In the chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous entitled “We Agnostics, the authors state: “Some of us had already walked far over the Bridge of Reason toward the desired shore of faith.” (p. 53)
There are many bridges to cross in recovery. In fact, we do not cross the final one until we die. Sometimes the longest bridge and the one most shrouded in uncertainty is the one that leads to the doors of A.A. Once we cross that bridge and see what lies on the other side, we can never return unchanged. The side we came from becomes more and more of a wasteland. Every bridge, real or metaphorical, puts us in a state of transition, where we are neither here nor there, we are only crossing. As we cross we travel farther and farther away from where we came and it becomes harder to turn back. All of these things are true about recovery. Connecting with others in the program requires building social bridges that cross the expanse of our fear and isolation. Working each step is a bridge from doubt, confusion and resistance to completion, success and understanding. Reaching out to help Newcomers builds a bridge from our own shaky pillars to those who have yet to make their crossing. Extending that bridge strengthens our own foundation. Every new challenge, loss, disappointment, struggle and setback in sobriety requires us to cross another bridge. At some of these we balked. We thought we could find a ferry. But we could not. For a sober person trying to make his way in the world, the bridges facing him are rarely wide and inviting. They are often rickety or made of rope, hovering over giant ravines. It takes a lot of faith and courage to cross them. One is advised not to look down. I have crossed my own bridges and I have seen others cross theirs. Some have crossed their final bridge while I knew them, slowly fading in the rooms, then one day gone for good. They have passed across, cradled in the love of the Fellowship, hands held until their walking was done. I hope that I will make that final traverse in the way I have been shown. I hope that all my other bridges will lead me there when my time comes.