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Are you doomed to be in the Hallway of Recovery forever? What’s stopping you from opening that door…

“As one door closes, another opens”, as the old saying goes.

It’s a comforting expression, designed to give us hope after an unexpected loss maybe, a side swipe from life that came out of nowhere.

The new door. Another opportunity. A new beginning.

Just close your hand around the door handle, turn it, and push. Walk through.

Except it often isn’t like that.

When a door closes behind us – and it can be that we CHOOSE to close it – instead of a brightly painted door leading to the promised land in front of us –  we can find ourselves in a dimly lit hallway.

Maybe there are multiple doors. Maybe some have a combination lock that we don’t know yet. Maybe the door that we just closed, swings open a crack and we can see the light of the party, the familiar noise and chatter beckoning us back into our comfort zone.

This is what recovery can feel like.

Standing in a dark hallway, uncertain about the choice we have just made, and terrified that we will stumble through the wrong door.

How long do you stand in the hallway?

My belief – you have the power to make that decision.

Some people never leave. This is what I believe is being in recovery forever. The dark hallway is the fate of the dry drunk, white knuckling it through meeting after meeting. It’s being forever resentful of the people you left behind that door which you never really wanted to close in the first place. It’s the feeling that you were PUSHED through that door, and someone slammed it shut – and now you are dammed to be in the fucking hall forever. There is NO WAY you are going to walk through any frigging door – nothing can be as good as the place you just left – behind the closed door.

Some people hover for a while. Maybe they huddle in a corner, hiding in the darkness. Maybe they try a few handles of door in the hallway – but are too timid to go through – not yet.

Some people think that you need to stay in the hallway for a while. They don’t deserve to go through another door. They must pace up and down, up and down the hallway – never really certain if they are ready…am I sober enough yet?

Here’s the thing.

You can close one door and immediately open another.

There is no such thing as being sober enough.

As soon as you put down the bottle, you can close that door and walk through another one.

You don’t’ have to dally in the hallway.

There are no rules.

Just doors to be opened.


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