One thing I have learned over the past few years is that I do not rest on my laurels. Sometimes this can be difficult, and why is that? It’s because life is difficult. Just because we stop drinking, it doesn’t mean that our lives are going to be a bowl of cherries, or 100% better.
We are still faced with ups and downs; that is life. But if you are following the AA program as you are told, you will be able to cope with life on life’s terms. Sound easy? It is not that easy because you need to keep learning. Every day—every day that you want to stay sober and have that peace and serenity that we work so very hard to achieve.
As of late, things have been difficult and much different for me. Yes, things went upside down and it hurt. I didn’t have to pick up a drink or go off the deep end. I have a strong foundation and a God that I trust, and the knowledge to rely on His will. Something I never had before. That was all as a result of being teachable, not just for the first year in sobriety but, for the 17 years I have practiced the suggested Steps of AA. You just don’t work the Steps and move on. You have to live them every day. That is the only way we reap the benefits of those Promises we hear so much about.
Over the past few weeks my meetings have been cut back, and not by design, but as a result of survival. Not only have I had to cut back but I haven’t seen all my friends and extended family that mean so very much to me. Yes, you are all very important and I miss you all. But what you taught me is to trust in God and, as difficult as that might be, I do 100%. I try every day to be as spiritual as I possibly can, I read my books, I meditate and I pray more than I ever have. That is why we keep coming back, because we are never done learning. And when you think you are done learning and stop doing what you have been told, you are going to slip out of the door.
For those of you that think this is a one-time deal, stop and rethink that, because it is a lifelong process. The longer you are sober, the more narrow the path becomes and you have to be prepared to walk the walk and talk the talk.
Sobriety is a learning process. I never want to forget that. In my few years I have buried so many friends because they thought they were done learning. Caution if you think you have it licked, think again, you don’t.
In summary, I miss all of my extended family and my biological family. But I am doing what I need to do and it isn’t what I had planned I would be doing. But that’s life on life’s terms. Thank you all for keeping me teachable.
By Jim S.