A friend in recovery shared the above words in an AA meeting several months ago. Funny what resonates with us at any time.
Her context was in reference to her realization that she had been essentially addicted to not only drama, but also tragedy. Specifically, the drama and tragedy that her life had become and, more so, the drama and tragedy that she continually created for herself. Why? I wondered. Well simple really…. they are a source of pleasure and meaning. How would I know this? Again, simple…. because I was the same way!
I loved drama and tragedy but I did not realize it. Especially the tragedy piece. I did not realize that I had found an identity in being a tragic figure. It got me attention and sympathy. Not conspicuously, but rather, silently, under the radar of my own awareness.
Somehow, my soul bought into this. And in doing so, I unknowingly continued to subtly create drama and tragedy in my own life. I sought it out, I attracted it. Something in me loved being the betrayed, wounded, now-addicted guy. Something in me wanted everyone to know how much I hurt.
A great business trainer I admire is quoted as saying, “we move in the direction of our predominant thoughts”. Yes, we do. Even if we aren’t conscious of it.
A danger I see in the recovery process is that once we gain some ground on the conspicuous manifestations of our addiction… such as our drinking, drugging, lying, raging, depressing, and financial irresponsibility… we often miss the next layers, which are the more subtle manifestations of our sickness and dysfunction.
It struck me that the reason I could hear and internalize a statement about drama and tragedy was because I was still hungry for more recovery. I was not satisfied to simply quit drinking, raging, lying, depressing, etc. I wanted more. I still want more. I deeply want more.
How much recovery is enough? My answer to this question is another question…. how much is there?
The journey has been strange and wonderful. A happy struggle. The lights keep coming on. I don’t think I will ever be satisfied. I hope the hunger for growth and truth never ends.