Self Expression Magazine

Push-Ups In The Parking Lot

Posted on the 13 April 2012 by 3stepstorecovery @3StepsToRecvry
Alcoholics Anonymous members have invented many wise, wittyand well-meaning expressions over the years. A few of my personal favoritesinclude fake it ‘til you make it, stinkingthinking, and take what you needand leave the rest. These are especiallyhelpful for the newcomer to recovery. While guilty of the first two in my earlyrecovery days, the third was especially helpful and was, by far, the easiest toapply.
On the other hand, there were some that sounded likefingernails on the blackboard at the time and will make me cringe at the merethought of them for all of eternity. The first one that makes me want to trackdown the originator with a paint ball gun is the moron that came up with thisone – Your addiction is doing push-ups in the parking lot. Translation? While every AAmember remains safe within the walls of a meeting, his or her addiction is notonly hiding in the shadows, but is becoming fitter by the day. This so-calledhelpful advice is another way of saying, “be careful, little Red Riding Hood,the wolf is just outside the door waiting to devour you. You better lock thedoor and stay inside with us, where it’s safe, unless you want to becomeSatan’s next breakfast burrito. I have just one comment for those that spoutthis slogan – STOP IT!
Why does this well intended, if misguided, bit of recoveryadvice make me want to toss my cookies? Simple. It’s because that type ofmessage is designed to instill fearinto the hearts of people, which is the exact opposite of faith. You know, the same faith that is required to bringabout the spiritual healing that removes the desire to drink. The samespiritual healing that Bill W. and the other AA founders wanted to share withother struggling alcoholics. The same spiritual healing that inspired the 12Steps to be written. The same 12 Steps that both inspire and require faith in the lives of those that choose to apply them.The same faith that leads to a spiritual awakening and assures those of us thathave experienced one that we need never fear our addiction again.
For those that have learned to replace fear with faith andwere cured of all desire to drink or use, as a result, there IS no diseasedoing push-ups in the parking lot. But if there were one, it would be walking around in circles lookingfor his head after my Higher Power ripped him a new one 18 years ago. That’swhat a sudden, intense spiritual awakening does to addiction.
Please allow me to don my Captain Obvious outfit for amoment. If you’re living in fear of addiction, especially if you’ve beenattending meetings for longer than three months, you’ve got AA’s originalprogram bass ackwards. The original message was, and is, that a spiritualawakening will cure you of addiction. Those that have experienced their own(and there are many) will tell you the same.

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