Also know as crossroads.

When I went looking for images to complement my deep thought for the day, I found a lot of photos of glamorous green foresty paths that looked as if they had been hand-carved by magic little fairies and dropped out of a storybook onto the screen. Meh!

My experience has been that crossroads aren’t generally like that.  They’re much more dangerous (at least they feel that way!) and apprehension tends to lurk around every corner. That’s why you’re getting the spooky image. Plus, it was just Halloween. So there it is.

I’m making a lot of a choices right now in my life. That’s sort of monumental and sort of not. I’m always making a lot of choices. Ideally, I’d be making at least one choice (one decision) every day, to be turning my will and my life (or my thoughts and my actions) over to the care of God as I understand (or generally don’t understand) god.

But ideally is just that … an ideal. And I’m far from reaching any perfect version of it. I usually jump out of bed and whiz into my day yelling, Thanks for everything big guy!, as I slam the door behind me.  But the third step (and my never-ending battle with it) is not the topic today.

The topic is choice.

The thing that I am so in love with about being sober is that today I have a lot of choices. I really screw some of them up. I am consistently inconsistent with just about everything. But at the end of it all, whatever shows up in my life is generally here because I created it. Whatever isn’t in my life, is generally lacking because I haven’t created it yet. In this way, lack becomes my desire for things. And desire is a good thing. It pushes me. It encourages me to try new things. It gives me courage, hope and faith. And it keeps me just hungry enough to keep moving.

But of course, I didn’t always have a choice. At the intersection of my using and my sobriety was a moment of clarity. An open window.  I crawled through it on my hands and knees.  Then I collapsed on the floor of AA and stayed for a while.

It’s really interesting to me how many people in the program minimize the effects of relapse. I hear this all the time in the rooms.

~Keep coming back.

~It’s ok, we all just have one day.

~I got loaded, but I’m good, everything is fine. I’m back and I’m sober 27 minutes again.

It’s not that I am judging those who relapse. I relapsed. I understand exactly what it means to get loaded after you have put together a couple of few days around here. It’s just that I’ll never forget this crotchety old man at Radford Hall in North Hollywood who practically shouted at me from across the room, “You don’t think time matters…why don’t you get some? Then talk to me!”

I now understand what he was saying. He was pissed at my arrogance. My assumption that I could get loaded and sail back through these doors, as if they would always be there for me. That I could have the same spirtual awakening skipping in and out of AA that a person has when they give their lifeblood to being sober one day at a time forever.

I sincerely hope the doors will always be open.  But whether any of us gets a second chance at sobriety is another question. I have now seen too many people use and drink and die, or just disappear, to believe that we all get back when we want to and in one piece. That’s why intersections are important. After just a little time in these rooms, we’re as physically sober as we’re ever gonna get. From that point on, it’s an inside job, and what manifests inside is about desire and lack. It’s about the story we are choosing to tell and our willingness to do the work around here.

So yes, of course we want you to keep coming back. And we pray that you will keep making it back. But when you get here, and you get a hold of this thing, you might just want to sit all the way down for a while.