Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video July 31 2014
Early days risk assessment: even if I can keep sober one day at a time, how am I going to do deal with all this pain? Emotional pain, physical pain and all in the moment of now and very real. I can remember having done three months and one day sober. These sober days were not really all that sober because I was in the Big Brother house, Boot Camp, the last chance saloon all rehabs: St Luke's mission in Kennington London, thankfully shut down not long after I left it. Don't think amateurs save you always in the context of rehab, rehab requires professionals. Alcoholics Anonymous is forever nonprofessional and there are good reasons that it remain so to the end of time.
I needed to escape from rehab on a daily basis, it was the pits, where people were undermined so thoroughly with the intention of breaking them so they would surrender. Of course the rehab people did not tell you what they were up to, and they used personal information in group therapy, completely disregarding any confidentiality. It was suggested that I ought to stay for another nine months, I preferred homeless and alcohol to restore me to my former sanity! What a total cock up! But I did go to AA, and the nonprofessional, emotional and spiritual people, who shared experience strength and hope provided context, and when I came back to AA, I realised all the pain would be worth it. After all, I did get over 100 days of non-alcohol drinking time, and that did restore me to a place of complete insanity upon leaving rehab. This restoration of me needed my tacit acceptance of what was going to work and by that stage after another bout and relapse I was ready to become a member of the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Everyday risk assessment: one day at a time I need to remind myself of the first three steps. I am powerless over alcohol, and if I drink again life will become unmanageable. It would be insane to consider going back to drinking, and accepting that I'm an addict means that I don't need the consequences of drinking any more. Letting go of my self will, and finding out how to live life in a self-determined way: "the way I want to live my life and do the things which I like," this is the freedom and still I find life changes every day and I let go thinking I know all the answers. Every time I engage in conversation and Fellowship and life, something new happens out of the ordinary and is different.
The whole question what is a sober person? I would never be able to answer that question for you, because you determine what your life is going to be with the help of the world. The 12 steps develop personal freedom, to make choices which fit your lifestyle taking drink out of the equation. And this is the beauty of Fellowship, for every person going in with one similarity which is "addiction" those who make the change into a new emotional and spiritual experience, remain special and different and do not give up their own personal characteristics which keep on developing through time. Same principles, same result of sober and completely diverse and no two individuals ever the same.
So is it worth it in recovery? Some people add something after the serenity prayer at the end of meetings, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference; and then added particularly in NA meetings: it works if you work it so work it because you're worth it." How worthy is anyone to have a go at recovery? As often as we need to try until something sticks, like a whole sober day, the pain and the anguish and utter helplessness is worth it in my opinion.
Some people say it takes a village to raise a child. I go along with this idea although I don't have any children. But I've learned over the years that one alcoholic on their own is unlikely to survive into a meaningful recovery without the help of many people. The experience my family had of me, professionals who are only available occasionally and a well-meaning and often stretched professional service could not provide the backup and support to keep me sober. Fellowship, amateurs and nonprofessional who don't tell each other what to do, and yet able to share experience strength and hope of recovery, seem to have all the time in the world. Providing we do not expect one person within Fellowship ever to keep us sober on their own. It is the many in Fellowship who keep one person sober by spreading the load and not trying to do the impossible, to be a God, a leader or someone who thinks they have all the answers for you.
The imperative in my case was to be able to listen to every person in recovery, the good the bad and the ugly, especially ugly because my life had become very ugly and I had become very ugly in my own eyes. When we are driven mad, listening to people who've been restored to sanity, have learned how to let go and let in new information and make use of it, worked on a self-appraisal of the past and shared it, tend to be able to share a meaningful message no matter what their background may be. The language of the heart, rather than the language of the head becomes more and more clear with time. When I say heart, I mean our emotions, and when I say head, it is everything that we think and it is usually our heads which carry historical messages which get in the way of progress emotionally. This emotional Freedom has been the key to living more in the moment of now than anything that I learned in the past. Feelings are very real, and these feelings need expression in the right way, without the expectations our thinking heads try to make right and proper and justified. Freedom of expression on a personal level is paramount, but it does not give us licence to tread hard on the toes of our fellows and the world. Conscience need dictate the truth of can do and cannot do today.
Step Seven Video Reading 12 And 12
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