The word that jumps out at me is void. I had a huge void within me that I filled with alcohol, sugar, and other foods wrapped with self-pity. When I accepted I needed help God was there to pick me up. The Lord filled the void with love and good intentions. I am forever grateful for a second chance at life, but this time following God’s Will, not my own will.
“The trouble with us alcoholics was this: We demanded that the world give us happiness and peace of mind in just the particular order we wanted to get it-by the alcohol route. And we weren’t successful. But when we take time to find out some of the spiritual laws, and familiarize ourselves with them, and put them into practice, then we do get happiness and peace of mind. . . . There seem to be some rules that we have to follow, but happiness and peace of mind are always here, open and free to anyone.”
— DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERS, p. 308
The simplicity of the A.A. program teaches me that happiness isn’t something I can “demand.” It comes upon me quietly, while I serve others. In offering my hand to the newcomer or to someone who has relapsed, I find that my own sobriety has been recharged with indescribable gratitude and happiness.
Happiness comes from within you. Treat others with respect and work on your defects for happiness and wholeness.
Why all this insistence that every A.A. must hit bottom first? The answer is that few people will sincerely try to practice the A.A. program unless they have hit bottom. For practicing A.A.’s remaining eleven Steps means the adoption of attitudes and actions that almost no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p, 24
Hitting bottom opened my mind and I became willing to try something different. What I tried was A.A. My new life in the Fellowship was a little like learning how to ride a bike for the first time: A.A. became my training wheelsandmy supporting hand. It’s not that I wanted the help so much at the time; I simply did not want to hurt like that again. My desire to avoid hitting bottom again was more powerful than my desire to drink. In the beginning that was what kept me sober. But after a while I found myself working the Steps to the best of my ability. I soon realized that my attitudes and actions were changing—if ever so slightly. One Day at a Time, I became comfortable with myself, and others, and my hurting started to heal. Thank God for the training wheels and supporting hand that I choose to call Alcoholics Anonymous.
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.