Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Gifts

It's been a busy week, full of family and friends. It went surprisingly well. I think that was by far the best gift I have received this week is the knowledge that I can stay in the company of people. I don't need the chemical comfort of wine, I don't need to take constant time outs to sit in front of the computer. I can stay in the living room for the entire time. Playing board games helps, in fact, that creates a lot of laughter and fellowship and conversation. We grow and change. Life can be enjoyable.

The loved one who is an addict also spent time with us over Christmas. A few times during the holiday I felt a lot of fear over this person. At those moments, I mentally place this person in God's Hands and pray that I stay out of the way. I've discovered that if I also ask what God's will is for me concerning this person, I get a sense that we are doing the right thing in letting go. No longer taking any responsibility on that's not ours to take. There is a bit of freedom that comes from that. In letting go of that responsibility, it's like loosing a bit of weight out of my back pack. The journey becomes a little easier. As my faith and trust in God grows ever so slowly, I change. Again, I found the addict enjoyable to be with. So cool.

During my most recent journey through the steps in a men's group, I've began to understand more comprehensively the depths of fear within me. I've gone through this process a few times now in the past couple of years and each time I thought I really understood what was going on inside of me. Each 4th and 5th step reveals more. Each time through, I can do the 5th and 6th steps better. Becoming more willing to let my defects of character go. As I let them go, I get to find out more what God has in store for me. The gift is that I came to AA to stop drinking, but I am getting so much more than that. To learn how I can live without the depths of self pity I used to swim in. That I don't have to lay awake at nights in fear of the what ifs.

In my twenties, I fell in love with God. I knew his hand upon my life. As my life eroded away, by the time I was 50 that love had turned to hate. All I wanted then was to sleep eternally, to never never wake up. I remember at one of the most darkest moments, thinking about how I used to love God and said to myself that if that God still existed, God's hand might be, at some point in the future be extended out to me again. Then I told myself , bull shit, that will never happen. It did happen. My life has changed so much. We went to a Christmas Eve service and as I sat with the congregation and listened to the message, the singing, the laughter and joy, I was caught up in it, marveling at how much church has changed. Knowing all the while that it was I who had changed, my attitudes, my outlook.

I have been away from my AA home group since the middle of September, choosing instead to attend an indepth study of the 12 steps in a small mens group. We have one more step to go before the study is complete and I can return to my home group. So, this past week, that men's group took a break, so I got to go to my home group. I was amazed at the depths of my feelings in that group. Looking at the faces of each member, knowing how they have helped me in the past, the warmth and gratitude I had towards them. Seeing the new faces, feeling excitement for them, knowing a little bit about the journey before them, looking forward to traveling with them. I had so much gratitude for that group. Two more weeks then I can return full time and hopefully give back more and more.

And the recovery blog world. It's warmth and support. To be able to give support and receive support. To read the naked honesty that occasionally gets posted, it has brought tears to my eyes. It's become an important part of my recovery. The wisdom in the blogs, in the comments, the experience and hope that people share. It is a gift.

I am no longer alone. All around are people who are on similar journeys. As I walk with you, we change. The concept of we is amazing. another gift. I walk hand in had with my Higher Power, no longer alone. Connectedness everywhere. Best gift of all.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. The promises from page 83 of the Big Book.


dAAve said...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. We're a great community and I'll mention your blog; maybe a visitor or two will drop in.
I hope all goes well.

YamadogGirl said...

Hi Sweetie,

What a wonderful post! Today life, and everything that comes with it is our gift. I can never be grateful enough. I remember letting God back in, going back to church, and hearing differently. Pretty cool!

Personally, I want to thank you for posting and commenting, you have helped this alcoholic in ways you will never understand. I look forward to the New Year, and the journey we get to take together one day at a time.

God Bless & Love,