From Painful Paperwork to Positive Progress

From Painful Paperwork to Positive Progress

My Experience at Ten16 by Simon

Congratulations!! Your fortune is that you are alive, still sucking air, and have eyesight!! Why is that important, you might ask? Welp, without those two things, there would be zero chance of whoever you are, reading my introduction. Hello, my name is Simon, and I am an inspired alcoholic in recovery.

My experience at Ten16 began in the spring of 2022. The first few visits I recall were evaluations, intake paperwork, consent forms, interviews, questions, blah, blah, blah…you get the picture. Looking back on the first few group sessions, I remember absolutely hating it!! I felt trapped in a conference room filled with addicts and alcoholic strangers, and a therapist who looked unqualified to fix me. Here came the introduction to the all-mighty feeling wheel. This is passed around the table at the beginning of each session. How are you doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically? ‘I’m ok’, or ‘I’m good’ wasn’t good enough? ‘Oh boy, here we go’, I thought!!

Memorial Day weekend rapidly approached. We discussed the word triggers and shared our thoughts. After hearing others, my shared examples were coolers filled with ice and beer caves found at almost all gas stations. We then focused on developing an exit strategy for the holiday if we were to be around others drinking or drugging. Guess what, folks? It worked! I disappeared like Houdini’s fart in the wind! 

The following month leading up to the 4th of July, I became engaged in my recovery therapy. Relearning the true meaning & definitions of simple words that I never gave much thought to. Words such as honesty, forgiveness, patience, gratitude, etc. At this point, I was about four months sober. That said, I realized I was struggling with the word affirmation. That struggle didn’t last long. A brief phone call to my dad changed all that. He asked me how everything was going? I told him that I was four months sober today!! His response was, and I quote, “Well, good, put a zero behind it!” I thought, “Forty months? Oh, gee!” He then told me, and I quote, “You know, Simon, you’re in my prayers! There is nothing more powerful on this earth than prayer – no steel, titanium, diamonds – nothing!” Of all the years and many memories of advice, this one took the cheesecake!!

My acceptance into Recovery Court furthered my initiative to not only just participate but to stop being defiant. During each group session, I felt more and more thankful for getting this much-needed recovery therapy. The end. Yawn, yawn, yawn, boring right Taylor? This memoir is far from over. I’m just getting started, you see. I’m writing about my experience at Ten Sixteen, hoping this goes viral on a blog! For some strange reason, I’m compelled to inspire others with alcohol problems to get or maintain the guidance of the 1016 Recovery Network.

With summer just flying right by and fall rapidly approaching, I learned to have fun again without alcohol. I firmly attribute this to group discussions and activities at Ten Sixteen. Keeping a positive attitude alongside prayer is an absolute must. I found that “p” word in almost every worksheet provided. So begins my word search. I made it a point to review all group worksheets and locate the word positive and other “p” words. This little activity was not only my newfound way of having fun in groups but also a way to give myself an affirmation-my struggling word!! So, we got prayer, positivity, patience (taking it one day at a time), progression (showing improvement), and here she is – procrastination. Procrastination, by definition, is an act of consciously delaying addressing something. So this very moment, I’ve not been very fond of that “p” word. You see, we can elaborate on or discuss that word later, lol…yawn, yawn, right, Taylor?

Genuinely, the greatest man I’ve ever had the privilege to know passed away in October-my Dad!!! Within weeks I lost two more great men, my brother-in-law and my friend’s dad. Wow!! All members of Ten Sixteen were very compassionate and concerned that I was grieving properly.

Tis the season; all major holidays arrived. What are you thankful for? This question was asked multiple times from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The shared discussions in the group setting were a real eye-opener for me. I could relate and be humbled by many small things others were grateful for! Once again, Houdini time!! Although New Year’s was just another day, I’ve found that the exit strategy is being deployed at short notice.

It’s 2023, Happy New Year’s, Y’all. To summarize my experience thus far at Ten Sixteen, I’ll break out another “p” word, pleasure. I have embraced the subtle teachings and enjoy the happiness I’ve gained back into my life.

In case you’re wondering what the yawn, yawn, is all about… that’s a long story for another day. Stay tuned, my friends. I will say this in closing, this recovery journey for me is not a race. If this were to be considered the Indy or Daytona 500, we got one hell of a “Pace” car driver that is qualified!!


                                                     Mario Andretti ; ) a.k.a Simon