At a recent 12 step meeting a man with 28 years of consistent sobriety spoke about how even with that amount of clean time he still periodically lives on “Fantasy Island.” I laughed and silently agreed. This gentleman was holding up a mirror to my own life, as his words reminded me of how my denial about my disease kept me out there using — because in my fantasy it really wasn’t all that bad.

And I will be the first to admit I still take mini trips to Fantasy Island once in a while. When life isn’t what I expect or want I can easily take-off in another direction — whether to reduce the pain from a lesson I need to learn or a thousand other reasons. And this is why I must stay grounded and connected in recovery. My mind has the ability to create scenarios that will never happen, review what has — and still try to change the end result, as well as pre-judge what may be awaiting in the future. I read somewhere, “we believe everything we think.”
A powerful statement to ponder. Many addicts and alcoholics spend a lot of time living in their heads. Inside the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it says we are, “Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion…” We believe our self should be in constant pleasure. Besides trying to kill us, our addiction feeds our fantasies, and we forget there is a whole big universe beyond our own little needs. Addiction is so powerful it can tell us we don’t have it, even after years of sobriety. Listen closely to the stories from people who have relapsed as there seems to be a common thread. Their fantasy (addiction) told them having just one drink or drug wouldn’t do any harm. Yet as these stories continue the horrors of what happened under the influence can make your hair stand on end. Those who are lucky make it back alive — but not everyone does.

 I am grateful I’ve been taught the best way out of ‘me’ is to get in, be in and stay in service, take my seat in the fellowship, honestly share my journey and surround myself with like minded people. It always works. With gratitude and thanks, we at Together AZ wish all our readers a blessed Thanksgiving.

Thank you for your readership and support of the Art of Recovery Expo. Each and everyone of us who made it out of the depths of darkness caused by our addiction, no matter what it is — are living miracles and proof that we are now residing on an island of sobriety — surrounded by love, support and camaraderie.