Crossing Bridges

Photo Courtesy of A.L.

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.

Photo Courtesy of M.K.
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7 thoughts on “Crossing Bridges

  1. Today I build them…..not BURN them down!! I thought of Paul when I saw the title too……but this lady Eva…..sings it with so much soul! Her time was short on this earth……reminds me of my time…….
    Love you all……….

    • Eve had a wonderful voice. Her rendition of “Danny Boy” would break your heart. She died in 1997? of cancer. Only the good die young.

  2. A while ago much sarcasm was directed towards a pork barrel project which authorized and funded an apparently useless bridge somewhere in Alaska. It was dubbed “The bridge to nowhere”. Some of the shenanigans of the promoter of this deal finally resulted in him being drummed out of Congress.

    We all build bridges.
    I was just as guilty of many leading to “nowhere” in the context of being totally useless and as a matter fact destructive in the grand scheme of things. The pillars of these bridges were constructed of alcohol with the grand illusion of permanence.

    Finally I arrived at the bridge of recovery with pillars of faith.
    It carries me and sustains me on the roadway of life.

    His grace is sufficient for me. 🙂

  3. Nice metaphor! I want t a ferry ride too, I I never thought I would want to do any work or cross any bridges for I was too full of fear. They’re so many more bridges to cross yet but it’s been so rewarding that I continue to search them out daily so as to see the other side. The last 48 hours I’ve been particularly devastated due to the lack of recognition at a local store by a fellow Facebooker who I thought was my friend. I went to school with this girl and told her that I had always had a crush on her but she was always unavailable. When she seen me ran from me like I had the scourge and didn’t even raise a hand to say hello. It was very indignant behavior. Some people don’t need to be confirmed alcoholics or addicts to lack in social and communitive skills. I just want to be a person among people again but all of my problems are with people. I believe we’re all very sensitive people and try to treat everyone with respect and decency regardless of where they come from or what they look like, yadda yadda. I think to myself how can a person pretend to be my friend and then treat me like that. Like what the hell is going on in that girls head? What has happened to her that she can not trust anyone or deal with them in person only electronically. I seen her at the entrance of a Walmart store and she dodged me like I had an airborne communicable disease. It was devastating. She works for hospice and I thought if this how she treats the living, how does she treat the dieing? I went to 3 meetings yesterday and have been praying and pondering way too hard for the guidance. They’re are some sick people out there and this situation has helped me lose trust in my fellow mankind again but it was a great day of fellowship and socializing with people that will never hurt me. I wanted to lash out at this person who has been deceitful and narcissistic but I know better. This program has taught me to lift them up and ponder what I can do top help this person for she is sick and obviously broken and is full of fear. This is why I am grateful for this program. It’s taught me to help others and not try to control them or their behavior, only accept that it is what it is and can sometimes only pray for them. It’s a beautiful morning here in Michigan. I hope you all have a great day!

    • There is a world of difference between Facebook and reality.
      Kind of like my drinking fantasies. Which is why I will never go back to Facebook.

      • Very true. Some people are on Facebook just to add numbers. I am a number in a few myself and I know I am not a real ‘friend’ to them. Reason why I am not serious about social media.
        When someone acts this way to me, I recall this wisdom “people behave a certain way because of who they are and not because of who we are.”
        There are people who accept me there are those who don’t. I don’t need all to accept me. That’s not how I should validate myself is what my therapist told me.
        I am slightly better at handling rejections now because I realize what hurts when I am rejected is my ego. A component I want to do away with anyway.

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