Alcoholics and Addicts sharing their personal recovery story with us to help others who want to recover.
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Postby DebbieV » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:45 pm

When I was a little girl my parents took me to visit my first zoo. I remember that day so well for on reason, a baby elephant. I was so excited to be there and see all the wonderful animals, until we came upon the little elephant and I saw that it had a short chain around its neck attached to a spike in the ground. It was housed in a large open area with green grass all around except in a circle around the spike that was worn and brown. I became so upset that I began crying and demanding that my parents speak to the zoo keepers to let this baby run free. To this day I don't like zoos.

A few nights ago I found out the reason this is done to the poor creatures. It seems the trainers tie down the baby elephants so that they become so discouraged by the days, weeks, months of pulling and pulling that they give up. The lean to stay put.
This is done for such a period of time that the elephants will stay in one place by a simple rope attached to a stick.
Can you imagine the kind of discouragement instilled that you no longer even try to move?

Alcohol was my chain and spike for more than 25 years. At some point in my drinking career I pulled and pulled to make my life and myself better and live free, until all the pull I had in me was gone, I gave up and learned to live with my circle of worn brown earth.
Discouragement had won the battle.

Finally one day I put down the bottle, went to a meeting, got a sponsor and worked the steps of alcoholics anonymous out of the book. Today I am free to run free in the green grass never to be tied down by discouragement again.....As long as I don't take that first drink I will never be tied down with chains and a spike.

That is not to say that years of living that life has not caused habits of discouragement, but I know I broke those alcoholic chains and today I have the courage to go into battle with the discouragement I chain to myself.


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Postby sunlight » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:20 pm

Thank you, Debbie!

What a wonderful analogy. What a beautiful message of hope, encouragement & recovery.

I remember those chains so well. I was a slave to King Alcohol. I couldn't do anything about it, so I tried to convince myself that I didn't care. But that little worn patch of dirt became a pit as I dug myself deeper & deeper, & before long I wasn't able to see the light of day cuz my consciousness was so obscured by alcohol.

AA offered what at first appeared to be a flimsy reed. I grabbed on to it with the desperation of the dying & have not let go. The book tells me that "reed" was the loving & powerful hand of God. It had to be. Nothing else could have broken those choking chains.

One of my favorite parts of the book is, "Do not be discouraged." I say it to myself a lot when things are crummy.
As long as I don't take that first drink & am willing to grow along spiritual lines, there is hope.

Thanks again for the happy song to sing today.
I'm celebrating right along with you! :D

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Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:56 am

Hey Deb!!! Thanks for sharing that story!!! (The guy that shared it with you learned it from the same guy that taught it to me! )

It's a great example of "the problem centers in the mind."

Those tiny strings, threads and ropes of attachments... taught us what we could and could not do.

Then one day we take a big risk...

Someone tells us that we can walk on fiery coals and not burn our feet!

We don't believe them... but we listen to them and try it anyway.

Suddenly, through a moment of clarity, we discover that the guy was right! And, we walk over the fire! Without getting burned! (I don't suggest trying this home... alone... or unless you have an experienced guide that's helping you!)

We learn that our limitations are the things that we think about in regards to our limitations.

We learn to "do it anyway"... even when we don't believe... and we discover a new freedom.

We begin to change out minds... and it changes our lives.

Happy. Joyous. Free... to succeed!


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Postby ROBERT » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:57 am

:D :D :D DITTO :D :D :D

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