I posted a picture on FB today from 9 years ago that I took while on a walk in Daphne, AL where I worked for a short but enjoyable time. Crossing a bridge were these two signs:
No Loitering On Bridge and Do Not Feed The Alligators
Daphne is located on the other side of Mobile and just is an absolute beautiful place but there are alligators present. Saw two myself, one on a golf course and one crossing another bridge in front of me at night (the Across The Bridge analogies here are so fitting). You cannot ignore them, in fact at one of the seafood restaurants on the causeway to Mobile they have a pet gator (Alice) that prowls the parking lot so you best beware at night walking to your car.
In addiction recovery we must adhere to these warnings, first, don't dwell on the past and loiter on your bridge to recovery - keep going to the other side before you are trapped by those gators looking to have you for breakfast or dinner. They will catch you if you are standing still.
Second, when we feed our addiction or more precisely our beast, it can also devour us for being kind to it. That's right, being kind. The beast won't go away, the demons won't come out, unless there is a desire to expel them not feed them. This means turning our back on some long standing friends, places and things that have sustained us through survival. It's not about that anymore, it's about a revival of our entire lifestyle.
Biblical examples abound including the wild cave man in Mark 5 who cut himself and cut himself off from others. Only the power of Jesus could tame his beast and drive out those demons. But he asked Jesus a most important question, was he going to torture him? Let me ask you a question, would it be better to experience some pain through a recovery process, or being eaten by your alligators?
Once that question is answered the bridge can be crossed safely in the guiding hands of the one who knows how to handle those alligators and any other wild beast that is in us.
Go visit Daphne, enjoy the Gulf beaches, but don't feed the alligators!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.