“We keep what we have only with vigilance…” NA Basic Text p57
When I hear the term vigilance, I get the image of an all night stake out, sleeplessly watching for the enemy.
In the beginning of my recovery, vigilance was that kind of all night stakeout. It seemed that even my breathing, in and out, was a trigger. My thoughts were invaded with heroin, the same old images and pictures and thoughts often came rolling over my brain, invading me with the all consuming need to get high. The blue sky made me think of heroin. The breeze of the river, falling gentle on my cheek, made me think of heroin. The honk of a car, the wheels of a bus, the sound of a trumpet playing music on the streets all made me think of heroin. In the early days of recovery, everything made me think of heroin.
It is not the case, anymore. And vigilance has become a much easier task. Today, there are whole days that go by where I do not think of heroin. Today, my triggers are more clear-cut, easier defined, and also much easier to simply avoid. They pop up in strange places sometimes, but the vigilance is no longer a full time obsession.
Today the blue sky reminds me of how beautiful the world is, as I watch the fluffy, white clouds flowing across her. The breeze from the river, gently brushing my cheek reminds me that life is so much bigger than just myself, and I realize that I am still a cog in this wheel of life. The honk of a car makes me thankful that now I have a driver’s license and can afford a car, and I really relish in honking my horn at times. The wheels of the bus remind me that not everyone is as fortunate as I have been, and it humbles me to know that I rode the bus for years. The sound of a trumpet playing on the streets reminds of New Orleans, and I miss her with all that I am, but I also know that the city is not the best place for me and my family today.
Today, I must be vigilant over the balance in my life. I often must remain vigilant in order to remain healthy, focusing on making good, healthy choices in my life. I watch my reactions to others, and I have learned to let a lot of things go. My vigilant watch has shifted past just cravings and thoughts of drugs, moving forward into a more personal level, watching over my spirit. I know that in order to stay healthy, I must maintain balance and keep a vigilant watch over both my physical and spiritual self.