Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Road Gets Narrower

For these first 3 years of sobriety, the AA way, I've heard people talk about how "the road gets narrower." I didn't really understand what they were talking about.

I believe I'm now beginning to get it.

The shape it seems to be taking (in my mind) is that I'm just a wee bit less tolerant of those in recovery who don't walk the talk. While I want to have love and tolerance for all human beings, my immediate world is made up of people in recovery. I seem to be observing a lot of behavior that doesn't match practicing these principles in all our affairs. I obviously need some more work on this. Am I taking others' inventory when I need to concentrate on my own? Are my perceptions off base? Do I need more Third Step work?

How about you? What does the term "the road gets narrower" mean to you?


Mary Christine said...

To me it means that I pay too high a price for behavior that is outside of the bounds of the principles. So, where I used to be able to get away with judging and gossiping - I can't anymore. I can't "get away" with hurting others, etc. The price I may pay for these things could be my very life.

Tab said...

I don't practice step work the same way you do as I am not in a program.
But you sound like you know something needs addressing within you and are attending to that.
I am not familiar with the what "the road gets narrower"
is meant to say.
Maybe it means if we don't continue self care in recovery the road gets narrower and more constricting?
Maybe I will come back later to read from others too.
Thanks for sharing ~

Scott said...

to me, it means that the "fine lines" between right and wrong, good and bad, so on so forth, get much much finer as I go through sobriety.. WhenI first came round, evrything was black and white, and I didnt even have to hold my arms out to "walk the fine line" now I have trouble keeping my balance on life's fine lines, or keeping on the right side of a very thin fine line, depending upon the situation. Life is full of subtleties, that my "bull in a china shop" approach to life and early recovery didn't afford me the ability to notice...

did that make any sense??

he he

thanks dAAve for yet another thought inspiring blog post!

dbv said...

i'm driving on I-45 with too many 18 wheelers and construction work????

SCoUt said...

Here is a NeWCoMeR's perspective on this--for what it's worth to you....
Much along the same lines as MC--I think it means that as we progress in our clean time(sobriety)our spirituality and understanding of application moves to a deeper level. When that occurs, we know that we can no longer live outside the principles as easily as we could when we were NeWCoMeRs and were allowed a "wider berth", or in this case, a wider road. To paraphrase MC, the price is too high.
Thus the road narrows as we apply these principles in all of our affairs and surround ourselves (in our INNER circle)with those who do the same.
Just one NeWCoMeRs opinion.

Gwen said...

I guess I always go to step 10. It says all over the literature that we will not be perfect. We would be saints. So if others are doing things that disturb me I am sure there are things I am doing to disturb them, as I am human and will err. When I talk to the sponse about some of these things I am told that maybe for that person it is the best they can do for today. So for me "the road gets narrower" because I am more accountable. In other words I know I am being judgemental when I think those thoughts. There was a time I would have acted out on those thoughts, then down to thinking the thoughts, now working on getting past that kind of thinking.

In step 10 in the 12&12 page 94 "our true motive was to feel superior by pulling him down." (really the entire page) That has helped me in the judging behavior. Also something the sponse says "how do we know, God may view judging others as the worse sin of all." Judging is most of the time on my tenth step. I need to be aware of others behaviors but not judge them on it. HARD HARD HARD!!!!

Once upon a time I used words like "I would never" or "how could they" only to learn that at times I have done the same things. Ouch that one hurt. Yuck but that is how the growth came.

Peace out~

jay lassiter said...

i agree with mary christing, but there is something from the piece that stood out to me.

Your admitted lack of tolerance for the folks who don't "walk the walk" is understandable. assuming there will always be people like that (in like, AA, whatever...) what is it that bothers you so much about it? your inability to be patient and tolerant? their hypocracy?

It's worth asking yourself these question so you can expand your level of empathy and maybe reach out to them. let's face it, if they're just "talking the talk" then aren't they at risk? could you be frustrated with them because you want to help and don't know how?

AAwoken said...

I like this post so much I wqrote a whole post on it meeself!!!

Daily Piglet said...

That's a loaded question :)

For me, it means that there are fewer choices to choose from. Our recovery "weed-eaters" are in working order.

Over the years of using "our design for living", I've learned that if I am judging someone it most likely means that I am judging myself too. Meaning, like the child who asks, "Mommy, he's doing it. Whay can't I?"

Our recovery paths are all different. I've seen too many people that were judgemental go back out and drink.

Last Sat nite I went to speaker meeting and the man had 22 years. He said from the podium, "I am not going to lie to you and tell you that recovery is great, and that I no longer have any issues." The whole room erupted in laughter.

When I was a newly sober, I thought at some point that I was going to sprout wings and fly to live happily ever after in the pink cloud.

I am far better than I used to be, and I would never trade my sober life for my best day drunk.

A common human behavior trait is to try and over-advertise how wonderful their lives are when in reality they are not very happy.

When we are "on the beam", we don't need to shout it out. People will feel drawn to you based on the light that emits from your being.

My head still is, and always will be an alcoholic one. Thank God I have the tools.

the real kim harmon said...

i take the road gets narrower three ways. one is that the longer we are in recovery, the less we can get away with craziness without feeling the repurcussions, as we are more and more embodiments of our whole selves, and we re interactive with our choices rather than living in denial. perhaps in response to this, my second take is that the road getting marrower refers to the fact that the majority of us do not actually consistently stay in recovery for substantial amounts of time. there are less people on that part of the road.

however... more important than either of these is that (i believe) this idea comes from another turn of phrase, which has something to do with narrow roads reaching the highest point. the implication is that we reach the greatest joys, the most growth and fulfillment, by trudging the difficult (narrow) path.