God has done for me what I could not do for myself. Today I am capable of change and growth, I know that my life continues to change through the Program, and my willingness to “work” the Steps. Through persistence I have grown spiritually and now work to be of service to others. My Higher Power helped me to begin the process of change we call recovery, and I was able to stop using and abusing my body with alcohol and drugs. Amazing changes have taken place in my life, once I stepped over the threshold of the A.A. door. There is a positive spiritual behavior for every negative one. When I am unsure of what my reaction should be, I remember this and try to turn my behavior from negative to positive by practicing one of the Spiritual Principles. And now with an awesome suggestion from Tom S, “come to a full and complete stop, look both directions, disengage the transmission, set the emergency brake, turn off the ignition, unfasten my seat belt, exit the vehicle and close the door. Then get on my knees and pray for stillness and peace.” 😎
I just have to think of what my old response would be to any given situation, and then do the opposite. I work towards being of service to others, instead of being so self-centered, there are others with problems also. I try to be as honest as I can be, which requires backing up to admit my lies and deceptions. My faith in God and the Program continues to grow and change. Through the amends process I have been able to admit my wrongs and offer to make them right, to the best of my ability. If I am angry I try to look at what my part might be, and then come to terms with what I can or cannot do. I have found that my anger is not always justified, and I have learned that backing off a step or two helps. I trust and am learning to Let Go and Let God when life challenges me. Change in recovery is truly a blessing. One that I am becoming more familiar with.
Let Go and Let God is a good reminder for me. While I rely on HP, I sometimes have trouble waiting for Him to guide me. Life happens not my time. I’m a work in progress, and I’m grateful for this fact. I believe I will continue to learn and grow until my days run out and it’s time to go home. In the meantime there is work to be done, places to go, people to see, and life to live. My part in this life is to get out of bed and keep taking one step after another. My life unfolds at the direction of my Higher Power, and it’s been a very interesting ride, so far. Amazing changes have taken place in my life, particularly since I stepped over the threshold into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have stopped running from myself, from life and from my disease. I have placed myself in His Hands, and I know He will see me through life.
Some of us neglected our families during active alcoholism. Our pain was so great that we had nothing left to offer others. We retreated into our own world, leaving our families wondering where we had gone. We may have neglected our families financially, too, spending everything we had to feed our addiction. We may find it easy to fall into the same pattern again, neglecting our families as we pursue recovery. We must find a balance between our own needs and the needs if our families. Our recovery must come first, but it should never be the only priority in our new lives. Financial stability is important, but we need to spend time with those we love. Asking our families how they feel, and listening carefully to them, can help is regain our balance. Talking to them openly can help heal old wounds and misunderstandings. We don’t do this until we are ready, but when we are, it is an important and loving part of our recovery, and the recovery of our family.
Step Eleven urges me to improve my conscious contact with God, as I understand Him, and I pray for knowledge of His will for me. I also pray for the power to carry His will out. My life has made 180 degree u-turn since beginning the process of recovery and I must say that I like this part of my life. I am grateful for all my “gifts” that God has blessed me with in these, my latter years. This has been a reminder for me as I tend to get “self” focused, and forget to pray. I belong to a prayer group and just received some additions to our current list, and it reminded me that one of ours just passed, and another needs prayers as her husband is in a coma. There is always someone who can use a prayer or two. I resolve to do better in this area. I resolve to pray at least throughout the day, my list of those needing prayer grows each day, and so should my resolve to do a better job of communicating with my Higher Power. The shortest prayer I know is: Thanks, God!
Our purpose and direction in AA is to “stay sober and help others.” Members participate is this “business side” of A.A. because they want the hand of A.A. always to be there for all who seek help now and in the future. A.A. has been in existence for over 80 years, and is still a viable program today. There have been some changes over the years, but the basics are still the same – the first 164 pages of the Big Book are still viewed as the “Program.” It’s an interesting process to see the business side of AA at work in our local groups. The service structure of A.A. is designed so that the individuals in the groups are the ones involved in any changes that may be considered. There is no President, no CEO, no “boss” of A.A., God is our ultimate authority, and He has the last word when majority fails to speak. How do you view the business side of AA?
Should I get the urge to drink there are several actions I can take: I can call another member, I can get to a meeting, I can pray to my Higher Power. I can pray for serenity, courage and wisdom. The Serenity Prayer can be the very thing I need to hear myself recite. There have been days when I have needed to repeat that little prayer over and over again. It reminds me of who is in charge, and I find it is not me. God is in charge – of any and all changes that are happening in my life. The longer I claim my seat in the rooms of A.A., my sense of peace is stronger. My mistakes of yesterday can be stepping stones for tomorrow if I do something about them today. I no longer have to hold on to the old misconceptions I had about drinking. For me, the alcoholic, to continue drinking is to underwrite my own death sentence. It is through God’s grace and mercy that I am given one more minute, one more hour and one more day.