"You just got to want it", spoken by my friend D at last Saturday's AA meeting. It all just comes down to that simple little phrase. Not just a little bit, but the whole package. If you want it, you'll work for it, you'll get sobriety, peace and serenity. Not all at once but you'll get it. If you want it.
Working with my sponsee has proven to be a blessing to me. I've gone back to my roots in the program. I do the readings right along with her. And its amazing how in the third year of sobriety that step one has even more meaning than it did when I first walked through the doors. My life was unmanageable. I had tried to manage it but the more I relied on alcohol the more unmanageable it became. Until there wasn't anything I could do.
My sponsee is struggling with this. You know the whole "I grew up with money, I'm educated, my husband has his own business, I don't have to work". So how could she possibly be an alcoholic? I don't know, I'm a college educated suburban mother of three and the disease found me. After listening to her go round and round about if she was or wasn't a real alcoholic I gave her this to chew on: "You need to own this disease, or the disease will own you". She stopped and stared at me, "what does that mean". It means the longer you keep trying to figure out if you are an alcoholic or not, the longer the disease gets the upper hand. Acknowledging your alcoholism is the first step towards taking some of the power away from the disease.
I spent six months trying to figure out if I was really an alcoholic or not. You know what happened in those six months. I retreated very far in. I just kept opening one door after another inside of myself and went deeper, and deeper in. It wasn't fun anymore, it had become a necessity. Not like air, or food, or sleep but as an addiction, a habit, somthing you know is bad but you can't put it down. Once I finally admitted I was an alcoholic I was allowed to walk outside of myself and begin to take away the disease's power. It doesn't define me but its an important part of who I am.
I've started praying on my knees before bed. I thought people were crazy when they said they got down on their knees to pray. But since I've been doing this I am overwhelmed by the calm, the serenity that comes from being in touch with your HP. Humbling. I guess I needed to remind myself from where I came to where I am now.
I also asked my sponsor to start writing down things she was grateful for every day. She asked, "what if there's nothing to be gratful for at the end of the day?" I said, "no matter what happens there's always a reason to be greatful. Nothing is too small. I was reminded of this myself last week. My children and I bike along a path that wraps around the lake. The sun was setting, the sky a brilliant peachy pink, the water shimmering like a million diamonds, the spring air quickly cooling. I looked up and my three children were riding oldest to youngest. It was the most beautiful sight to see. Three carefree happy kids, and it took my breath away. Until that very moment I didn't know what realy humility felt like. It's a lump in the throat, it's tears in the eyes, it's being grateful for every living moment, each and every day.....