With the help of a sponsor and a relationship with a Higher Power I have done all 12
Steps laid out in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Some days I didn’t want to do
any let alone some of them but I knew from what I have seen in my life and efforts
before that I had to. If i wanted results I then had to put in the work. I have seen what
happens to those who don’t stick around these rooms of recovery. Who don’t do the
work. I have been to far too many funerals. I’ve realized it’s so much more than just
attending meetings. Today I work a program that breaks down to Trust in God, Clean
House and Help Others. It wasn’t always the case. Before my sponsor agreed to work
with me he asked me three questions, “Do you want to stop drinking?” “Are you willing
to go to any lengths to stay sober?” and “Will you help others when called upon?”. I
answered yes to all three. We may not want to do some things but being willing is
good enough. At first.
The three A’s I speak about are acceptance, action and attitude. Without these in my
daily program I would be what I like to call a dry drunk. People forget it isn’t a personal
program. I don’t work “my” program, I work THE PROGRAM. Which are the 12 steps.
This is just one of many successful programs but it is the one I live. The program is
suggested but the steps are mandatory if you want the promises to come true. Sure,
admitting I was an alcoholic was a great start. A 1/2 step of sorts. I never could get past
Step 1. It wasn’t until I had accepted the fact I was an alcoholic I could not see the
unmanageability in my life. I accepted my life was unmanageable in general and not
only because I drank “too much”. My life run on self-will was the reason for my actions. I
accepted I could not drink normal. I could not think normal. I accepted that I had to live a
different way than I had been. And more importantly think differently.
Action is a big part of not only my recovery but also life in general. It is being on the
move and doing things I enjoy. Taking action and doing the next right thing, calling
myself out when I do wrong and make it right, being of service and playing a part in
recovery. I volunteer in different ways. I take meetings to detox and help out in treatment
centers, I greet, serve as trusted servant and serve on boards. This keeps me involved
with helping others and keeps me sober at the same time.
Your attitude will make or break you. As I mentioned before that we may not want to do
things but being willing is good enough. This gets you so far spiritually. When we have
the right attitude things go a lot smoother. I asked my sponsor to sponsor me because I
saw something in him that I wanted. I didn’t see someone with a bad attitude I saw
someone working a positive program of recovery. I show up with my positive game face
on so that I can attract newcomers. You can’t keep it unless you’re willing to give it
away. Sometimes we are the only face of AA someone will see and that initial moment
may save a life. Theirs or maybe even yours.
When I first came to the rooms of recovery I was down and out. I kept saying to myself
“Man I wish I owned an island somewhere far away from everything. I then thought to
myself this sounds too easy and probably very expensive. Why bother? It seems
everyone and everything is surrounded by those same endless seas of “b.s.”, hence an
island! This really struck me in a positive way somehow. To deal with those rough seas
head on, sail up and make your own island of paradise right here.” Take care.
My name is Mark and I am an alcoholic 3-2-2013