Take the Hero’s Journey
Life itself is a journey with many stages. Each of us is the hero of our own story. We are the main character in the movie of our life. The road from active alcoholism and addiction isn’t a movie though – it’s a very real, living nightmare. Going from addiction to recovery is a journey you are capable of making. You just need help, the same help all of us need in recovery. But it is you who must make the journey.
As the saying goes, the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. We cannot go it alone, but we must begin the attempt. After all, we experience life from our point of view, from within ourselves. When we take the 12-Steps, we get great relief from focusing much of our attention on how we can serve others. Indeed, thinking of others frees us from many of our troubles and tribulations. But still, it is us who must make the effort, take the steps, and undertake the journey of life and recovery.
Be the Hero of Your Own Adventure
At Jaywalker Lodge, we know that you are the hero in your own adventure of life. Our job is simply to be the helpful sherpa, aiding you up the mountain. We are well-equipped with the knowledge and tools to do so, and we have taken this journey many times before.
It may be your first attempt up the mountain or your fifteenth. We know what wonders await you at the mountain top, and our life’s work is to help as many people reach the summit as we possibly can. It inspires us to help the men who come to us recognize that they are the heroic adventurer in their own life.
Every great science fiction and fantasy story ever told follows the same structure – it is called the Hero’s Journey. Mythologist Joseph Cambell coined the term and compiled the structure. He believed that this structure was true of every great story ever told and more importantly, he believed that it gave us insight into our own lives.
He also believed that understanding the journey could inspire us to better undertake the adventure of our life. We at Jaywalker Lodge think he was right, and we think it’s a beautiful metaphor for the journey of recovery as well.
What Is the Hero’s Journey?
The Hero’s Journey has 12 parts, just like the 12-Steps program of recovery and Jaywalker Lodge’s 12 “We Believe” statements.
(1) The hero begins his normal life, he is stuck and complacent. For us, this was our life in our addiction. It became sadly normal, and we were trapped in it.
(2) The hero receives a “call to adventure,” a beckoning to escape his normal life. For us, this was the opportunity to get sober, to try something unfamiliar.
(3) The hero refuses the call. This was us feeling too afraid or unworthy of recovery, happiness, and a good life. We wanted to get sober and recover, but we really didn’t believe it was possible. Maybe we even attempted to accept the call a few times, but ultimately abandoned it.
(4) The hero meets a mentor. For us, this was ultimately the person or place that finally got through to us and convinced us that we could – and deserved to – recover and be happy. For you, maybe that mentor is Jaywalker Lodge. We like to think it is.
(5) The hero accepts the call. Now, with help, we began to believe sobriety was possible for us despite our previous experience. We allowed hope back into our lives and committed to a new adventure.
(6) The hero faces obstacles, allies, and tests. The journey to recovery isn’t always smooth. Sometimes we have emotional or physical setbacks. Circumstances arise to teach us new things and test our dedication to our life. Luckily, there are plenty of allies along the road to help us meet these challenges. There is also plenty of success and victory.
(7) The hero must venture within the inmost cave. As Joseph Campbell said, “the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” We always wanted to recover but we thought the work was too hard and too painful, so we avoided it. The desires of our heart are often hiding just on the other side of a scary-looking obstacle. Giving yourself the chance to succeed requires facing your innermost self, but you don’t have to do it alone. Trust us, it is worth it.
(8) The hero passes through the cave. We must also enter and pass through the cave. We may have to face some tough stuff, but we become free of the things we face as we accept help and bravely meet our new life.
(9) The hero receives his great reward. See? There’s that treasure, just like we heard. For us, this was realizing that we had finally entered into a happy, full life in recovery. We had taken the 12-Steps and received peace, freedom, and true joy. It was a treasure greater than any we could have imagined before. And it wasn’t impossible! It wasn’t even as hard as we’d thought it would be.
(10) The hero begins the return to life. For alcoholics and addicts, hopefully there is no journey back to our life before. But we do continue to live our new life, this grand adventure. We leave treatment and the dark cave behind and start to return to work, our family, and the day-to-day living of a full and beautiful life.
(11) The hero returns to his life.
Here, we make our full return to our life, only now we are different people. Our whole looks sweeter and more wonderful than it ever did before. We may have the same circumstances, but now we are closer than ever to being who we always wanted to be and building the life we always wanted.
(12) The hero shares his treasure.
For us, this is the best part. It’s the reason Jaywalker Lodge exists. Having found treasure in the cave, we can now tell people that it is real – a happy life in recovery is possible.
Now that we know the way, it’s our job to help other adventurers find their own treasure. This is similar to the 12th-Step in recovery, which is “carrying the message to others.” Our sobriety stands as proof that you can achieve long-term recovery, too. Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime?
At Jaywalker Lodge, we recognize you as the hero of your own life story. We want to be there to help you achieve as much success in recovery as possible. If you have been struggling along the road to recovery, we want to guide you past those obstacles that are holding you back. Begin your own hero’s journey today. Call us at (866) 529-9255.