So you want recovery, what’s next? That’s a very good question. When I first got into recovery some three and a half years ago my first sponsor told me I’d have to work the steps. What I heard was, “I have to do work.” I just admitted I was an addict, wasn’t that work enough. The thought of having to commit to a program, call my sponsor every day and now do the steps all seemed to be more than I could handle. Besides, I hadn’t finished much of anything worth while in ages. It seemed that I left projects unfinished all over the place or made promises to complete things that stayed undone. What I hadn’t counted on was for the first time in my adult life a power greater than myself was helping me with everything. I was able to commit to my sponsor and call him every day, I had a desire, deep in my gut, to commit to a program and, lastly, I longed to start a new phase of my life by completing the steps. Soon this “work” was not work at all but rather gratitude for the miracles I was receiving from all my new activities. I was starting to build a life. So I can say with complete conviction that working a program and working the steps, soon made a dramatic improvement in my life, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. Today I am the man I am because of my commitment to a program of recovery and the 12 steps.
Once there was a middle aged man who seemed to be in constant pain. This pain was both emotional and psychological. The pain started many years ago when he was just a boy. He tried telling his parents about his pain, however they were a party to what was
causing it. The boy felt very isolated and found a way to cope with his pain. The coping was through sex addiction. Unaware that he was harming himself he just wanted his pain to disappear. Day after day his pain grew worse. Until one day he became an adult and the pain followed him to adulthood. Still feeling isolated he remained silent of his pains. Then one day he found more progressive ways to deal with his pain. He tried every measure he could to numb himself from the ache. He looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize himself. It was as if there were two people living inside his mind. The one with the pain and the one that everyone else knew. No one knew of his pain so no one asked to assist him. Days grew into months and months grew into years and the pain never subsided. He was so broken inside that even professional help could not break him down. Then one day out of the clear blue, a miracle happened, he found recovery. The man was so happy he got on his knees and thanked God above for the gift. The gift that changed his life. Share the gift.
Choices, choices,choices. What a wonderful option to have. I rememeber when I was in my addiction that I thought I was doomed to live a life in addiction. Never having a day without pain was what I thought I was to endure for the rest of my life however long I had left. Next thing you know I found recovery. Then the miracles started happening and I found out that I had a choice to act out or not to act out. Then the choices started to flourish. I could choose which meeting I wanted to go to or who I was not going to speak to any longer. These weren’t big choices but they added up. They gave me confidence in myself so that when it was time to make a big decision I was on my game. I had my sponsor to assist me and the people in my fellowship to bounce ideas off of. But, when it came time to meet the rubber to the road, it was just my Higher Power and myself. Choices, its a God thing.
Boundaries was a funny word for me to learn about in recovery. While I was acting out I thought the more limitless I was then the better I must be doing. That delusional thinking put me in some very high risk situations. When I came to recovery and started to apply the tools of recovery to my daily life, I found out that the boundaries I was starting to learn about were a whole new area of living. Its purpose was not to keep people away from me. On the other hand, these boundaries were put into place in order to keep me safe while I was with other people. A measuring stick of my daily activities. These boundaries soon became like a comfy security blanket that fit me to a “T”. Unlike thinking that I was being persecuted for having them in place. It has an opposite
feeling in giving me freedom to live while knowing I have self respect and the respect of others, that’s safe.
One of the greatest gifts that comes out of recovery is fellowship. In addiction I didn’t want to know your name. I’d rather sit in isolation with my pretend friends than to
take the time to let someone in. Why would I, wasn’t it always just about me.
Today, thank God I’m in recovery and I’ve learned to hold my head high, respect
myself and reach out to my fellows.
These are guys and gals from all walks of life. We each have our own story, but
we’re all fellows working day by day, one day at a time in our programs. We come
together as friends united in our love and support of each other. We call each
other, we share meetings with each other and mostly we share our joy with each
other. And when that time comes when we need a shoulder to lean on, we have each
other. “Fellowship” a blessing from our Higher Power to each other.