Once upon a time, there was a desert nomad with a camel. When night fell, the nomad pitched his tent near an oasis, tied his camel to a stake and snuggled down. After a few hours, the camel poked his head into the tent. “Excuse me, Master,” he said, “but I am so cold out here. May I please put my head into your tent to keep it warm?” The nomad, tired but agreeable, said, “Yes, but only your head. There is barely enough room for me in here.” The nomad returned to sleep. Another hour passed and the camel woke him up again. “Oh, Master, my front legs are so cold. Please, may I put them into your tent?” the camel pleaded. The nomad, exhausted and annoyed, said, “Yes, but that is all! No more! I am pushed against the side of the tent already.” The nomad yawned and returned to sleep. An hour later, the camel woke him once more: “Master, my hump is so cold. I can’t stop shivering. May I bring in my hump?” he begged. “For God’s sake!” cried the nomad. “Bring in your blasted hump! Let me sleep! I cannot bear these constant awakenings.” He grabbed his blanket, rolled over and returned to sleep.

A few hours later, the nomad awoke and was freezing. He was outside of his tent and the camel was completely inside of it, toasty and warm. I am that nomad, the tent is my recovery, and the camel is my disease. The moment I begin to obsess about the addict, I am letting in the head of my disease. When I tell the addict how to run his life, I am letting in the front legs of the disease. When I do things for the addict that he can do for himself, I am letting in the hump of my disease.

Thought for Today: Now I know if I do not draw my boundaries tightly and keep my disease firmly outside the tent of my recovery, I may be on the way to relapse.

“Good fences make good neighbors.” ~ Robert Frost