Heroism and Our Values in Recovery

Welcome to our discussion based on Joe C.’s Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life. We post choice quotes from the daily reading, as well as the discussion questions, and encourage you to think on it and respond in the comments. Please keep our community guidelines in mind while commenting.

“The hero is the one who comes to participate in life courageously and decently, in the way of nature, not in the way of personal rancor, disappointment or revenge.”

-Joseph Campbell

…Much of the fight to recover involves our own internal struggles–rewiring programmed messages about what was demanded and/or forbidden. Wrestling our demons doesn’t make us heroes. We have to fight decently, with no personal rancor or revenge.

Do we confuse having chips on our shoulders with being heroic? Are we clamoring for attention or control? Are we overcompensating for negative self-images? Are we playing the roles of martyrs, rescuers or saviors? In our addictions, we raped, plundered and pillaged, calling it taking our comfort. Are we now the keepers of our brothers and sisters? We must always be mindful of our intentions. Even if we want to be good in the world and make up for our parasitical pasts, we think about Campbell’s quote to ensure that what we might see as “heroic” is truly decent.

Discussion questions

  • What would I like to be remembered for?
  • What do I admire most in others?
  • Who are my heroes and why?

What Does Recovery Offer Alcoholics and Addicts?

Welcome to our discussion based on Joe C.’s Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life. We post choice quotes from the daily reading, as well as the discussion questions, and encourage you to think on it and respond in the comments. Please keep our community guidelines in mind while commenting.

We move from the “evil” of addiction, clear the wreckage of the past and live in the light–nice! Who wouldn’t want to leave it at that? We put on sunglasses and bask in recovery’s peace and happiness, not regretting the past nor wishing to shut the door on it–sweet!

Some of us don’t know much about that. Why? We are seekers, and when we find peace, we just can’t stop seeking; we seek truth, not pleasure, and as we peel away layers we discover it’s not all pretty underneath. Some of us will get shit on. Cornered and blindsided, our happy, joyous and free passes are snatched away without consent. We did not sign up for more abuse. But if we are faced with evil and find the courage to move forward, we may find (or create) meaning from suffering. Dignity and integrity constantly get tested. There may be no end in sight but we will make it through, gradually. At some point, we will be asked to show up for a loved one facing some kind of unthinkable evil. A problem shared is a problem halved. Good listeners can bear witness to great truths, too.

Discussion questions

  • Do I know that recovery promises a life–not a good one or an easy one–but one to make my own?