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Keep Coming Back

“Keep Coming Back” (KCB) is a slogan often uttered at self-help meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. As an individual coming up on 43 years of continuous sobriety, 82 years of life, and experiencing the incredible impact of a pandemic, the words, keep coming back, seem particularly significant.

I have always considered the commonly used words, KCB, to be perhaps the most profound ones used in recovery circles. whether directed at a newcomer or an “old timer” like myself. Here are a few examples. A newcomer to 12 Step meetings will have many crises happening daily, from a broken shoelace, to not being able to find a cell phone or car keys, to loss of a job or a relationship. Voicing concern about any of these issues, be they truly minor or major, to an old timer will likely trigger a calm response, “just keep coming back“, followed usually with, “just don’t pick up a drink or a drug”, with no explanation as to how “keep coming back” or not drinking or using will help address the crisis of the moment. Over time, the newcomer in the process (trust in the process) of getting clean or sober will discover that attending meetings and abstaining from use of alcohol or other drugs does result in survival of minor and major crises and acquisition of profoundly useful tools for living.

Being an old timer in recovery and life, while living in a pandemic is challenging, with many crises seemingly monumental and incapable of resolution. Crises include having to wear a mask at the store while suffering from shortness of breath and a copiously dripping nose, inability to see my new grandchild, and listening to the idiot leaders of our nation (D and R) ceaselessly posturing and bloviating.

It took a while (KCB, Jan) for me to realize that the crises one experiences as an octogenarian in long term recovery during a pandemic can be addressed by use of the very tools described in the preceding paragraph for the newcomer to recovery. By attending virtual meetings and not picking up a drink or a drug, it became apparent to me that the recovery tools that have worked for almost 43 years to get me through serious losses, illnesses, retirement, and the like, apply perfectly well to my current life circumstances. Back to The Basics is the underlying tool that suggests that basic recovery principles such as, living one day at a time, accepting what one cannot change, and turning over to God (Higher Power) matters one is powerless over, will quite nicely resolve all crises.

Published by Jan Williams

Professional in the addiction field in the State of Maryland for 35 years. Held positions as Program Coordinator at the Addiction Unit at Sheppard Pratt Hospital, Director of Treatment at three inpatient treatment programs, and Director of the Alcohol and Drug Education and Support Services Department at Loyola University. Worked at Loyola for 24 years, retiring in 2014. In long term recovery (42 years).

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