Friday, 5 June 2009

"No gain without pain....."

This year has proved to me, without doubt, the priceless truth and value of the maxim ‘No gain without Pain’. And that’s ironic, because it was pain that brought me into recovery in the first place.

That’s why I agree with Rollo May, one of the leading psychotherapists of the twentieth century, that, potentially, suffering is "the greatest creative force in Nature" – it was the only thing that got me to change my ways.

But why have I been experiencing pain this year, you might ask?

It’s because I’ve had to risk. The biggest, juiciest fruit are always to be found on the highest, most difficult branches to get to. In order to reach them we have to risk.

And risking for me this year has meant being vulnerable; showing people who I am (that’s the biggest risk of all); that I don’t always know all the answers; sometimes, I don’t even know what the questions are; that I am scared; insecure and that, in order to survive, I’ve had to ask for help.

You see, there’s been nowhere for me to hide as CEO of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, there were no convenient masks I could utilise to hide my humanness. On the contrary, this year, thanks to this new job, I’ve been forced to confront, even more so than usual, the burden of being human.

I don’t think I could have been given a more precious gift – because, I believe you see, confronting the burden of being human is the very essence of sober living.

Thanks to the charity's trustees, therefore, for appointing me and for helping to clear new ground in my ongoing recovery from chronic alcoholism.

That’s how much this post has meant to me.

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