Listen to: Never Alone Again
Read by: Rebecca Balko
One evening, I was watching TV and flipped over to the news, finding myself suddenly being slammed with a suffocating level of negative information. I then proceeded to go on the internet, only to be deluged with more of the same, which I will summarize for you with the following headlines: Sequestration – The Sky Is Falling!; Massive Great White Shark Mauls Man to Death; Florida Doesn’t Have Enough Doctors; Gas Possibly $5 Gallon by Summer; City Wants to Disarm Citizens During Crisis; North Korea Threatens to Nuke South Korea and the West; China Threatens Japan; Iran Threatens Israel and the West; STD’s Exploding Among Elderly Population; New Cars out of Reach for Many Americans; Foreclosures Continue to Rise in South FL; US Defense Cuts Loom; Cyber Attack Leaves Natural Gas Pipeline Vulnerable to Sabotage; Pessimists Live Longer! In under an hour’s time, I was left feeling somewhat overwhelmed, stressed and anxious.
My next move was to cease reading or watching the news; to instead occupy my attention with something else, however found that a sort of melancholy feeling stubbornly lingered with me for some time after that. Ultimately I ended up visiting with my husband and listening as he told me about his day, followed by texting with my oldest step daughter and taking great pleasure in hearing about everything going on in her life. Soon I found that the bad feelings had been replaced with feelings of joy, hope and contentment. It’s funny, with all of the technology that surrounds us and all the access we have to learn and grow through easily obtainable information, (far beyond those of generations past): As human beings, we really are not nearly as complicated as we might like think.
Between the ears lies a clump of tissue that quite literally dictates to us physically, mentally and emotionally, how we’re going to feel and be. We can believe that we control what goes on within our personal being, but the truth is that we’re not nearly as “in control” as we would like to see ourselves as being. For instance, have you ever had a headache or toothache? Were you able to “think it” away? Ever have the flu? How did “brain power” work on that? Ever loose a job, a marriage or perhaps a loved one? Were you able to just “make up your mind” and be fine, as if nothing happened?
The truth is that this tissue between our ears is a computer and its operation is contingent on the information it receives. What do I mean? Well, when it comes to physical pain, there is the central nervous system, (composed of two primary parts which are the brain and spinal cord), and the sensory and motor nerves, (which form the peripheral nervous system). The sensory nerves send impulses about what’s happening in our environment to the brain through the spinal cord. The brain then sends the information back to the motor nerves, which help us to react and perform needed actions.
Likewise, (and put more simply), when it comes to the effect of outside stimuli which lead to negative thoughts and emotions we experience – it is basically a fact of “Garbage in – Garbage out!” On the other hand, we can have outside stimuli which lead to positive thoughts and emotions and are likewise a fact of “Goodness in – Goodness out.” It really IS that simple!
I can remember when I was actively using alcohol/drugs, being surrounded by other people like myself, who essentially thrived on negativity. It was the oxygen that fed the never ending, ever increasingly toxic fire of addiction and self-destruction. Then I came into recovery and discovered pretty early on, that there were basically two groups of people: Those moving forward towards growth and life and those moving backward towards destruction and death. There was no “in between” because if you weren’t moving forward, then you WERE moving backward, whether you accepted that as truth or not. I found myself surrounded by people just like me, who had the same disease and propensity for gravitating towards “negativity” as I did and likewise had the same solutions available to them to have a life beyond their wildest dreams ~ Only requiring a willingness to follow some well proven suggestions and principles. It was among these people, (who had had enough of the destructiveness and desired a better life), that I found a bond stronger than I could have ever thought possible with individuals I had never known before, and some of whom I initially thought I shared nothing in common. It was with these wonderful people that my journey of recovery began and continues with to this day.
The fellowship found in recovery, (where love, support and companionship abound), is truly a blessing, in that it affords a gift to those who travel its path: Endless opportunities and life changes. Were these experiences presented in headline news broadcasts or print, they would read as follows: Young Girl Reunited with Former Heroin Addict Mother in Loving Embrace; Lifelong Felon Finds New Life and Becomes Motivational Speaker; Former Con Counsels Troubled Youth; Grandmother of 13 Celebrates Sobriety after 50 Years of Drinking; Prognosed with No Hope of Normal Life ~ Woman Became Addiction Counselor; Son Returns Home to Family After Years Missing; Hope for the Hopeless; Husband and Wife Reunited After Years Apart; Skid Row Bum Becomes Executive Director of Successful Treatment Program!
At any given moment, (throughout each day), there are meetings being held among recovering people where hope is found, miracles are the norm, lives are being restored and positive change is around every turn! The greatest gift of all however, is that those who’ve known absolute loneliness, NEVER have to be alone again; But instead can tap into a limitless resource which provides purpose, joy, contentment and serenity for a lifetime!
“Fellowship is heaven, and lack of fellowship is Hell.” – William Morris
*Special thanks to my friend Angel for his inspiration*
© 2013-2014 by. Rebecca Balko