From the meeting today, a quote from the 12 & 12 caught me up short: “ . . . well-grounded AAs seem to have the ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and turn them into demonstrations of faith.” (Emotional Sobriety: The Next Frontier, page 36)
These troubles . . . the phrase made me think back and remember some ups and downs over which I did not drink. However, I wouldn’t recommend my behavior during some of these trials as a model of sobriety. I managed not to drink, but my self-centeredness was like skating on very thin ice.
Emotional sobriety depends on not picking up a drink – but it also depends on believing that the unfairness in life isn’t always personal. Grown-ups don’t make a federal case out of not getting their own way! Been there, done that, and got the tee shirt. 🙁
As an AA commented in the meeting we get ourselves into trouble when we refuse to accept life on life’s terms. For someone who grew up with Walt Disney, all those “happily-ever-after” endings have been hard to let go of, even after I stopped drinking. Accepting people for who they are, and not who I think they could be (so they can meet my needs) is foundational for recovery.
Another AA said that their troubles can get prickly when they detect an emotion that feels like “not enough.” I am not doing enough, or getting enough; others are not giving enough, or being enough . . . pouting is an old response that does not go well with recovery. Practicing gratitude; learning contentment all short-circuit a dry drunk – or a slip.
The holidays can be stress factories . . . or excuse factories; if we are managing to keep things sober and sane, somebody we love may not. Getting trough Christmas can be downright scary . . . but it can’t be scarier than not remembering what I did the night before.
There is nothing, an AA said today, that we can’t get through sober if we work the program today – and quit worrying about tomorrow.
We closed the meeting today with the question, “Who shows up at every meeting?” Our Father, we began to pray together the Lord’s Prayer . . . I am so grateful He has always shown up and got me through these troubles. May you feel His power and presence, and genuine love for you, dear reader.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful
A Few More Musings: