The first commandment the Jews were given as a people is the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh, the New Month. The Jewish nation was told while still in Egypt that the month of Nissan, the month in which they would be leaving Egypt, should be for their first month
"And God said to Moses… in the land of Egypt… This month is for you, the head of the months. First it is for you among the months of the year." (Exodus 12:1-2)
Isn't this a strange first commandment? You'd think the development of the calendar would only come after the establishment of the basic fundamentals like the Ten Commandments. Why does the Torah consider the process of establishing the new month as a major breakthrough in creating a nation?
God is giving the Jewish people an empowering message with this first commandment. Up until now, the Jews have been slaves to the Egyptians. Their time was not their own. Now, says God, you are becoming masters of your time.
That’s also the difference from being an addict to being a person in long term recovery. My addict was a slave to my drug. My addict controlled my life. The last bender of drug use for me lasted 7 months. I only know that now, looking back. When I was in it… well, I can’t really tell you. I don’t remember one day to the next. In fact, there was no difference in one day to the next.
They say in AA, ‘you are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness’. And that is true. I was talking to a friend today that is still in active addiction. He had all kinds of reasons he needed to keep using. It would help him work better, he couldn’t get his work done without using more meth. Those of us in recovery have heard that story time and time again. Work, use, Play, use, Work, use…
My addict brain creates its own logic model. I have to use because I have to work, and I have to work because I have to use. This kind of circular thinking is its own trap, it makes me a slave. The only way out is to create a new system of time. Take back the schedule. Sleep, Eat, Work, Play. Sleep, Eat, Work, Play.
Freedom from the addiction. Freedom to a happy life.