Alcoholics Anonymous Blog October 2 2014
Step ten! "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." Part of my step ten daily is to continue to remind myself that I need routine, or I lose sight of the freedom I have to be me. Self-maintenance is critical and meetings are simply a part of life. I'm just back from a meeting, an early-morning one which continues to inspire through listening to the experience strength and hope of everyone sharing.
Step twelve was read out in its entirety. It is a long read and was well read by another fellow in the fellowship. Sometimes different words, different sentences hit home and the principles become more solid as we experience life. I was in a rush to be sober when I first came to Fellowship and then found myself in recent years, hoping that the time in recovery would slow down, simply a selfish desire to experience more sober time and sober experiences. The freedom to live in reality, unimpaired mentally and really feel everything in the moment of now.
Listening to newcomers, extraordinary experience of life on the frontline of recovery. There is nothing shocking, when we listen to newcomers, it affirms we were able to choose sobriety rather than a life of living hell cut short inevitably. And when we share, we are reminded of where we came from, and just how difficult it is to be a newcomer and have empathy for everything they are now experiencing. Someone next to me was clutching a mini big book, brand-new, I asked them if this was their first copy. It turned out they had lost their original on holiday and it was a replacement. I shared with the person that I carried around a twelve and twelve usually, and happily this person does exactly the same as me. Good and comforting to know I'm not the only one.
Getting back into a regular habit, with the same regular inhabitants in meetings is really good. The connections that we make hold us together, and also make us see the reality of all living and all its complications. When we share the truth in our experience strength and hope, sometimes we strike a chord with the newcomer and regular friends. We never know usually, because we are quick to leave, and I do stay and around for the meeting after the meeting just outside. People go for coffee afterwards, and I wonder if I would be welcome. There is only one way to find out, I shall have to go for coffee and see if I fit, without disturbing others with my presence.
Today I shared about the past, and in my long winded way, because I got a wave from the secretary to wind my sharing up, I did make a connection which helped newcomer. I was trying to express that all the success that preceded over the years really meant nothing because I could not feel right with life. And having had all the trimmings and accolades possible for doing good hard work in different industries, it was always driven by self-doubt, fear of being found out and striving for perfection. Oddly enough a person many years before asked me how I would forgive them by not being perfect. I never held people accountable or judged them badly if they were less than perfect. But I always held me to account, and strived to be perfect at everything until I burnt out and broke down.
People did their best to try help me on my way to ruin, and sadly the truth is no one can stop an addict being an addict. What we can do is try help a person find their path to sobriety. And there are as many ways as there are people who can help. And that is the good news. The bad news is that an alcoholic or addict may not find that person, place or thing at rock bottom, that connection. And the worst of news is being an addict in active addiction is a place of terrible denial for many, I know because I was in denial once I realised the affliction was in fact a disease. Is it any wonder that we who make it to sobriety cherish those who strive and those who live sober one day at a time?
Step Ten Reading 12 & 12
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