How Is Addiction Recovery Like Baseball?

October 28, 2009 — 2 Comments

When you think of addiction recovery you usually don’t associate this with baseball BUT after reading the following quote I think you will agree that in our addiction recovery and in our spiritual lives we should be striving to be more like the game of baseball.

Baseball teaches us, or has taught most of us, how to deal with failure. We learn at a very young age that failure is the norm in baseball and, precisely because we have failed, we hold in high regard those who fail less often – those who hit safely in one out of three chances and become star players. I also find it fascinating that baseball, alone in sport, considers errors to be part of the game, part of it’s rigorous truth.”

-Francis T. Vincent, Jr., Commissioner of Baseball

It is very easy in life to lose perspective and think that you should somehow strive for perfection. This can do a real number on your self-esteem which can leave you with internal pain and…looking for a way to numb that pain.

There is a book that I’ve talked about before called The Spirituality Of Imperfection from which I got this quote. This book is all about examining spirituality and it’s ties to the understanding that human perfection does not exist.

From time to time I can get caught up in some pretty odd thinking that has me feeling bad about myself because my house isn’t perfect, my diet isn’t perfect, my money situation isn’t perfect, etc., etc. It’s like creating an unobtainable goal for myself and actually feeling bad when it is not met.

To me, this type of thinking is irrational and left unchecked has the potential to lead me back into my old addictive thinking patterns and you know what comes after that…the dreaded relapse.

To me, it is very important to work on and constantly question my spirituality. To me, spirituality goes hand in hand with my recovery. Without spirituality I am less than whole and look for outside sources to fill the void. This never works.

So, last night while I was reading The Spirituality of Imperfection for the, oh I don’t know, fifth time I realized what type of connection this “spirituality of imperfection” has to do with recovery. By sharing our shortcomings with others and identifying with others as they share their shortcomings with us, we are constantly being reminded that there is no such thing as perfection.

Just like listening to stories and telling stories helped our ancestors live humanly, it can do so for us.

So how is addiction recovery and spirituality like baseball? They all accept errors to be par for the course. They don’t try to pretend that it doesn’t happen. They are not striving for perfection but rather striving for greatness.

2 responses to How Is Addiction Recovery Like Baseball?

  1. Erin, you rock. This post and the one before it are just great. Thank you yet again for shining your light on this road we’re walking.

  2. Great post. Thank goodness you don’t have to be good at baseball to be okay in recovery. 😉 And thank goodness for being okay with errors.

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