Friday, September 2, 2016

Becoming A Predecessor

As the calendar turns to September, I am becoming acutely aware that I am approaching my 18th year anniversary. Which will mean that I will have been clean for over a third of my life, when it happens, which is something I actually find somewhat cool. However, what I don't necessarily find all that gratifying is that I look around most meetings that I attend these days, and I realize that often there is only one or two people there with more time clean than me, and in some cases, there is nobody that has more time than me.
I don't wish to give back the time  or anything. But it does make me very much aware that I have a greater responsibility now than I ever have before. Yes, I know that I remain human and fallible and all that. But I also have put together a stretch of time that is unimaginably long to most of the people that I see in meetings, and as such my primary purpose now is to show these people what it really means to lead a recovering life. To that end, I have really made an effort to share responsibly and positively. But I also try to make sure I don't share for much past five minutes, I don't engage in gossip (much; much less than I used to), and I am tending to rein in myself in the community, too. The results are on balance good, but it's definitely meaning that I am working harder than I have every before at maintaining a recovering life and lifestyle. And that is something I totally did not anticipate having to do at this juncture in my life.
There are some advantages, though. I have noticed (although this is partially a result of attending some different meetings than I have been in recent years) that I get paid attention to when I do talk. People do ask me questions about various aspects of their lives in recovery. Some of the decisions I have made in the past few months have been noted by many people, and they have shared with me that they have been inspired to make difficult decisions that they needed to make by my example.

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