Sometimes, we hear that time does not matter in AA or NA. While it is true that the amount of time a person has doesn’t always show their quality of sobriety, it is one of the best indicators.
Time Does Not Matter…When You Don’t Have Any
The thing is, we often hear newcomers claiming that time does not matter. Although time is not the end-all-be-all, it is still one of the best gauges we have when we first get into recovery that the program works.
Generally, people don’t (or shouldn’t) take advice or input from people who—for lack of a better way of saying it—don’t know what they are talking about. We really hate putting it in those terms, and it isn’t a judgment by any means. To some extent, every addict and alcoholic goes through a stage early on where they believe they now have all the answers, thank you very much!
That illusion is shattered, though, when life comes up. When our Orange County drug and alcohol treatment center says, “Life comes up,” we are talking about the real tests that life present us. That might the death of an immediate family member, losing a job, a divorce, or any other multitude of situation that people face in their lives.
Knowing what to do and actually doing it are entirely separate. We know we shouldn’t go out and have a drink or drug mentally, yet the alcoholic or addict finds they cannot resist. When the disease centers in the alcoholic/addict mind, trying to use the source of the problem to solve the problem is destined to fail.
Dealing with disasters is one thing, but dealing with success can also be just as testing of a person’s recovery. As addicts and alcoholics, we are used to dealing with disasters, but not facing those challenges can be the real issue.
Ever meet a person who seems to make drama, even when there isn’t any actually going on? Same concept. When we are no longer facing the problems that come with actively using and drinking, some of us don’t know what to do with ourselves. As ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes the lack of chaos can drive us so nuts that we end up going back out.
Time does not matter in the sense that no human power can relieve us of our disease, but recovery doesn’t happen automatically. Although the results are up to God, the footwork is up to us.