Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video August 31 DonInLondon Step 8 "Amends And Willing"
August 31, 2013: "all hands on deck!" Reaching out for help is a very difficult thing to do when we are new to recovery. Reaching out for help is a very difficult thing to do when we have a few days of sobriety, and no matter how long we have been sober, the longer it is, the harder it might be to accept help or be able to give it in the right way to the right person at the right time. I felt like that yesterday sitting next to a newcomer, in some distress and realising that there were other people better suited to help on that day.
I have always been careful when approaching newcomers in meetings where they seem to be at sea with themselves, and I don't see anyone reaching out the hand of AA, that is simply sometimes newcomers can go unnoticed because? It could be they go unnoticed just because… If I see a young woman, a medium aged woman, and especially a woman of my age, I try find a female friend and nudge them in the direction of the female newcomer. Yesterday a young person new to recovery and full of anxiety for a lot of good reasons made a connection which I signalled, and maybe the younger person with mature sobriety saw my signal or simply decided it would be good to talk to the newcomer. Either way yesterday it worked and for that I'm really grateful.
It was a really good meeting yesterday, seeing people I haven't seen for ages, being greeted, cared for, conscious of the concern being shown and my happiness in just being there. Nobody thought I'd slipped or relapsed, and it was just good to be at a meeting I had not been to for so many years. Ironic really, it is one of the nearest meetings to where I live. But then again, I don't really go to the nearest meetings, I get on the bicycle and set off and see what happens when I can. And someone else said they were really grateful for something I'd done some years ago. And it made it worthwhile to have made the effort to share the message of experience, strength and hope in my own particular way which certainly does not suit everyone in Fellowship, nor should it.
Before getting to the meeting, I had decided to put a fully charged battery on the bike, which will give me a round-trip possibility of 20 miles without having to pedal. And because it was sunny I decided the early-morning meeting would be a pass and the midday meeting would be a yes. And with that in mind I recharged my cameras, ready to take photos in the midday sunshine. So past South Kensington, up near Harrods, and then swinging on to the back of Buckingham Palace for the meeting at midday. Taking photos on the way. And then the meeting, some happy, some sad, some just glad to be there, and some people who could surely make it rain with a look at the heavens. We are all not a glum lot on the same day and the majority I feel were benefiting from sunshine and fellowship.
Acceptance of not being able to help some people in recovery is really important to me. Humility, the ability to keep on learning life and learning that people are different helps every day. It is always the same when taking photos, some are happy, and some are very unhappy to have their photo taken and almost by instinct we can develop that intuition of what we can do and what we cannot do inside and outside fellowship. Different strokes for different folks, so true and also it keeps most of us safe when we follow a simple code of conduct: live and let live.
In particular yesterday having listened to the chair, where the emphasis on powerlessness had been so important in recovery, it was a timely reminder. And what does powerless mean to me? It means I don't need to have power over something and then I don't have to control it. It took me quite a while to understand that if I am powerless over alcohol and one drink would lead back to an unmanageable and dangerous time, being powerless means if I don't drink, I get my freedom back, freedom to make choices about what I can do and cannot do on any given day. And that powerlessness opens the door to growing wisdom one day at a time. No matter what I believe personally, the serenity prayer when we break it down and utilise every element of it does lead to an opportunity for serenity today and every day in sobriety.
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