From the February 2014 magazine.

February 2014: Paradise Found

A long-time member finally finds contentment in himself—not somewhere on a map

If I had to choose one word to describe what I’d hoped to find in recovery, it would be contentment. Serenity sounds a bit boring, and exciting serenity sounds like a contradiction. Looking back to the time I stopped drinking more than 38 years ago, I have found a lot of contentment in sobriety. But until fairly recently, there always seemed to be things that stood in the way of me really being content.

For the first three years of my recovery, I told myself it was my job as a high school teacher that kept me from being content. My job reminded me a bit of one of my father’s favorite stories about a guy who kept slamming his head against a wall. When asked why, he said, “Because it feels so good when I stop.” So each school term was spent looking forward to the next vacation.

-- Jim F.

Devonport, Australia

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