Inspired by a conversation between the characters in the LA’s Finest series I have recently watched, I began thinking of the phenomenon of ever-moving sharks.
Modern mythology suggests that sharks don’t sleep, that they have to move all the time in order to breathe and therefore stay alive. Contrary to that, says Don Vaughan in the article Do Sharks Sleep? while “many types of sharks must keep moving in order to receive life-giving oxygen from the water passing through their gills… some types of sharks are able to remain stationary because they possess special structures called spiracles, which force water through their gills. Some sharks use both spiracles and buccal pumping… in which water is pulled in through the mouth and forced out through the gills by the cheek muscles… Whatever method they use to breathe, sharks are able to engage in periods of deep rest while still but do not fall asleep in the traditional sense. Lacking eyelids, their eyes remain perpetually open, and their pupils still monitor the motion of creatures swimming around them. Sharks that are able to rest while stationary include the whitetip reef shark, the Caribbean reef shark, the nurse shark, the wobbegong, and the lemon shark.”
So, the mythology is wrong, but I will go with the wisdom of the myth anyway, because I am looking into metaphorical sense of the shark example. In order to stay sober in body, I need to be like the ever-swimming shark (without hunting and attacking humans, OK?). I must not stop doing right things and keep myself busy if I want to continue to breathe recovery.
Since the beginning of my sobriety, I was attending AA meetings, and shared, and listened. I did the Twelve Steps, as it was recommended. I chaired meetings a few times. I did service for the home group as putting up chairs and making coffee. I went to recovery houses and detox centres and shared the way of AA with people in treatment. I wrote my personal blog about recovery for over ten years.
I’m not boasting. I have listed here things that I think anyone can do. They are not difficult activities to take action in. The best thing to do is practice these things on a regular basis. It is harder to do these things, perhaps, in the events of the last 365 days when many places are shut down or don’t allow visitors, but there are still Zoom meetings and as I attend those, I am still blogging and connect with recovery through my writing.
On regular basis. I am not saying going to meetings 24/7 (although some people do, and for years). You still have to go to work and spend time with your family, and what not. Yet I keep in mind that I need to be like a shark, constantly moving, being involved in recovery, because to me it is a full-time job – my health and sanity. This is priority.
(image was copied from https://www.nrdc.org/experts/elizabeth-murdock/more-vulnerable-vicious-sharks-need-cites-protection thanks.)