A "Special" Experience?
I was the recipient of a tremendous mystic experience or "illumination," and at first it was very natural for me to feel that this experience staked me out as somebody very special.
But as I now look back upon this tremendous event, I can only feel very grateful. It now seems clear that the only special features of my experience were its suddenness and teh overwhelming and immediate conviction that it carried.
In all other respects, however, I am sure that my own experience was essentially like that received by any A.A. member who has strenuously practiced our recovery program. Surely, the grace he receives is also of God; the only difference is that he becomes aware of his gift more gradually.
As Bill Sees It - p256 - Grapveine from July 1962 (AA)
Key To Sobriety
The unique ability of each A.A. to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, his eloquence, or any special individual skills. The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety.
In my first conversation with Dr. Bob, I bore down heavily on the medical hopelessness of his case, freely using Dr. Silkworth's words describing the alcoholic's dilemma, the "obsession plus allergy" theme. Thought Bob was a doctor, this was news to him, bad news. And the fact that I was an alcoholic and knew what I was talking about from personal experience made the blow a shattering one.
You see, our talk was a completely mutual thing. I had quit preaching. I knew that I needed this alcoholic as much as he needed me.
As Bill Sees It - p257 - Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions - p150+151 - A.A. Comes Of Age - p69+70 (AA)
I Am Responsible
For the readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions - p87 - from Daily Reflections (AA)
Repairing The Damage
Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage and prudence – these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step Nine.
Twelve Steps and Twelve YTraditions - p83 - from Daily Reflections (AA)
My life is well-rounded and I am becoming a more comfortable version of myself, not the neurotic, boring person that I thought I'd be without drugs.
Commentary: Is there really life without drugs? Newcomers are sure that they are destined to lead a humdrum existence once they quit using. That fear is far from reality.
[NA] opens the door to a new way of life for our members. The only thing we lose in [NA] is our slavery to [drugs]. We gain a host of new friends, time to pursue hobbies, the ability to be stably employed, even the capacity to pursue an education if we so desire. We are able to start projects and see them through to completion. We can go to a dance and feel comfortable, even if we have two left feet. e start o budget money to travel, even if it's only with a tent to a nearby campsite. In recovery, we find out what interests us and pursue new pastimes. We dare to dream.
Life is certainly different when we have the rooms of [NA] to return to. Through the love we find in [NA], we begin to believe in ourselves. Equipped with this belief, we venture forth into the world to discover new horizons. Many times, the world is a better place because an [NA] member has been there.
Just For Today: I can live a well-founded, comfortable life - a life I never dreamed existed. Recovery has opened new horizons to me and equipped me to explore them.
Just For Today - September 12th (NA)
We had to have something different, and we thought we had found it in drugs.
Commentary: Many of us have always felt different from other people. We know we're not unique in feeling that way; we hear many [addicts] share the same thing. We searched all our lives for something to make us all right, to fix that "different" place inside us, to make us whole and acceptable. [Drugs] seemed to fill that need. When we were [high], at least we no longer felt the emptiness or the need. There was one drawback. The [drugs], which were our solution, quickly became our problem.
Once we gave up the [drugs], the sense of emptiness returned. At first we felt despair because we didn't have any solution of our own to that miserable longing. But we were willing to take direction and began to work the steps. As we did, we found what we'd been lifelong yearning was primarily for knowledge of a Higher Power; the "something different" we needed was a relationship with a loving God. The steps tell us how to begin that relationship.
Just For Today: My Higher Power is the "something different" that's always been missing in my life. I will use the steps to restore that missing ingredient to my spirit.
Just For Today - September 13th (NA)
Reality Can Be Uncomfortable
I am learning how to cope with life, people, and situations, not as I want them to be, but as they really are.
Grapevine - Millburn, N.J., July 1971 (AA)
It is really hard and draining to help others, especially at first when things are new and scary and they simultaneously want it all but also want it done now and through and want the end game that some in recovery there for decades upon decades still never achieve, since there is no end, it's a lifelong cycle of betterment. Nobody is perfect and nobody ever can be, so the prospect that there is no end of the line and no major award for it but your own health and satisfaction can put off many. Recovery is hard, and although it's not true it all costs money (I consider AA and NA some of the best therapy I've ever had and it's free to go to) it does cost time and willingness and energy.
There's a lot online re: anti-recovery since there is biases against a lot of issues that people seek it for and not everyone who has a degree in it is qualified to handle all or even some specific cases, and it can be hard to get the ball rolling on stuff. It's why I appreciate AA and NA for having it built in that we must place "principles before personalities" since it covers the whole allowing anyone who wants this program in regardless of gender, creed, sexuality, gender identity, religion or lack of, jobs, financial situation, felony status, you name it they will let you in so long as recovery and being a person again are your true end goals. Those that can't seem to work past this and find something that works have given up on what they could become, no matter the hardship or the process ahead of them.
I think it's worth it though, because at the end of the day, even if I don't get as much recognition for being healthier now as they do for railing against imaginary enemies, I win because I'm better. Every day that me and others in recovery make it to bed alive and sober we're winners and continuing a win streak each day; after all, each day is another day you beat your record for most days alive in a row. As much as it sucks to ask for help, even I am learning the benefits of it, and that if you're good to others, they won't mind helping you as much as you think they would, and the less hardheaded I am about my health, the more I'll survive long term.