As I sat down and opened up my folder of homework, it was a bit overwhelming. It felt like the first day of school again. I hated doing assignments in school, it gave me anxiety, and I would rush through projects to stamp them complete, and move onto the next. I was told in recovery it’s a marathon, not a sprint, but I love sprinting! So, before I started answering any questions on step one I told myself I have all the time in the world. No phone, no work, and limited TV. There was no excuse why I couldn’t take my time and do it thoroughly. The step one questions were primarily about my relationship with alcohol and how it affected my life. After doing the step one packet and rereading it I came to the conclusion that I was living to drink and drinking to die…….. There has to be a better way! Stay tuned for more.
He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being.— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 107
Many of us in A.A. puzzle over what is a spiritual awakening. I tended to look for a miracle, something dramatic and earth-shattering. But what usually happens is that a sense of well-being, a feeling of peace, transforms us into a new level of awareness. That’s what happened to me. My insanity and inner turmoil disappeared and I entered into a new dimension of hope, love and peace. I think the degree to which I continue to experience this new dimension is in direct proportion to the sincerity, depth and devotion with which I practice the Twelve Steps of A.A.
If you stay sober long enough and work the 12-steps you will stop looking at the world through a myopic lens and you will start looking in the mirror, at least I started too. Some may think I’m still in active addiction beause I have changed, thats erroneous. I just keep my head down and do the work every single day. Now I am reaping the ultimate benefits of my labor.
A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven’t been given the truth may die.— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 13
I desperately wanted to live, but if I was to succeed, I had to become active in our God-given program. I joined what became my group, where I opened the hall, made coffee, and cleaned up. I had been sober about three months when an oldtimer told me I was doing Twelfth-Step work. What a satisfying realization that was! I felt I was really accomplishing something. God had given me a second chance, A.A. had shown me the way, and these gifts were not only free—they were also priceless! Now the joy of seeing newcomers grow reminds me of where I have come from, where I am now, and the limitless possibilities that lie ahead. I need to attend meetings because they recharge my batteries so that I have light when it’s needed. I’m still a beginner in service work, but already I am receiving more than I’m giving. I can’t keep it unless I give it away. I am responsible when another reaches out for help. I want to be there—sober.
. . . we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106
I find that carrying the message of recovery to other alcoholics is easy because it helps me to stay sober and it provides me with a sense of well-being about my own recovery. The hard part ispracticing these principles in all my affairs. It is important that I share the benefits I receive from A.A., especially athome. Doesn’t my family deserve the same patience, tolerance and understanding I so readily give to the alcoholic? When reviewing my day I try to ask, “Did I have a chance to be a friend today and miss it?” “Did I have a chance to rise above a nasty situation and avoid it?” “Did I have a chance to say ‘I’m sorry,’ and refuse to?”
Just as I ask God for help with my alcoholism each day, I ask for help in extending my recovery to include all situations andallpeople!
December 2 AA Daily Reflection. If you follow the steps you to can have a spiritual awakening!
2 December: SERENITY
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, . . .
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 106
As I continued to go to meetings and work the Steps, something began to happento me. I felt confused because I wasn’t sure what it was that I was feeling, and then I realized I was experiencing serenity. It was a good feeling, but where had it come from? Then I realized it had come “. . . as the result of these steps.” The program may not always be easy to practice, but I had to acknowledge that my serenity had come to me after working the Steps. As I work the Steps in everything I do, practicing these principles in all my affairs, now I find that I am awake to God, to others, and to myself. The spiritual awakening I have enjoyed as the result of working the Steps is the awareness that I am no longer alone.
In the beginning, the press could not understand our refusal of all personal publicity. They were genuinely baffled by our insistence upon anonymity. Then they got the point. Here was something rare in the world—a society which said it wished to publicize its principles and its work, but not its individual members. The press was delighted with this attitude. Ever since, these friends have reported A.A. with an enthusiasm which the most ardent members would find hard to match.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 182
It is essential for my personal survival and that of the Fellowship that I not use A.A. to put myself in the limelight. Anonymity is a way for me to work on my humility. Since pride is one of my most dangerous shortcomings, practicing humility is one of the best ways to overcome it. The Fellowship of A.A. gains worldwide recognition by its various methods of publicizing its principles and its work, not by its individual members advertising themselves. The attraction created by my changing attitudes and my altruism contributes much more to the welfare of A.A. than self-promotion.
Thanksgiving is the day where most people come together to eat a lot of food, drink a lot of alcohol, and go around the table saying what they are grateful for. Thanksgiving is a good reminder to be grateful for the little things in life. I need that reminder everyday because I am an addict.
Today, I can say I am grateful for being an addict. Addiction is hard and can be a daily struggle. God doesn’t choose just anyone to be an addict, but he chose me. Why would God give me such an awful and debilitating illness? God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. God gave the disease of addiction to me because my higher power knew I was up for the challenge and that I could manage my addiction. That is why I am grateful today. I am thankful that my God has so much confidence in me to overcome my addiction. Now it is time I help others overcome this terrible, but manageable disease.
So I guess it is safe to say I have Thanksgiving everyday minus all the food and alcohol!