View all:  Voices of Recovery

December 26

“Most have found that during challenging times, if we look at what is going on and how we are conducting ourselves, we can usually identify some positive growth.”

Tools of Recovery, page 31

I was at a meeting once where the topic was “Progress, Not Perfection.” It was a large meeting with a round-robin format. When my turn came, I talked about the positive changes the program had worked in my life and some of the struggles I was having with the Steps and life. I closed with, “Most nights now, when I go to bed, the dishes are washed.”

The sharing worked its way around the large table until it got to a woman I did not know. She shared about her progress and struggles, and ended with, “And some nights, when I go to bed, the dishes are not washed.”

I don’t think I laughed out loud, but I know I sat there quietly chuckling for the rest of the meeting. This beautiful program does not define our recovery by specific external circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all picture of progress. The progress is in how I treat myself and those around me. As the old-timers say, it’s an inside job.

Washing the dishes, not washing the dishes—the progress is in my heart.