I’m in my seventh year of making the commitment to myself to live my life without self-medication. I have been alcohol, drug free now since April 22, 2002. It sometimes feels so far in the distance but yet so painfully close that I continually ask: what happened? Staying Sober has been a means of recapturing who I am to myself and what I am to the world.
I have learned the hard way that I can’t drink safely, nor can I think safely, and come to realize that I don’t act safely. These are the first three steps that I pivot my day around. Step one is a no brainer and that has been the easiest when it comes to planning my day. Steps 2 and 3 require constant vigilance and thought of what, when and where my actions continue to take me. I can no longer react the way I used to. One of the slogans that have saved my life has been….If you don’t know what to do ….do NOTHING. Call a sponsor…..call up someone who you know has dealt with this problem or situation. Ask for help!!!!! Don’t go it alone. I was an independent person to a fault.
The best and most comfortable tool that was given to me in the AA fellowship was step 11; Prayer and meditation it leads me to where God wants me directed. It has never been easy to understand or detect Gods will for my life. It requires constant prayer and placing me to be available to what God has planned for me in the immediate and the distant future. Waking up in the morning and divulging in Prayer and meditation has kept me anchored and focused on what God has in store for me which I believe is to live my life being Happy, Joyous and Free from the bondage of self.
I have always felt that AA is a Bridge to all the other 12 step programs that led us to drinking and self-medicating ourselves for so long, it’s difficult to remember what the driving force that was behind the pain I was once feeling. For some reason a moment of clarity comes to us at the bottom of our desperation and somehow the Grace of God enters into us to sharpen that clear moment where we can self-diagnose our malady. And that seems to be in all the other addictions that I’m dealing with.
My Sobriety has helped me connect the past and lead to a bright and prosperous future. Getting sober was extremely difficult for me because my life had been about running from the painful emotional black-outs that plagued my past and kept me from healing towards a healthy future. Once I was able to process the past and redefine what my part was in what had happened and forge ahead to a future that required me living fully in the present; I was able to make peace with myself and all others that I had harmed. Rigorous honesty never was my strong suit. But willingness was always an open door to my well being both as a drunk and now a sober woman.
Being a sober women is an evolving process where I continually get to learn so much about my self. To be able to look at those chinks in my foundation and realize what needs to be fixed or what needs to go.
One of the largest stepping stones of growth in my life has been the teacher; Humility and how to express my humbleness in each and every situation. This aspect of my program has placed me in some of the most incredible learning curves I have ever experienced. My whole sense of whom and what I had thought of myself was an embellishment of entitlement to the core of my being. Why I deserved this or why this was necessary for my gain because this had happened or this is what I thought I deserved in the scheme of things. Almost makes me sick when I think about that this was my front of how I carried myself. I used how much I had worked as a barometer for how much and when I could drink, because I was ENTITLED. With the case as to how I planned our vacations. I did this and I deserve that. It had and was always a knee jerk reaction for my sense of well-being.
The most exciting thing I have found in my Sobriety is to be able to discover and fully come to find out who I am, despite my flaws. Learning to love myself has been difficult. It means placing my own wellbeing and sense of self first. MY co-dependence rages at this. The most helpful tool with this is placing my sobriety first. When I do that I get in line with myself and God. I know my God doesn’t want me to continue to hurt myself and do harmful things to myself and spirit. I rest in the fact that I’m sober today by the Grace of God and the power of the AA program. Nothing more nothing less. I’m working hard on my negative thoughts and attitudes that have plagued me all my life. Turning my being around in to the being that I was meant to be. What did God have in mind when he created me? Who am I? As I continue to ponder that question I need to know, love, honor and accept who I am to myself first and foremost. I want to be a woman of Grace and Dignity, living the life that was set out before me