John D. Mudie, Ph.D.,
Life is but a walking stage
And each alcoholic plays twelve parts in turn.
Being free to start recovery at any stage.
First the child,
Amassing unconscious years of sobriety
Then the normie
Then the crossed‑the‑line
hiding his booze.
Next the drunkard
reeling and lurching
Eventually the derelict hitting bottom.
Then by the Grace of God,
resisting, kicking and screaming.
The service junkie
appears, busy, busy, busy.
pounding and preaching.
Next the five‑year crazies,
bottom falling out.
Slowly serenity begins to appear.
The bleeding deacon is next,
“The only way is my way”
and at last, maybe,
detached and serene (mostly),
Respected by all.
Position of honor
In an AA funeral.
And when I realize I am at one of these stages,
I remember my old sponsor reassuring me by saying,
“John, you are just where you are supposed to be.”
Keep Coming Back
I wish to thank William Shakespeare for writing the “All the worlds a stage” monologue Shakespeare (2019 , Scene VII, Line 139)
I also wish to thank Bill Wilson and Dr Robert Smith and the fellowship of AA and Bob Baker for inspiring the actions which resulted in some of the stages described in this paper.
Shakespeare, W. (2019). As you like it (pp. 19-80). Routledge.