The Recovery Bus: A warning about addiction

South Africa · CPD courses & CPD points · Health Professionals

An article for use with clients who need some roundabout straight-talking

For this article, I’d like to use the metaphor of the recovery bus. As in, you’re either on it or you’re not. Sometimes we’re running alongside it. Time to hop on. When we’re on the recovery bus, we’re driving away from addiction to substances, rescuing, gambling, social media, work, love, sex and suffering (there’s a book title right there). We keep our eyes on the road. Yes, occasionally we hit the shoulder and sometimes the bus runs out of fuel or even gets a flat or worse a burst tyre and we come to a grinding halt. We stay on the bus. We call our sponsor. Then we get going again. Note our sponsor is not the AA (no pun intended). They do not come tow us. They kick our butt to turn the key in the ignition again. We do it ourselves, with help from a power greater than ourselves – for the purposes of this elaborate metaphor, the sky.

Now we’re driving along, and we see someone weaving in the traffic. It’s a little red Fiat Uno (sue me) and the driver is clearly not okay. We roll down the window. They’re slugging a beer at the wheel. “Hey,” we shout, “Get on the bus! It’s dangerous out there!” The other driver waves back good-naturedly. He seems like a friendly sort. Attractive even. If he were on this bus, you two would have lots to talk about. After all, you used to drive a Fiat Uno too – till its engine ceased and you took it to the mechanics (the AA again). That’s where they told you, ditch this car. Overhaul your life and drive a Porsche out of here. One with a soft top. So you can literally touch the sky. Okay, you said. Sounds good. At the time you had no idea how much work that would be. It sounded worth it. Guess what, it was. Your Porsche is purring in your garage at home and you’re driving this recovery bus because the 12th Step says go out and do service. No problem with that. The road looks equally good from a Porsche, a bus, or an Uno. Unless you’re using. Then your vision is blurred.

You whistle at the other driver to get his attention. Can he not see that what he’s doing is endangering him? He looks you in the eye. Big, soft, soulful eyes. You see the Good in him. You see Yourself. He jack-knifes his wheel and drives into you. You both go screaming off the road. Perhaps you are both dead. Or, if you’re lucky, you can get on the bus again.

Yes, on your Journey you need to wave at other drivers. But don’t get distracted. As Mary Oliver said:

 

"Mend my life!"

each voice cried.

But you didn't stop.

… as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do --

determined to save

the only life that you could save.

 

As you drive deeper and deeper into the world, as you live, remember that rescuing others is suicide and manslaughter in one.

I’ll end with a quote from my Rumi partner. Go park your bus in a field and look at the wild geese. Regularly. Touch the sky. Keep your eyes on the road. Protect your recovery. Addicts who are using endanger it, they endanger their own lives, and they endanger yours. Literally.

 

Gamble everything for love,

if you’re a true human being.

If not, leave this gathering.

Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty.

You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.

Don’t wait any longer. Dive in the ocean, leave, and let the sea be you.

Silent, absent, walking an empty road, all praise.

 

In memory of AB

 

© Dr Jana Lazarus 2021

 

Dr Jana Lazarus, AKA Dr Zizz, is a compassionate Clinical Psychologist with a special interest in transpersonal therapy, children, teens, addiction and recovery. She writes medicine books like I Can Fly that inspire children for life and picture books for adults like Bits in a Basket, for the child in us all. Her Conscious Living psychotherapy practice is entirely online so you can reach her all over the world and she’s contracted into South African medical aids because pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

With thanks to Miranda Wannenburgh, who taught me.

 drzizz.com@BooksInspireYou@Dr_Zizzchangematters.co.zaoptima@rustenvrede.comshamballahplaytherapy@gmail.com

 

