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September 18 • No It Is Not

Day 436

Peggy Lee’s iconic 1969 hit asked the question in its title, Is That All There Is? I was offended by that song. It scratched against my religious sensitivities, and its fatalism contrasted with my sense of freedom.

But I couldn’t stop listening to it, and complaining about it.

Ironically, one of the distractions I turned to during the early days of recovery was my music collection. As I reviewed the virtual jukeboxes and vinyl-filled cardboard boxes, I remembered that Lee’s song was one of the biggest hits I had never purchased or added to my playlists. I quickly rectified that omission, and the song now rests in its proper place of asking uncomfortable questions without dictating answers.

When I was in the worst part of my addiction, all my answers were bad; all were self-destructive. I stopped growing in the healthy ways a person observes life and adds and subtracts to their worldview. I stopped believing in life after sex. Mostly, I just stopped. Life’s joys, life’s laughs, life itself seemed to have gone to live somewhere else.

I’ll never forget the first time I stepped across the threshold of a Step meeting and how quickly I recognized myself in the stories shared and the eyes of knowledge watching me, without judgment. I saw a reset button there for the pushing; then I left and went to the nearest acting-out place I could find.

It took time to accept my reality that “sex is all there is.” It took time for me to want to change and more time to be willing to change. It took knowing that all there was is not all there could be.

Life has moved back, and I am moving forward, most of the time.



when that final moment comes and I'm breathing my last breath, I'll be saying to myself

Is that all there is, is that all there is

If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing

Let's break out the booze and have a ball

–Peggy Lee, ”Is That All There Is?"



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