At the end of an A.A. meeting we all sit, quietly listening to one of the most— in my eyes—profound sections of the Big Book, the Promises. This touching piece of text assures us the freedom we can attain only if we look at ourselves, let God do what we could not do for ourselves, and work to live and stay sober.
Most alcoholics and addicts, new in sobriety find themselves “doing the deal” for someone or something other than themselves: their parents, siblings, girlfriends, boyfriends, or just to stay out of prison. I had been struggling with the disease of addiction for years and, after the many rehabs I went to, always took the next step. This meant going to a sober living or halfway house, doing so because my parents told me to, and staying for whatever amount of time I needed to get sober before being allowed to come home.
This time, however, I feel that I honestly want to do this for myself. This is my life and I have to take control of it. I wasn’t free before, and I didn’t want it as bad as I do now. Alcohol was my master; it was like a five-hundred pound sumo wrestler sitting on me— holding me down and sucking the life out of me, out of my very being. I was helpless against it.
I was selfishly doing things only for my own personal gain, trying to control everything around me. I never once thought in my decade-long addiction that I didn’t need to be the puppet master, to let the strings go and allow SOMETHING else to direct my life. It was only very recently, more than ever before, that I have seen a change in the way I feel about being sober and living this life of freedom from alcoholic bondage.
I can finally live this life free of drugs and alcohol. I’m not scared anymore that I can’t ever have a drink again. It’s really not that important. Like the Promises states, “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.” Happiness is something I desperately need in my life. I believe that every being on this planet needs to feel happiness and I finally have rejoiced in the splendor of my happiness. It is wonderful beyond words.
I don’t fear life anymore, nor do I fear the feeling of unhappiness, because without the demons of alcohol there is nothing to fear: life is good. I know how to handle situations in my life that used to annoy and confuse the hell out of me. I let the GOD of my understanding handle those situations for me, knowing that He’ll take care of them for me, and do so in the way that He sees fit for me.
This program has done wonders for me in my life because I’ve put more work into my recovery than I ever did anything else prior to finding sobriety. I’ve found serenity and now experience the peace that comes with being sober. I close my eyes tight every time I hear a fellow A.A. read the Promises, praying that I may every day work towards these goals. I know I can do so only if I stay sober.
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