If you’ve been in a 12-step program any length of time, you have heard that recovery is a process, not an event. This is true, but it is also true –in a very real sense –that sobriety is an event. Recovery is an ongoing, lifelong, daily process. Getting sober is something that happens in an instant.
Recovery is a process and change happens over a period of time
This can sometimes be a very long period of time, like years or even decades. Changing long-held beliefs and attitudes and altering one’s behaviors and automatic reactions to life is a difficult task. If you have found yourself in a mess because of your addiction –or you have hit rock bottom as a result of your drinking, you must remember you didn’t get there over night. It took months, maybe even years, to get to where you are. Digging yourself out of the hole in which you have become accustomed to living is going to take time.
This is where the phrase, “More will be revealed” can be so comforting (another popular 12-step euphemism). There are a lot of places along the bumpy road to recovery where things are not going to make sense. Furthermore, there are going to be a lot of very challenging and difficult obstacles to overcome, which means sometimes life isn’t going to feel good. Knowing that more will be revealed means that, in time, as you continue to progress in your recovery process, you will have a greater understanding of why you had to go through what you went through.
You can refer to this pearl of wisdom when life doesn’t seem to be going your way. For instance, you may get turned down for a job you really wanted. The pay was great, the work seemed exciting and you really liked the atmosphere in the office. This might seem like a crushing blow at the time, but when you know that more will be revealed, you can keep an attitude of gratitude and remain hopeful about what’s to come. When you get offered an even better job, making more money at an office that’s right down the street from where you live, you begin to really understand how this concept works.
This is also true as you work the steps
If you make an honest attempt to be completely thorough in working the 12 steps with your sponsor, you will find that certain steps leave loose ends. For instance, many people say they feel very raw and exposed after working step four, without a clue as to what to do with those feelings. Often, sponsors will counter this seemingly “negative” experience by saying something like, “Keep working the rest of the steps. More will be revealed.”
The reality is, there is no “negative” step and no step produces negative feelings or outcomes. However, some steps are designed to create a kind of longing for a deeper level of healing and a greater sense of wholeness. The steps that follow these steps bring about these results. This is when more is revealed. (By the way, if you’re wondering which steps are designed to create this feeling, it’s steps one through eleven……to get you to twelve!)
Next time you don’t get the job, or a romantic relationship doesn’t work out or you don’t get accepted into a certain club, take comfort in the knowledge that more will be revealed and be hopeful about the good things that lie ahead.