Calabash · South Africa
Calabash Articles · South Africa
Calabash Partners · South Africa
Calabash Contributors · South Africa
Calabash Speakers · South Africa
Calabash Talks · South Africa
Calabash Sign up · South Africa
Calabash Sign in · South Africa
Occupational Therapists CPD courses & CPD points · South Africa
Audiologists CPD courses & CPD points · South Africa
Speech Therapists CPD courses & CPD points · South Africa
Article · Case Study: Managing tinnitus in my practice · South Africa
Article · Tips for student supervision · South Africa
Article · Therapy Dogs · South Africa
Spirituality CPD courses & CPD points · South Africa
New Zealand CPD courses & CPD points · South Africa
Race CPD courses & CPD points · South Africa
Talk · Traumatic Brain Injury: Effects & Neuropsychological Considerations · South Africa
Talk · Supporting Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder · South Africa
Talk · Speech-Sound Disorders: Differential Diagnosis & Treatment · South Africa
About Contributors · South Africa
Uploading an Article · South Africa
Privacy Policy · South Africa
Calabash · Australia
Calabash Articles · Australia
Calabash Partners · Australia
Calabash Contributors · Australia
Calabash Speakers · Australia
Calabash Talks · Australia
Calabash Sign up · Australia
Calabash Sign in · Australia
Speech Therapists CPD courses & CPD points · Australia
Registered Counsellors CPD courses & CPD points · Australia
Medical Professionals CPD courses & CPD points · Australia
Article · Examining Exams: School, Stress, and the Impact on Young Minds · Australia
Article · Loss and Gain during COVID-19 · Australia
Article · The Pursuit of Goldilocks: Why working collaboratively with Allied Early Intervention Therapists offers children the best chance to develop effectively · Australia
Canada CPD courses & CPD points · Australia
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CPD courses & CPD points · Australia
United States CPD courses & CPD points · Australia
Talk · Building Brains: Interpreting CT and MRI scan results and paper cases · Australia
Talk · Dyscalculia · Australia
Talk · Phobia: Putting Exposure into Practice · Australia
How It Works · Australia
About Contributors · Australia
About Calabash · Australia
Calabash · New Zealand
Calabash Articles · New Zealand
Calabash Partners · New Zealand
Calabash Contributors · New Zealand
Calabash Speakers · New Zealand
Calabash Talks · New Zealand
Calabash Sign up · New Zealand
Calabash Sign in · New Zealand
Psychologists CPD courses & CPD points · New Zealand
Dieticians CPD courses & CPD points · New Zealand
Psychiatrists CPD courses & CPD points · New Zealand
Article · When things seem to be falling apart, just go to the bathroom: Insights and Tools from sports and performance psychology · New Zealand
Article · PTSD in Mothers of Premature Infants · New Zealand
Article · Making Peace with Food · New Zealand
Career psychology CPD courses & CPD points · New Zealand
Writing CPD courses & CPD points · New Zealand
South Africa CPD courses & CPD points · New Zealand
Talk · Anxiety Disorders: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment · New Zealand
Talk · Sensory Modulation Patterns in children with Cerebral Palsy · New Zealand
Talk · 29 Practical Tips for Psychotherapists · New Zealand
How It Works · New Zealand
Privacy Policy · New Zealand
Terms of Use · New Zealand
Calabash · United Kingdom
Calabash Articles · United Kingdom
Calabash Partners · United Kingdom
Calabash Contributors · United Kingdom
Calabash Speakers · United Kingdom
Calabash Talks · United Kingdom
Calabash Sign up · United Kingdom
Calabash Sign in · United Kingdom
Speech Therapists CPD courses & CPD points · United Kingdom
Occupational Therapists CPD courses & CPD points · United Kingdom
Medical Professionals CPD courses & CPD points · United Kingdom
Article · Who's afraid of getting into trouble? · United Kingdom
Article · Is sobriety a condition for therapy? · United Kingdom
Article · Tips for therapists in a School Setting · United Kingdom
Australia CPD courses & CPD points · United Kingdom
United Kingdom CPD courses & CPD points · United Kingdom
Recovery CPD courses & CPD points · United Kingdom
Talk · HPCSA Guidelines on the use of Social Media · United Kingdom
Talk · Dyslexia: Conceptual framework and therapeutic interventions · United Kingdom
Talk · The Schizoid Problem · United Kingdom
Uploading an Article · United Kingdom
Frequently Asked Questions · United Kingdom
Uploading a Talk · United Kingdom
Calabash · United States
Calabash Articles · United States
Calabash Partners · United States
Calabash Contributors · United States
Calabash Speakers · United States
Calabash Talks · United States
Calabash Sign up · United States
Calabash Sign in · United States
Occupational Therapists CPD courses & CPD points · United States
Medical Professionals CPD courses & CPD points · United States
Audiologists CPD courses & CPD points · United States
Article · Facebook Ads for Health Care Professionals · United States
Article · Working collaboratively with parents · United States
Article · Is sobriety a condition for therapy? · United States
United Kingdom CPD courses & CPD points · United States
Music Therapy CPD courses & CPD points · United States
Gender CPD courses & CPD points · United States
Talk · What is Relational Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy? · United States
Talk · Working with Adolescents in Psychotherapy · United States
Talk · Family Therapy: A systems theory and structural family model · United States
Uploading an Article · United States
Frequently Asked Questions · United States
About Partners · United States
Calabash · Canada
Calabash Articles · Canada
Calabash Partners · Canada
Calabash Contributors · Canada
Calabash Speakers · Canada
Calabash Talks · Canada
Calabash Sign up · Canada
Calabash Sign in · Canada
Occupational Therapists CPD courses & CPD points · Canada
Registered Counsellors CPD courses & CPD points · Canada
Physiotherapists CPD courses & CPD points · Canada
Article · Napping in Adults · Canada
Article · Confidentiality and Consent when working with Adolescents · Canada
Article · Tips to prevent non-payment · Canada
Hope CPD courses & CPD points · Canada
Psycho-oncology CPD courses & CPD points · Canada
United Kingdom CPD courses & CPD points · Canada
Talk · Let's Talk about Gender and Sexuality · Canada
Talk · Sexuality: Freud and Beyond · Canada
Talk · The Origins of Mentalising & Implications for Attachment, Personality & Psychotherapy - Part 1 · Canada
Uploading a Talk · Canada
Frequently Asked Questions · Canada
How It Works · Canada
Psychologist in Sydney