Walking into this anniversary, I had to take a hard look at my program. Was I doing enough? Was I allowing the many blessings of recovery, like having a baby, graduate school, and a good career to harbor excuses for not staying in the middle of the boat? The answer to the first question was no, and the answer to the second question was yes. It’s true, I’ve been more blessed than this alcoholic sometimes feel she deserves, but the bottom line is that I still must do the basic things to keep my emotional and physical sobriety in check. Living a sober life is living a life of gratitude, and when I have gratitude, I feel that I deserve the good things in life. I must be in a healthy relationship with myself to be in healthy relationships with others. Therefore, I need AA.
I recently had to get honest in a meeting about the complacency of my program. My perfectionism was glaring. I got to a place of self-centered fear and looking for things on the outside to fix the hot mess I was on the inside, and low and behold, the shopping and sunless tanner didn’t work. I needed to come back into AA in a big way. First step, I shared in a meeting. The next thing I knew, my friends were embracing me and encouraging me to pick up the phone and call them. I took on a new service commitment, and I committed to rework the steps. What happened next? I woke up the next day with a huge weight lifted and the excitement that I had as a newcomer. I never left AA, but I wasn’t working it the way I needed to. I need AA more than ever now that I have to balance life with all of these wonderful new plates spinning. It’s not just about me. It’s about my family. It’s about my son and husband. It’s about the alcoholics who need a good sponsor. It’s about my friendships and work life. It’s about living a well-rounded and generally happy life with those I am blessed to share it with.
I wanted to share this because after 8 years, my program isn’t perfect. It never was and it never will be. There is always room for progress. I know that no matter how far I push myself from my program, it’s always there with open arms when I take action and dive back in. AA never leaves me if I give back and give it my all. So here goes year 8… let’s see what you’ve got!