now, then...what does that leave? It's a question which is lived into an answer. Pay attention, and you'll find it when you least expect you will...when you are not conscious of seeking it.

Diva Carla said...

I believe that any fracture in a human soul or psyche is up for complete and total healing at all times if we're open to it.

Powerful.

And threatening.

How many "healers" or other relationships are vested in the unhealed fracture.

It's insidious. I felt it in me as I agreed with you. Oooh boy.

Good one, Angela.

I believe that any fracture in a human soul or psyche is up for complete and total healing at all times if we're open to it.

I feel wide open spaces of healing.

Lydia said...

"I was able to formulate a short concise answer that is the truth for me." Well I guess so! I'd alter this sentence to "...a short, concise, and nearly perfect answer..." Beautifully expressed, Angela. (Love the artwork, too!) Treatment was a healing experience for me, but only because I was invested in it. They took us to the "outside" some nights for AA meetings and I never once felt comfortable. After I completed treatment I did go to AA according to their prescription: "90 meetings in 90 days." If my math is correct, my sobriety since then has included 8,038 days and 0 meetings. I definitely believe in magic, grace, gratitude, and the blessings of walking the personal path.

Lee's River said...

I say: amen and hallelujah to you.

Grace said...

I cannot believe addiction is a lifelong sentence, otherwise I would still be drinking. I would love to believe in magic :-)

lunarmusings said...

"I believe that any fracture in a human soul or psyche is up for complete and total healing at all times if we're open to it and I believe there are forces that aid us in making that healing real for ourselves. I believe in magic."

This is so profoundly beautiful, and sums up exactly what I was trying to convey today on my blog, but stumbled through it!

I'm constantly moved by your courage to pave your own path of healing, and the courage to share it here.

I am also wonderfully pleased to have some more time these days to visit here more often!

blessings to you,
e

Julie said...

It is a bit like religion, from what I gather. If we hold on to one belief we don't like that other people don't believe in the same. I've watched my dad beat himself up each and every time he takes a drink, and each time he goes to church but isn't allowed communion (catholic, divorced = not worthy I guess.) In the meantime he is a super hero to his family and his community.
I share your belief in change and growth.

Julie said...

It is a bit like religion, from what I gather. If we hold on to one belief we don't like that other people don't believe in the same. I've watched my dad beat himself up each and every time he takes a drink, and each time he goes to church but isn't allowed communion (catholic, divorced = not worthy I guess.) In the meantime he is a super hero to his family and his community.
I share your belief in change and growth.

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

Well, I think you already know what I believe. I agree that the 'you're an addict forever' adage is pure drivel. I love the John William Waterhouse image you used. Another fan of the Pre-Raphaelites, it seems!

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Anybeth said...

Hey angela, whare ya been?

Mary LA said...

Let me know how you are -- I miss the posts.

Hugs

Mary

Daughter of Lilith said...

This month I will be sober for 2 years. AA gave me everything I needed at a time when I needed it. I relly enjoyed your post because I am in amazement that I have not been to 1 meeting in 7 months and I am still sober and grateful and loving it. Thank you for your blog.

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