LET GO: of unhealthy extremes.
PRACTICE balanced recovery.
“Many alcoholics are enthusiasts. They run to extremes.” BB p. 126. You think?? We, along with Mae West, often say: “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.”
While visiting a meeting off my beaten path, I was intrigued to hear so many members express reservations about being too happy. They were suspicious of folks who were too happy and preferred to stay within normal average range themselves. Some said they drank when too high or too low. Most said they were working toward better balance.
Personally, I prefer to bounce a bit above the normal parameters. When I sink below the normal I generate more gratitude to push my feelings back up on the satisfaction index.
But then I reflected on how easy it was for me to swing to extremes and pursue something with compassion matched only by compulsion. I could get wrapped up in work to exclusion of meetings. Or engrossed in fishing to detriment of service. Family first could be an excuse to slight the larger family. Reading can ease out riding a bike with predictable results. Some focus relentlessly on physical improvement while ignoring emotional growth. Some are seldom alone to reflect, while others seldom connect–preferring isolation. Some AA’s attend speaker’s meetings to the exclusion of Step Studies. Others, go to beginner’s discussion meetings but avoid Big Book study meetings. Balanced diets are beneficial!
How do we maintain balance between work and play, relationships and recovery? How do we sustain balance between spiritual growth and financial security? We are reminded that we need to put spiritual growth before financial recovery. “For us, material well being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.” BB p. 127.
Balance connotes “emotional stability, calmness, poise, mental steadiness.” Certainly this comes from patiently practicing spiritual principles and continuing to work Steps. We don’t enjoy balance so long as we are consumed by fear, plagued by resentments, and frustrated by inordinate expectations. While under the influence of alcohol, good balance was elusive.
Step Ten inventory affords us an opportunity to review our day and see where it may be “out of whack.” We can spot the extremes and seek to correct the excesses with help from Higher Power and fellowship. My Golden Retriever kept me from being a workaholic by putting her nose under my arm at five o’clock and saying “time to play with the pup.”
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
So what’s out of balance in my life?
How is the balance between service and study, meditation and action?
Where are the extremes causing me or others difficulty?
Misery being optional
Great lab results–new therapy is working!
Fun with family at new restaurant–Lure