Monday, 30 January 2012

January 30 | AA 12 Steps In Action | 2012 |

January 30 | AA 12 Steps In Action | 2012 | Today's AA daily reflection: "freedom from and freedom to?" It can be very difficult in my experience to feel any freedom at all in early days of recovery. Which is why hope is so important and was so important. Hearing people share their stories, experience of recovery in the fellowship of AA, eventually started to make a difference to me. Simply one day at a time, not needing to drink was key. I still had many wants, wanting to be well, wanting a roof over my head and many more, but not wanting a drink or needing to drink was enough for me…

From hopeless desperation and desolation to hopeful and able to cope just enough today, my daily rehab in the community, going to meetings and for the first time in many years being included in something and not looking from the outside meant I kept sober. It felt like a long-distance endurance of fear and looking over my shoulder for some imaginary bogeyman to catch me out. Of course there was no bogeyman, and the extreme fear began to subside when I realised fellowship was my community within my local community, and at last I was included and belonged again.

My first emotion in recovery, extreme fear beyond reality. Fear of being found out, fear of not being good enough, fear of being beyond redemption which felt like a 24 hour nightmare. And then in time fear seemed to become just one of many emotions I may have today. And over the years, I still am learning what it is to be loved and to be able to love back. And every emotion a human being can feel today is more understood by me. The twelve steps help me learn what my feelings are today, and they fit my experience. And when my feelings fit the experience of now, I think and behave consistent with what is happening and my personal outlook today…

The greatest freedom for me is to learn "who I am daily." I start my day with basic routines to understand my emotional and spiritual condition, "How am I feeling, why and what may I do?" Just simply checking out my daily starting point and then reminding myself of steps 1 to 3 and the serenity prayer. And at any time of day, steps 10 to 12 will help me and guide me just for a day. And with humility it's not whether I'm right or wrong, it's what I do and how I live which defines me and helps me understand a little bit more about life and living in the moment, the only place where we can change our outlook day by day…

DonInLondon 2005-2011

Two meetings for me yesterday: At lunchtime about tradition one, freedom of choice in recovery is paramount. And then late evening: all about issues in later sobriety. Each meeting emphasised living real life as real life is, and with acceptance we keep making the best choices to action, action being the key...

Arthur Gordon "Some people confuse acceptance with apathy, but there's all the difference in the world. Apathy fails to distinguish between what can and what cannot be helped; acceptance makes that distinction. Apathy paralyzes the will-to-action; acceptance frees it by relieving it of impossible burdens."

Step One "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable"

AA Daily: Freedom from... Freedom to ~ We are going to know a new freedom... ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 83

Freedom for me is both freedom from and freedom to. The first freedom I enjoy is freedom from the slavery of alcohol. What a relief! Then I begin to experience freedom from fear - fear of people, of economic insecurity, of commitment, of failure, of rejection. Then I begin to enjoy freedom to - freedom to choose sobriety for today, freedom to be myself, freedom to express my opinion, to experience peace of mind, to love and be loved, and freedom to grow spiritually. But how can I achieve these freedoms? The Big Book clearly says that before I am halfway through making amends, I will begin to know a "new" freedom; not the old freedom of doing what I pleased, without regard to others, but the new freedom that allows fulfilment of the promises in my life. What a joy to be free!


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