Evolving in Sobriety

hands around five growing plants

Evolving in Sobriety

Evolving in Sobriety


scorpion in glass jar

I had only heard my wife that alarmed one other time.

We had just started dating when she called late one night to tell me a large spider was trapped in her apartment. I had initially assumed her “large spider” was probably nothing more than a normal-sized spider. Upon arriving I realized that her “large spider” was actually the biggest damn spider I’d ever seen. I killed it, with some wussy insect spray.

So when I heard her proclamation I know that we had a serious situation on our hands. We had just returned to our room. We were on our honeymoon in Costa Rica, staying at an eco-retreat in the jungle. (Waterfall Villas-place was awesome)

I had expected wildlife to be abound, so I wasn’t completely shocked when I walked over to find a fairly large scorpion nestled above the blinds.

So, I killed it right? Smashed it with a magazine or ‘Babe Ruthed” it with a broom? (I just made the Babe Ruth thing up)


I’m a ‘catch and release’ type of guy with insects these days. Sounds funny, I know. But what if that scorpion was in our room all week? What if he was totally stoked with his new roommates? I scooped the little dude up with a glass and sent him packing down the road outside.

Something happened to me in the last couple years of my journey in recovery. I started caring deeply for all living creatures. Even insects. Call it enlightenment, call it AP spirituality, call it what you want. My spiritual experience in recovery has been that of the educational variety, meaning it developed slowly over time. As I began loving myself, It became easier to pour love onto others.

Caring for others became a pillar of my recovery, as it does for most people with long term sobriety. As my spirit awoke to the world around me, I started thinking differently about how I wanted to treat other living beings. I began picking up trash when I went for walks. I started eating less meat, and eventually I began practicing ‘catch and release’ with creepy crawlies.

Then my wife and I went to Rooterville. Root-a-what?

According to pigs4ever.com: A rooting pig is a pig in heaven. If your pig roots up something in the yard that he should not have, it is not his fault. It is yours for poor planning. He will root up any available dirt searching for something. A favorite time of the year for mine to root is Spring when the ground is still moist.

So there we were, sleeping in a barn one night and volunteering the next day at Rooterville. Our weekend at the pig (and other farm animals) rescue sanctuary set forth in motion a new epoch in my caring for all living beings. I stopped eating meat entirely. In fact, I stopped eating food that contained any animal byproducts at all.

It had happened. I had officially reached a point in my recovery that I could not have seen coming from a mile away. I was being reinvented, recovery reinvented who I am.

You know what recovery can give you? It gives you exactly as much as you put into it. I believe that stands the same for my relationship with a God of my understanding. For that reason, my life in recovery has been one beyond my wildest dreams. I seek connection with my higher power, with people, with animals, with the world. Those connections won’t land in my lamp if I’m just sitting on my ass caring for nothing. I’ve got to reach out and seek those connections.

My wife and I shared this philosophical change together. As if God was giving us the nod, we spent our honeymoon last month in Costa Rica. The entire country is built around respect for one another and for the world we live in. You can’t travel too far without passing through a nature preserve or seeing a rope bridge for monkeys to safely cross the road. In 2016 over 98% of their energy production was created from renewable energies. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

Yes the scorpion looked gnarly. Yes it’s pincers were out and ready to rumble. Yes it had a fat, juicy stinger. Our conscious evolution had gotten us this far, so it only seemed natural that we give the guy a second chance. Sucks being evicted without notice, but when you’re partying as hard as that guy was, you gotta go.

I don’t mind telling you that I work hard in recovery. I’ve worked hard to evolutionize my thinking. I pay close attention to how I’m interacting with others. I take care in how I walk through this
world. Am I an asshole sometimes? Absolutely. (only to people from Cleveland) But I’m striving for a better Chris, and I’m seeking for meaningful relationships with people and the worlds around me.

Recovery gave me that conscious contact. I was blind before I got sober.