October Blog Entry for the NorCalRecovery website 

Tis The Season
In my local Recovery Fellowship, we call this time of year the beginning of “Recruitment Season.” It’s kind of a joke, cause we don’t truly ‘recruit’ anyone, it’s simply a program of attraction not promotion. The only promotion we do is live life without a drink or a drug, a seemingly impossible feat for those who have suffered as we have.
Addicts and alcoholics come to us…beaten, broken and done, but not knowing how to stop or stay stopped. We offer them a New Design for Living that really works.
Coincidentally, I got sober in late October, 2008, so I know “Recruitment Season” as well as the next serial relapser. The onset of Winter, the change in the weather, isolation and the anticipation of holiday followed by holiday, all play a role in depression, getting loaded and the ongoing struggle of the addict/alcoholic.
In all truth, for people like us, there is always the perfect reason, excuse or occassion to get loaded. But for me,  a September bellybutton birthday was a reason to ‘celebrate’ another year or check out over fear of growing old. Follow that with Halloween, the night when it’s common place to pretend not be who we really are; then, usher in the stress of family, or no family, at Thanksgiving; throw in the lonely materialism of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa or the like, where we spend what we don’t have or wallow because we can’t afford to spend anything; and don’t forget our promises of the last drink or drug for the New Year (affectionately called Amateur Night, by those who know).
Couple all of these things with the isolation brought about by a permanent, progressive and fatal illness, marked by a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, all we have left is frustration, terror, bewilderment and despair as our companions.  It’s no wonder the rooms are filled with people just like me. It’s no wonder we end up drunk or high when we are devoid of any solution for our problem.
Whether it’s ‘first timers,’ relapsers or those with time who have become new again, every year is always the same; and each year we welcome you all home. You don’t have to keep coming back, if you are willing to work to stay here.
I write this, as a reminder for us all, to stay ever-vigilant, to grow in our connection to the larger Universe, our fellows and ourselves, and to reach out to someone who, on the outside, looks like we feel on the inside. We don’t have to keep drinking or drugging. We can have had our last drink or drug. We can be done. 
If you can’t stop, or stay stopped, there is an easier, softer way. You don’t have to be miserable or die. We can show you how to live. 
We do recover.
Happy Holidays,
~S.D.

http://www.norcalrecovery.org

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