I came to Alcoholics Anonymous a broken man. Through the willingness to do the work and the grace to accept a spiritual solution to my problem, I have been made whole again. It never occurred to me that I would reap the benefits of a great harvest though they were promised me from my earliest days Sober. I am grateful for all the promises offered to me throughout the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, but specifically the 9th Step promises repeated below.
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway 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.”
I am so thankful that my sponsors encouraged me to remain as vigilant to my Recovery as I had been to my drinking. I remember Ed F. saying, “how many hours a day did you spend on a bar stool?,” to remind me that I must make Recovery as much a part of my day as was my drinking. This is what is meant by “painstaking,” I now realize. I was,and I am, continually “amazed” by the life I have today as the result of working the Steps. As a result of the “psychic change” my glass is truly half full at all times. And it was not by accident. The conscious decision to turn my “will and my life over to the care of God as I understand him,” has allowed me to get honest, which has allowed my deficits to become assets. It would never have occurred to me that the damage and despair of my early life could become the sustenance of my life today.
The miracle of Recovery is that by giving away our time and energy, sharing the pain and suffering of our Alcoholism, we are promised a life of purpose and usefulness. God, thank you for chosing me and giving me a chance to serve you. Amen.