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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Time for the Pupa

We are not scientists. Heck, we are not even good sobers some days. Recently, however, we became sober scientists, as the topic of our transformation was likened to the metamorphosis of the moth.

Please stick with us here as we connect to a lesson from the universe.

Moths go through four key stages of metamorphosis: egg, caterpillar (larva), pupa, and adult. Our journey has had four key stages: Birth, The abusive years, early recovery, and the sober life.

In this post, we'll look at the similarities, an cling to a hope that is available to all.

Contraception/ Genetic Makeup

Moth reproduction is very similar to human reproduction. The male uses anal claspers to grasp the female and pass her a package of sperm that she will use to fertilize her eggs when she lays them. Humans follow the same basic actions, though there are usually flowers and a fancy dinner included in the mix.

This is a good place for us to talk about the genetic carryover of alcoholism. The science is still working on findings for genetic disposition to alcoholism. We have found that many concur that the tendencies exist throughout generations. Though many might argue, suggesting that only a lifestyle choice is the factor in alcoholic behavior.

For the record, we believe genetics play a role in alcoholism. That being said, we have witnessed many cases of Alcoholics who had no existing history in their family. We guess the point is - what's the point of the conversation? Does it matter who we caught the cold from? We have a cold, and we need to deal with that virus.

We have found that too many obsess over the cause, neglecting the cure.

We suggest that we move on to the business of getting better.

Living the larva life

Larvae consume to exist. Vegetarians, by nature, stay close to home and spend most of their days simply eating the next thing before them. They are not social and don’t necessarily have a bad childhood that they can blame their fate on.

We, as well, consumed the next thing in front of ourselves. We took in the healthy and unhealthy – with a strong pull to the unwholesome. At first, we ate and drank to survive, then to fill an emotional void (experience over existence) and ultimately for no good reason.

Unlike the bug we abused. We indulged to the point of endangerment. We almost extincted ourselves.

What we needed was a hard stop. What we needed was to get off the roller coaster and regroup. We could not carry on as a larva anymore.

Pour into the Pupa

A larva knows when it is time for a change. It stops doing what it was doing and does something different. In its case, it typically spins or molts a protective shield around itself.

Depending on temperature, they stay in the chrysalis or cacoon, protected by silk, for about 8-12 days. It takes both time and a lot of activity if the larva is to become a moth. An early exit could spell an early demise.

We knew, as well, that it was time for a change. We needed to stop doing the things we were doing. We needed to step away from life to learn what we had to learn about transforming into a new lifestyle, a new behavioral pattern, and a new way of thinking and acting,

By the way, the moth does not have to figure all this out. All it has to do is do the work before him and let nature do the rest.

Early recovery is where the rubber meets the road. It is the time and place to commit to change. It is where we morph from youth to adult, from irresponsible to responsible, from immature to mature. If we don't take the time and action, we won't experience the beauty of the change.

We don't know if the process is painful for the larva and don't suggest it must be painful to the person. However, it is usually found that there is pain associated with progression.

The Moth: Miraculous and Beautiful

There's no way that one would suspect that the slimy, dirty, ugly ass larva had a chance at anything in life except to continue slithering itself toward ultimate death.

Our trajectory was on a similar path. Few believed we had a chance.

The raw phenomenon of sobriety argues everything we thought we knew about nature. How is it that the hideous can turn into gorgeousness? We are a rare gift of the universe. We have transformed from an unattractive bar crawler to a stunning free-flier.

This conversion occurs much later in life and they might have hoped for. We say, “It is what it is,” and focus instead on the flight. We teach the next generation of larvae the joys of alteration. We live as examples of hope.

We now appreciate the cycles of life, most likely more than others.

Today can be the day of change. Embrace it!

It is time for the pupa.


Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a podcast #26 "Nothing Changes.... If Nothing Changes...."… the episode dropped on 9/29/2021 Click here to hear the podcast.


Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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