Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Sept 12 DonInLondon Step 9 " Amends Into Action"
September 12, 2013: "amend to self, recovery makes me human, not superhuman." Recovery offers the opportunity to become the human being we might never imagined possible as rock bottom gripped and distorted reality. Within the fellowship the understanding of many people, when asked to do something in recovery we ought to say yes. The serenity prayer is often helpful when I'm asked to do something and I am not able to say yes.
Some of the things which we learn through time, is what we have in terms of capacity to do something, stretch beyond what we have done before and still have the ability to stop ourselves from treading into dangerous territory. Just because we are asked to do something, we have to come to an understanding of the possible, what is good for us as an individual and what may be inappropriate today or another day. It can be frustrating if we are in a service position within a group and find individuals less compliant to our requests and expectations. If I'm asked to share at a meeting at the beginning and I am there, my response is usually and happily a yes. If I am asked in advance, to avoid disappointment it is better for me to say no.
Understanding what I can do and cannot do on any given day is subject to quite a few medical considerations which are not known to those who may ask me to do service, and this can be very frustrating for me because I like to share and participate. My medical issues do not allow me to know how I will be on any given day. So I try to share, that if I am there on the day, please ask me. If I'm not there on the day no harm done. Not always what I want to say and what you might want to hear. At the same time, better to share the understanding as far as another person can understand, and hopefully keep expectations real, and avoid resentments under construction.
We had an advert in the UK about a particular bank. It went along the lines of, "we are the bank that wants to say yes." And in recovery, most people who can say yes will, most people want to be included and demonstrate sobriety by inclusion. This is not true for everyone and sometimes inadvertently enthusiastic individuals can be very undermining when people say no to them. And it is also undermining to personal recovery when asking others for support and getting a flat no as a response. We all have to say no at some stage or we stretch too far, become overwhelmed and sobriety is threatened at the fundamental level.
Learning to say yes to the right things, learning say no to the wrong things is a daily way of life. If you need someone to do something for you, even though you might hear that people ought to say yes, take it is a privilege and a truthful statement when they say no. There are no rules, laws or regulations in recovery. If a person says no for whatever reason to service, just because they think it's a good idea, be respectful when people say no or all you do is feel resentment and anger ultimately. Humility to truthfully say no becomes a practice which is very worthwhile. When you have learned to say no, you can be more confident about saying yes when you are confident, more open and able with the right encouragement and the help of powers greater than you.
The weather outside is frightful! I was able to get out yesterday and do a few errands. Being out and about, the beauty of the world is striking. With the change in the seasons, people wrapping up against the cold, umbrellas at the ready, I do like autumn. Not so keen on the shorter days of lightness. Years of living in the dark, this time of year can send a chill through my bones for quite a lot of reasons. I relish the light of the day even more in recovery. Yesterday's programs about 9/11 were very moving and I hope one day to pay my respects to the innocent at ground zero.
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