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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Weathering the Storm


There is no place on earth that is safe from a storm. Rainstorms, snowstorms, windstorms, dust storms, and tropical storms are the norm in many areas. Then there are the doozies: supercell thunderstorms, squalls, blizzards, derechos, tornados, downbursts, hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons.


A few short years ago, there was little warning about what meteorological wonder was approaching. The sky seen through the naked eye or a sudden change in air temperature was the only signal of impending fate.  


Today, with all the technical advances, there is a possible chance that a storm will be accurately predicted. Seriously, with all respect to the meteorologists, storms will come when and where they want—like a two-year-old with attitude, you never know what to expect. We do know that these disturbances have been and will be part of the sphere we share. 


This post encourages proper recognition of the other kinds of storms that intertwine our lives.  Outbursts like financial, relationship, health, and personal behavioral storms rock us frequently and sometimes without warning.


In sobriety, we have learned to expect turbulence, predict it as best we can, prepare for it, and protect ourselves during it. These three Ps help us manage the inevitable and bring us to a place of appreciation. 


Predicting

The Hawaiian islands are, in a word, “Paradise.” We have visited there several times, and the days are almost perfect, except for spotty showers that move out as quickly as they move in. 


Knowing that storms will come is the secret sauce to life.  One can't be prepared to protect if caught off guard.  Ignoring the signs, the changing sky and temperature could deliver devastation. 


Forecasting that we will experience sudden changes in our finances, relationships, and health status and that internal struggles will inevitably come puts us in a place of power.  Snubbing the reality of what could be on the horizon could spell disaster. 


Often, what is predicted does not come to pass.  But we have found it best to calculate calamity before facing circumstances that are tough to control. We argued that this might be construed as “a negative approach to life.” Still, we have proved to ourselves that it produces a positive result as this management of expectations leads to the serenity that is promised in sobriety.


Preparing

We grew up in what was called “tornado alley.” That said, we participated in tornado drills at school, where we learned the art of hovering while covering. Windows had storm protectors, and sirens were tested every Tuesday morning at precisely 10:00 a.m.  Extra canned goods were always kept in the basement for the chance of catastrophe.


In our sober life, we store resources for the unpredictable.  We prepare for financial hardships that might arise.  We invest in the important people in our lives as our parents invested in shutters.   We pay attention to our foundation, our health, so that we can weather the winds that accompany the storm.


Focusing on the 24 hours ahead of us, we tend to the needs that our selves will need as the fury approaches. Appropriately prepared, we shift our attention to those around us who might need support. We give of ourselves to the community that saved us from the storm of our lives. 


Protecting

In the event of a tornado, the safest place in the home is any interior part of a basement. If there is no basement, an inside room without windows on the lowest floor. This could be a center hallway, bathroom, or closet. Go to any extreme to protect, to overprotect as the winds swirl. 


We have nothing without sobriety. Our recovery depends on the total buy-in of this most important statement. This safe shelter protects us from anything that life throws at us. Regardless of what blows our way, we need to hover, cover, and protect our greatest protection. For if we maintain poise, we will achieve peace.  


Hemorrhaging cash, experiencing severed relationships, living in a health crisis—real-life storms—subside and move on. Knowing that they will pass, we will rebuild through our sobriety. It will be with the tools that shaped our recovery that we will restore and rejuvenate the broken. 

 

The possibility that a drink puts us in a better position to predict, prepare, and protect doesn’t exist. We have tried facing hurricanes head-on, which has never worked well.   We can weather what life throws at us if we stay true to the principles we have learned in 12-step recovery.


We know the storms will come, but we also know that through the practices we have picked up and with the help of the great provider, “we will survive.”


Forecast for tomorrow: unknown

 


 

Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast #169  titled “Safety through Surrender" with Special Guest Patrick Day    The session dropped 6/19/2024.    Click here to hear the podcast. 

 

Photo by Dewang Gupta on Unsplash

 

BLOG DISCLAIMER:

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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