My life in Recovery is now an experiment in osmosis through exposure to different kinds of meetings: everything from A.A. to N.A. and the more recent Smart Recovery sessions. The most surprising discovery is the synergy between step work and Mindfulness, which is by far the most successful for me. At least one day a week is spent at a Buddhist Recovery Sangha and that makes the search a more hopeful one in its breadth of choices.

A.A. and N.A. meetings can be nothing but blue collar tragedy porn, depending on who leads and what guidelines each group enforces. There is so much bitching about living that you’d think ending it all would be preferable. If that’s the sobriety so many have signed up for, there might be a need to re-write that show but quick; the audience is leaving!

During one of the A.A. meetings held at the program’s house an epiphany sparked bright: There are only twelve important steps, no more. Completing those twelve and putting them on a wash-rinse-repeat cycle every year hereafter will slowly abate the cravings and bad habits in me. I can’t say that this process will work for anyone else, but for a persistent fellow it could mean the difference between career relapsing and a semblance of a healthier life.

What Mindfulness brings to my process is the ability to observe and work with a challenging or dangerous situation. Medications, psychotherapy and Mindfulness allow me the suspension of action necessary to gauge the best outcome.

What still remains are the Depression and Anxiety twins. Again, mindfulness comes to the fore as the blinders in my every activity when I detect a shift in attitude or habits; of the higher quotient of bitterness in my humor, of dismissive or resentful reserves building up. How much I am able to control the twins will determine the outcome of my research in coping skills for cravings and triggers.

Send good energy my way. The more, the better!

Orlando Bé

Image: © Tony Fischer/Flickr