I’ve been musing about recovery and how, perhaps it follows the template set by Jesus’s resurrection two millennia ago (I’m a non church going Christian, fyi). Jesus had been in the desert for 40 days, praying and preparing, knowingly, for his death. He was tempted many times by the devil, but pushed away wealth, power and status, in favour of being true to himself and the greater, eternal and unconditional love in the universe. Whether you call that God, Allah, or the Divine, it is there.
He sat down with his disciples at the last supper, sharing bread and wine, knowing that two would betray him: Judas and Peter (Peter would deny knowing him.) In the Garden of Gethsamene, Jesus was identified and imprisoned. He was judged by Pontius Pilate and the crowd shouted “crucify him, crucify him!” A blameless, caring, selfless man and the son of God was hung from the cross as his mother, Mary Magdalene and other disciples wept. After this terrible pain and shame, when he took on all the world’s shame and stigma, three days later he left his burial robes in the tomb and rose again.
What has this to do with us? Well, perhaps it’s our deep recognition that we can no longer continue as we are: drinking to numb everything and yet to fit in at the same time. The hangovers get longer – sometimes we head off for weekends away to try and find a better way to live life. Occasionally that works, often it doesn’t: 3 days is too short. We fail again.
When our drinking gets worse and people notice it, we’re shamed. Whether in gossip, or concerned friends telling us: “I think you need to cut back a bit, I’m worried about you.” Our friends’ ringleader will often scapegoat us and laughingly say: “Well at least Bee doesn’t drink as much as you! God, you were hammered last night.” And more line up to accuse and shout at us for our problems. Gradually, most friends will melt away as they can’t bear to see our demise. We feel alone, and so, so abandoned. We need love and company as human beings, and we have so little, just the bottle.
So, a point finally arrives when we decide to hang ourselves out to dry. We have to push past the shame of it all. A few close friends and sometimes family members (if we’re lucky) stay around to help us through the anger, tears and feelings of grief as we wave goodbye to booze, our very best and truest friend.
We learn that we have to find a cave where we can rest up, usually for 3 months, to let something secret and ignored emerge once more: our very soul. Books, podcasts, and especially community: AA, SMART, or online groups like BOOM, where we post our deepest, darkest, sorrowful thoughts, laced with sparks of joy, that is the beginning of The Work,
Finally, one morning we wake up, and feel a sense of freedom. Something very unusual and light-filled, emerging. Our skin looks so much better and our eyes: wow, we can see them now, and they’re white, not yellow or grey. Everything looks brighter, sounds louder, tastes and smells better and all our nerve endings are tingling in delight and curiosity, just as they did when we were kids.
That is the day the stone is rolled away from our tomb. And dear, rock solid friends are there to greet us. And if we stick to remaining AF, the stone and shame will never return.
And so you see how Christ and we, yes, WE, are risen. (Photo from n.w. Ohio Lutheran churches – Mary Magdalene greeting the risen Christ outside the tomb.)
This post was shared with the Boozemusings Community by Annette Allen, an active member of BOOM Community Rethink the Drink and the author of An Ethiopian Odyssey
Find More from Annette Here
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