Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sobriety and Life Tie the Knot

Sober living is hard, enjoyable, stressful, serene, tough, and simple.  How can it be so many opposing things?  It can for me because it is life, a mysterious experience of co-existing joy and sorrow, suffering and relief, pain and serenity.  It is real, it is now, and it is unpredictable.

I am going on seven consecutive weeks of family illnesses, snow days, holidays, birthdays, and crises - all the usual life events - with no end yet in sight.  I want to run away via the bottle, the car, or in my really low spots, death. 

Thank goodness God has other plans for me. Otherwise, I would be writing this drunk, from a deserted island, or not at all.

I have a lot to complain about…many things I don’t like but as my sponsor says, I “don’t have to like it.”  I also have a lot to be grateful for…many things that I do like…and when I focus on those aspects of my life I have a real chance at conforming to God’s will - staying sober, living with my family, and remaining alive.

How do I keep my focus on the positives?  I have only one answer:

by working the 12 steps:

  1. Admitting my powerlessness
  2. Believing God will restore me to sanity
  3. Trusting in His will
  4. Completing a thorough self-appraisal
  5. Calling my sponsor/telling her everything
  6. Being willing for God to improve my character
  7. Asking Him to improve my character
  8. Making a list of those whom I have harmed
  9. Making amends when appropriate
  10. Performing repeated self-appraisals
  11. Praying and meditating
  12. Practicing these principles in all areas of my life and carrying the message to other alcoholics through service work (going to meetings to share and listen, sponsoring other women, writing these blog posts, etc.)

A long time ago, life handed me a rope and sometimes I swing joyfully from it like a child and sometimes I am tempted to noose it and hang myself.  Right now, I am tying a knot in the end of it and hanging on…while God and those who love me stand underneath with open arms, waiting to catch me if I fall. 

What more could I ask for?

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Thank you for sharing!