A Question I asked too!
Another anniversary celebration of a sponsee and a sponsor — what a great way to see how passing along strength, experience and hope looks like, even if no two stories are ever identical.
The sponsor said that they are routinely asked How do you do it?
That was sure my question in the early days – I could not stop thinking about drinking back then. I don’t know when it happened, or how, but one day I went a couple of hours without thinking about drinking. I thought about life – what was going on, what a nice day it was, how good I felt. Maybe I was third-stepping that day – giving my thirst and worry over to God, and trusting Him to do what I could not do – not drinking or thinking about it.
A log in my eye of recovery was over thinking how I would stay sober. Listening at meetings to stories, and then comparing myself to see if what others did made sense in my life was still flirting with me, myself and I.
Maybe I calmed down when I finally listened with both ears, shut my mouth, and quit comparing and fretting? I can’t say when, and I can’t say how – but making enough meetings, praying and not picking up makes recovery possible.
“Our great need is loss of self-centeredness, and alcohol obsession.” (The Little Red Book, page 34)
Listening to others, laughing at myself was an important change.
Listening to others without projecting my story on theirs, took some time.
Realizing how much I owe to the folks who suit up and show up at meetings, so I can have a safe place followed. Gratitude is the wedge that keeps the door shut to fear, resentment, and wanting to drink over stuff.
And laughter – like I first heard in AL Anon, and then AA — is like a disinfecting spray to knock out all the self-pity bugs that can swarm over me on any given day.
Taking to heart all I hear and read, remembering to pray is how I’ve put my sobriety together. Giving myself to the fellowship, staying connected, and serving – even when I couldn’t understand stuff – was another “how” the folks recommended who were celebrating a total of 37 years sober. Remember, some said:
“And if you don’t like sober living, your misery will be refunded.”
I am back camping on Step Three. Not that I am about to pick up – but life has thrown some of its curve balls. Sobriety doesn’t keep bad things from happening – but it keeps me from complicating, and confusing hard times; sobriety keeps me from harming others – and myself, too.
Great quote from a newcomer today: they made a decision that, “If I have to be an alcoholic, I might as well do it sober.”
Sounds like a plan, right?
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful
Remember, if you sponsor someone, you’ll never need a mirror! Chapter 7, The AA Big Book