Guest Blog: The Lifelong Quest for Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 3

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W., presents Part 3 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.

In the early days of our Quest for Sobriety, we experience extreme highs and lows of spirit.  The realization that we are actually abstaining from the destructive substances or behaviors gives us a lift, a real sparkling of joy, here and there.  But the pain of the emotional and physical withdrawal comes and goes as well…and sometimes it crashes on our heads as unbearable torment.  The Journey we have begun must now proceed in earnest…

The various treatment systems provide a road map for us to travel.  Accepting the seriousness, the powerlessness and uncontrollability of the disease is the first critical step.  In concert with this, we must also accept that the disease and the power to recover are beyond our own individual resources. In the terms of the Hero’s Journey, these steps begin a journey to the Underworld, confronting the demons and trials therein, not unlike Jonah in the Belly of the Whale.  The examinations thus begun are necessary to determine the core truth of the outer and inner worlds before us.   For the addict, this part of the Journey is to travel over the past, down, down deep into the events of our addicted lives, to see in a clear light all that happened in the world we thought we ruled.  And in the process, as this Journey progresses, we begin to discover who and what we really are…