Serenity, Courage and Wisdom – powerful words that form a pathway to acceptance and contentment. Living in the now is a form of Serenity as it tells me to place all my problems in God’s good and capable hands. When I do this my worries are abated as I realize that events will unfold just as God wills it. Courage is the blessing God gives me that I might then strive for change and growth in my life and in my Program. I need only to keep stepping forward. Wisdom comes with time, and lessons come from mistakes, meetings, readings, prayers, my fellow alcoholics, and the knowledge that I will never learn everything. When I turn my life and my will over to the care of my Higher Power, that’s when the window of opportunity may open a bit that I might gain some insight into how my behavior affects me and all those around me. I am not alone in this quest for sobriety. I pray that I may learn from those who have gone on before me. There are so many avenues to recovery and so many ways and means of becoming the person that God wants me to be.
I believe it is important to know that recovery can be fun. We can enjoy ourselves without having to imbibe vast amounts of booze. Sometimes young people come to the rooms with a feeling that the fun part of life is over – but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many ways to entertain ourselves, to have fun playing together, to share time and space with people who like to laugh and are quick to smile. Yes, recovery can have many “faces.” I have attended symphonies, ballets, plays, and I love movies. I have also traveled quite a bit in my recovery, now that I can trust myself to go from point A to point B without losing myself along the way like I used to. I love new adventures. A day at a time!
He has struck something better than gold. . . . He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 129
My part of the Seventh Tradition means so much more than just giving money to pay for the coffee. It means being accepted for myself by belonging to a group. For the first time I can be responsible, because I have a choice. I can learn the principals of working out problems in my daily life by getting involved in the “business” of A.A. By being self-supporting, I can give back to A.A. what A.A. gave to me! Giving back to A.A. not only ensures my own sobriety, but allows me to buy insurance that A.A. will be here for my grandchildren.
My life in recovery has been full of exciting, changing and challenging times. The Program provides many opportunities to gather together as there are local conferences, dinners, picnics, speaker events, not to mention Area Assemblies, Regional Assemblies, and once a year in New York a World Conference . There is much to enjoy in the Program and it’s all available because we have found sobriety. Wherever we gather, under all these different events – one thing is clear – laughter will be heard, smiles will be evident and happiness will be present in the rooms of A.A. I am truly blessed.
I work to be true to myself. I work to reflect my true feelings in my behavior. Sometimes when the “blues” hit me, I try to remind myself to work towards an attitude of gratitude. Sometimes it takes a degree of courage to speak up when I have differences with others. I want others to like me, we all do. Recovery has been a process of finding the right words that truly express my feelings but do not hurt others in whatever fashion that can manifest itself. I have learned to say “no” just as I have learned to say “yes.” I have learned to speak my truth and have also learned to set boundaries when that is needed. I am capable of placing an equal value on myself just as I can place that same value on others. I love myself and I love a whole lot of “others.” I have found my voice I have found my freedom and I have found my serenity – all through the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous and the teachings of my Higher Power. Recovery is a process and continues to teach and guide from this deadly disease of alcoholism.
When I contemplate my recovery I can see where the Steps have been a guiding force, and the power of the Program, have both been an influencing factor in my life. My surrender to my Higher Power, took me to a place that’s been called a “leap of faith.” I wanted sobriety and recovery and if this leap of faith helped others to achieve that goal, then there was a possibility that I too might also be given the grace of faith in a Higher Power. I certainly had no place to go and I desperately wanted what I saw others had – peace, acceptance, faith, and hope. There really was no choice in the matter. God had led me to the right path. Today I work with the God of my understanding in the hope of achieving recovery from the deadly disease of alcoholism and all of it’s insanity and chaos. I no longer struggle on a daily basis to remain sober and somewhat sane. Today I have found faith. I have found hope in the rooms of A.A. and I have found power in the surrender of my will. I pray to remain open and willing, at all times and in all ways.
Recovery is more than not drinking, it is about making those significant changes needed to achieve some balance between doing the right thing and not staying the course. God has a plan and for me to follow that plan I need to always try to take the “higher path.” Being of help to others is one small step in that direction, it frees me of self and reminds me that I am merely a small part of a greater plan.