August 7, 2013: "similarities and not the differences." In our desperation to be in recovery, and I was desperate, reading every last word of the literature to discover the answers to my problems today proved one thing, we learn the answers as we have the experiences of living sober. The similarities in the literature of AA, especially the big book and the stories of recovery highlight that we have the same affliction or killer malady; it does not mean recovery is the same for everyone.
Each individual recovery and living in recovery can be achieved in so many ways, it can be achieved simply by being and becoming the person you are today. Similar principles, similar understandings, and a huge diversity of people in recovery. Recovery can be like a quickstep dance some of the time and then a slow waltz at other times. We have days when we learn quickly, and other days we have got no clue what to do. Whether we learn it quickly or slowly, or just don't have a clue, the usual remedy is to pick up the phone, get to a meeting and share the current experience as quickly as possible.
Depending on how we are coping with reality, that is coping with life as it is today, we may be having a good day a bad day or and an ugly day, or all three rolled into one. Things which used to baffle us can still be baffling depending on our real-life situation. And if we can't work it out on our own, pick up the phone, share your current experience as quickly as possible. We don't have to go it alone any more.
Often we will get people asking for advice when fear comes knocking on the door. It takes a bit of courage and a bit of faith to say to oneself, "I fear and have that pit in my stomach in this situation, so I better pick up the phone, get to a meeting and share my current experience of what is going on." We may get an answer; at least we are expressing and sharing the truth about our fear in the moment of now. And once we share it, you never know, someone might have a clue what to do next.
When I wake up and start my day, even if it starts at silly o'clock, I can ask myself: "am I hungry, am I angry, am I lonely and am I feeling tired?" Probably one or other of those feelings may be present or all of them if life is difficult. We are not immune to our human condition and that is the beauty of recovery, we discover how our feelings work in the moment of now and what they are telling us. Aware of one's feelings, it is the best guide to how we are going to think and behave and the actions we may take. Sometimes we are: any combination of hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. And we don't know we have these feelings unless we pause and take stock. Our feelings impact directly on our thinking and actions and how we cope today.
Your recovery one day at a time may not look like, or be like anybody else's recovery today. You have your particular problems, and these particular problems might not be the same for anyone else in the moment of now. We can feel fearful and alienated because our problems are different to everybody else's right now. The good news, if we can pick up the phone, get to a meeting, you can almost guarantee that someone somewhere has had the same problems in their recovery and by us expressing what is going on we can get an answer to how somebody else dealt with those problems and share with us their answers today. It may not be the right answer for you, but it is a start to solving problems one day at a time.
If anybody says to you, "you haven't done the steps properly," the answer is that nobody is able to do the steps properly until the experience is happening right now. Just because we know the steps and live the steps, the steps apply differently depending on the experience we are having. What worked yesterday, may not work today and when we realised this, we realise we are joining most of the human race trudging the road of destiny.
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