My bottom came when I arrived at a place in my life where there was a “fork” in the road. I could go either way, I knew where the one path led, I had been down that path all my life. The other path offered the possibility of a life unlike anything I ever knew; a hope that was borne of faith, something I never had. I was not sure where it would take me, but if the people in the rooms were any example then I wanted what they had. I never felt so welcomed, anywhere, anytime. My story is simply my story – it may be different from your story – so be it. We each arrive at the tables of AA from our own paths – and if I am really blessed I will find that one seat with my name on it, and I will claim that seat, and my place at the tables – each day and every day.
Whether you agree or disagree with prayer as a tool of recovery, I have found that for myself prayer is my search for answers, for peace and serenity, the search for calmness and faith that help me to work towards a “higher road.” And for this alcoholic I try to use all the tools that are available to me through my Higher Power and the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Today, God has granted me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I’m happy to say that I don’t feel angry a lot – and for that I am grateful. I have been blessed in many ways in recovery, learning to feel and release my anger has been one of those blessings. Much of my anger was misdirected and through the process of working the Steps I have found that most of my past anger was not justified. Feelings of anger still arise from time to time, and I work to learn from the anger – it is trying to tell me something. Perhaps I need to focus on taking responsibility for my own actions when I feel anger. I do not have to raise my voice in anger, to be heard. I can take that important step back, give myself a moment, and then as calmly as possible express the anger I’m feeling.
I have found that allowing myself that process enables me to feel the anger, to express it and then to release it. I’m a lot less angry than I used to be. I was so busy being angry that I rarely took the time to look at the object of my anger, or what I could do about it. I just ranted and raved until the anger was spent – never mind the fact that the cause of the anger was still there, still the same. And as it is said in the rooms – nothing changes if nothing changes. I am grateful to have found another way of dealing with my anger. Anger is a lesson for me to look at retrospectively. It will teach me new ways of handling those old feelings.
The Big Book is often referred to as “the textbook of A.A.” and that means that I continually use it as a reference when writing, working with others, or simply reading it. Every time I read the Big Book I find something else to enhance my sobriety. I can read a passage a hundred times, and then on the one hundred and first time, a new “suggestion” will appear, or a new bit of inspiration will hit me. It’s truly amazing how this precious book continues to “unfold” before me. No, this Program doesn’t happen overnight – and if I am lucky, I will continue to learn, continue to grow and continue to change every day and every time.
Today, I work towards the possible. Today, I accept the reality of getting older. Today, I do what I can, instead of sitting around complaining about what I can’t do. Dealing with my life realistically is a big step towards acceptance. I no longer strive to fit into a bikini (as if I ever did), now I work towards exercising in the pool, regularly. Adjusting, adapting, and accepting are all part of this “getting older” status I find myself in. Thanks to the Program I can more easily handle the changes in my life. And thanks to my Higher Power for getting me this far. I am grateful to still be here on this Earth, many before me did not live to become a “senior.” (55..the speed limit in most states!!) I am grateful for all the possibilities that still exist for me, and it is my fervent prayer that I continue to awaken each morning and that I continue to put one foot in front of the other – for this day, this now.
SUBMISSIONS WELCOME ♥♥♥
Only Step One, where we made the 100 percent admission we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 68)
The best relationship I could ever have would be the one I developed with my Higher Power. I finally came to an acceptance of myself as an alcoholic, and I knew that in looking back at my life, that the chaos in my life was the result of my drinking. I finally admitted I was powerless over alcohol, I came to know that I lost the ability to stop drinking, once I started to drink – it was the first drink that got me drunk. I could easily see that my life was unmanageable, when I drank. I had finally arrived at Step One, and thus ME taking the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous began.
If I am facing a fear – I believe the best action for me is to just do whatever – anyway. If it turns out badly – I can always try again, and again. I am not afraid of people, places or things – plus I have a Higher Power in my life now – and that gives me the courage I need to walk through any fears that might crop up. Life is to be lived, not feared. To that end I will continue to participate in life, I will continue to participate in my community, and I will continue to participate in my very own recovery. Caution, yes – fear, no!