– Michael, Pavillon Alumni

“Never believe your own press.” — Said by many wise people under a multitude of varying circumstances.

My Grand-Sponsor is very fond of saying that “for the addict in early Recovery, the ego is usually the first thing to get well.” This strikes an incredibly large and resonant chord for me as I honestly recall that in all of my previous attempts to get (and STAY) clean and sober, this pitfall has certainly been part of my story.

So, this is how it usually goes: things start to get better for me and my ego immediately begins to think, “I’ve ‘got this,’ I ‘did this’ and I’m ‘in charge of this.'” In the past, I’ve tended to conveniently forget how much help I had in getting clean initially and how much additional assistance I will need to stay that way and grow into the person that my Higher Power wants me to become so that I can help others do the same. In short, I too have quickly succumbed to a pervasive and un-noticed temptation to believe my own press.

One of the enduring images I hold in my mind from the last Olympic Games in Rio was the repeated entrances of Michael Phelps into the Aquatic Center there before his various races. The first thing I noticed was that he was wearing sound-cancelling headphones on his head to block out the deafening cheers of the adoring crowd that filled the arena. Talk about not believing your own press!

I know enough about the nature of that sort of competition to realize that headphones have actual and practical use, but that doesn’t prevent me from perceiving their underlying spiritual meanings as well (which, by the way, can be every bit as “actual and practical!”).

In the same way, I chose to see the actual and spiritual come together a couple of weeks ago when my Sponsor and Grand-Sponsor presented me with a little gift: a large, black bumper sticker with bold yellow block lettering that reads simply, “SIT, EGO, SIT!” I put it right on my car. Now I just have to read it–and LIVE IT–every day. Just like the rest of the Program!