I have opened my mind and my heart to the spiritual aspect of recovery that I found in the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I did not anticipate this when I first arrived at the tables, but when I saw the slogans on the wall, I sensed that A.A. ran deeper than I knew. It also scared me a little, as I truly thought God had rejected me as defective in my youth. I had a lot of misconceptions, and wrong ideas about recovery in my early years. To begin with I thought it was something that I would “complete.” It was not. There is no “graduating” from A.A., it is, instead, a life-long program of change and growth.
So the bottom line seems to be to keep an open mind when it comes to the spiritual aspect of the Program. I am not alone when it comes to my search for the spiritual, and I feel truly blessed to have found my acceptance and belief in the power of a God of my understanding. There are many sources for recovery, but the one that truly works for me, and countless others – that search ended with the phrase “I Came to Believe.”
I firmly believe that awareness is the first step towards change, closely followed by acceptance and action. That’s my “trilogy” for change. Awareness tells me that there is a problem, and further helps me to define what that problem is, and how it relates to my life, my “program” and my desire for change. I came to awareness slowly, as I discounted much of my problems as being the results of the actions of others, not myself. When I finally began to see that it was my actions, my behaviors and my erroneous perceptions of life that were causing me problems, I could then search out a solution – I regained some control by this acceptance of “owning” my problems. My life was in my hands and in God’s hands – not in the hands of the “others.”
Temporary discomfort from awareness tells me “Okay, there is a problem, now what can I do about it?” I have found in A.A. the solutions that I needed, to make the changes that bring me closer to maturity in my actions and attitude. I accept that my life is my responsibility – I am an adult, I can trust not only my Higher Power, God, but I can trust myself to know what direction is the “right” one for me. I need only remain Honest, Open and Willing. . . The “HOW” of A.A. Together with my Higher Power, God, I can and do find new ways of dealing with old problems. It’s a “Step” at a time, a day at a time, and a solution at a time. Blessings to you and YOURS on Thanksgiving…and Thank you for the opportunity to serve. This commitment has helped me in more ways than you will ever know~ HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
Life goes on, and on. I can either work to “stay with the program” or I can just sit back and watch the world leave me in the dust. I believe that recovery from alcohol is one example of the progress that we, as humans, have made in the last several generations. Awareness of the disease of alcoholism is prevalent in society today, much more so than it was say 60 or 70 years ago. There was that period we called Prohibition where alcohol became illegal, and the “bootlegger” was born. Today we hear about recovery programs almost daily, as many of the “rich and famous” work to rid themselves of their obsessions and compulsions. Plus many newcomers to the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous come to the rooms directly from one program or another. And then there is the criminal system which enables judges to request participation in A.A. as one of the conditions of their unlawful behavior. DUI’s almost always require some form of recovery, and most often it is A.A.
My life is ever-changing, and has been in a constant state of flux since I walked through the doors. Others see changes in me that I may not have noticed, but I also see changes when I look back at the me of yesterday, to the me of today. I thank God for all the changes I have made, with His help, understanding and above all patience with me. Today I welcome change – for the most part – and continue to work towards a life of sobriety, that I might then be happy, joyous and free.
I have found love in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and today I can give love as well as receive it. I have found a love never before expected, the love of my Higher Power, God. More importantly I have learned to express my love for others. Today I have the capacity to love many people, and have learned to express that love in a multitude of ways. I care enough to be of service to others, I care enough to want to help others, and I care enough to provide support whenever it is requested. I love the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous for teaching me how to love others, without any expectation. I accept others as they are, and if problems arise in my relationships; I look to my part, at my behavior. Today I no longer assume that problems are the “other person’s” issue, now I try to see where I went wrong.
Love is a feeling of “wanting to be a better person.” I shall never be able to fully express the gratitude that I have for what has been “given” to me. I truly feel that God guided me to the rooms of recovery, that I might then be of service to others and to that end I dedicate my life, and my love. Now I see that it was another step which brought me closer to you, the loving God I have in my life today.