The best thing about meetings is saying hello and welcome to new comers. They remind me of what it felt like to be 24, 36, 48 hours out from a drink. I felt I had a sign on me that said “Tell Me I Really Don’t Belong Here.” And I felt like I could never do this – that AA would become just another failure in my dismal failure of a life.
But it didn’t – it hasn’t.
The program works. And it works better when I work it. I made so mistakes, maybe you can avoid.
- I put off reading the whole Big Book, especially chapters 5 & 6, and the personal stories.
- I stopped going to meetings for too long.
So, I got an all-expense paid sojourn in a desert – a dry drunk. No, I didn’t pick up, but not practicing the principles outlined in the steps complicated stuff that could have been simple.
Because of Christ, I knew His will for my life was sobriety and serenity. His grace was more than sufficient to keep my from drinking. But,
“. . . I’ve been slowly learning the difference between the parts I play in my spiritual growth and the part only God can play.” (Heather Kopp, Sober Boots, page 148)
Neglecting AA meetings, reading the literature and working all the Steps robbed me of the joy of seeing His faithfulness in clearing out the junk in my brain and heart – junk that is dangerous to keep unsorted, like resentments, the bitter fruit of self-centeredness.
Resentment: feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury. (Merriman Webster)
Resentments are sneaky buggers – it’s best to keep testing for their infiltration. (Keeping F.R.E.D. Away) I didn’t and so tripped myself up too many times, and my resentments hurt other people.
Making the meetings show me that dry drunk deserts are not ever worth re-visiting. (Why I Still Go to Meetings)
Working all the steps keep me headed to the oasis of joy and peace that sobriety and serenity are:
How can I best serve Thee? Thy will be done, not mine. (The Step 10 Prayer)
Getting through this day sober means: Rediscover your knees.
As you get out of bed in the morning, slide directly to your knees and ask God to keep you sober today. At night, kneel and thank God for keeping you sober. If at any other point in the day you are seriously tempted to drink — your knees work then, too. “Help!” is a prayer God loves to answer. (Sober Boots, page 146)
Dear reader, thank you for your time – and may you experience today the love of God in Christ in your recovery.
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful