So much of life is a process. The willingness to trust in life’s processes, having faith that the processes I am experiencing will ultimately yield results, is a skill I am once again learning in recovery.
My work in sales is a great example of having faith in a process. First, I had to become familiar with what I was going to be selling. That need required that I go through the process of being trained. Learning the basics was a necessary part of the process. Continued training is also a part of the process. I am required to broaden my knowledge on a continuous basis as a part of the training process.
Once trained, I have to search for clients with whom I can share the knowledge I’ve gained in training. Not only do I need to find people who are qualified to use what I sell, but I also need to generate enough interest to get them to listen.
Next, the process requires that I follow up and follow through with these prospective clients. This can often be the most challenging part of the process. Striking that balance between being of service to the prospective customer, and becoming a nuisance, takes a great deal of attention and insight. I have to learn to read the customer’s response to each interaction.
Eventually, my faith in the process is rewarded. In time, the prospective client is transformed into an actual client. That is when the work really begins. After all, it is one thing to make promises. It is another altogether to follow through on promises.
There is another side of this process that requires faith. As a salesperson, rejection is a part of my daily routine. In fact, the word “no” is heard so often, that sometimes I can be startled when someone says “yes.” The challenge of turning a “no” into a “yes” is a process all unto itself. Another process that requires faith.
This whole process has become one that I enjoy. It is challenging for sure. Sometimes the process can seem overwhelming, and the rejection can seem like it will never end. At such times, faith in the process pulls me through. It gives me the strength to persevere. It motivates me to never give up.
Learning to have faith in the process is something life requires of everyone. Whether it’s the process of learning to ride a bicycle, play a musical instrument, or become a great chef, life requires that we experience process to achieve rewards.
In active addiction, I trained my brain to skip life’s processes. Anything that required a process was eliminated from life. Feeling down? Take drugs. Feeling lonely? Share drugs. Frustrated? Let drugs dull your senses until you no longer care.
The processes of life faded as drugs took over. Without any of life’s processes, the need for faith disappeared.
The worst part for me was that my brain became so accustomed to skipping life’s processes that even the simplest of them became a challenge. I can actually remember times when I was so thirsty that my mouth and throat became dry and parched. Even though water was sitting on the table in front of me, I would delay drinking for another hit.
Relief was right there in front of me, yet I couldn’t break free from my drugs for even a moment. Looking back on such times, I can only shake my head. Was that really me? Was I truly that lost?
Yes, sadly, it was me. I was that lost. Faith was lost. All that mattered was that instant relief for which my brain was screaming.
In Narcotics Anonymous, I began once again to value life’s processes. Early on in my recovery, establishing a routine became a necessity. I had to retrain my brain to wait for reward. Faith in the process replaced that voice that screamed at me, demanding that I cheat the system. “Avoid the process and get high,” was the message my diseased brain kept shouting.
Only through faith was I once again able to submit to life’s processes. Through faith, I was able to develop new responses to my feelings.
Feeling down? Take time to pray and meditate. Write a gratitude list.
Lonely? Call a friend. Go to a meeting. Work on building relationships.
Frustrated? Call your sponsor. Go to a meeting. Share your feelings, remembering that pain shared is pain lessened.
No, life in recovery isn’t all skittles and rainbows. Life’s processes don’t always yield the results I want. However, by placing faith in life’s processes, I am able to stay clean. Even more importantly, I am able to recover.
Have a remarkable day!