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Feb 21

Faith Alone is Insufficient…

“To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.” – p. 93 AA BB

 

starting over in sobriety again i have had to approach things differently…my sponsor first asked to give some of my morning devotional time to meditation…this has made me wake up earlier before going to work, which is good…i read from the ‘Daily Reflections’ AA book, and the Hazelden ’24-Hours A Day’…these are great additions to directing my mind toward the program at the beginning of the day…meditation has been tougher for me…listening to music from my iPhone is helping with that…i have found some instrumental songs to hear, from such bands like ‘Explosions In The Sky’ and ‘God Is An Astronaut’…it gives 5-10 minutes to silence my mind…at first i thought i would begin to hear my Higher Powers directions, but that hasn’t happened yet…after sharing with others at my home group about this, i have been told that meditation is more devoted to silencing the mind from all destructive thought, which has been helpful…after the meditation and devotional, i pray the 3rd and 7th step prayers…then ask for removal of my obsessions and desires…and direct my thinking towards how i can be of service to others

 

there are many in my life that struggle with sobriety…i have known alot of them for years, and include them in my prayers in the morning…trying not to be so specific in my requests (seeing as i don’t know what is the best job for God to do) i simply ask Him to give directions to those willing enough to look to their HP for help…an issue that has been a big problem for me lately is having the knowledge that not only can i not change myself, but i haven’t the power to change others, either…this has been difficult for me to swallow…but the truth is, if i have taken the First Step 100%, this idea should not be a hard one to understand…this may have to do with the fact that when i see the wrongs in others it hurts me, because i see the things that i have within myself, as well…my mornings are spent well in asking God to remove my selfishness, so that i can be of better service to others who need my help

 

“You will be most successful with alcoholics if you do not exhibit any passion for crusade or reform.  Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection.  Show him how they worked with you.  Offer him friendship and fellowship.  Tell him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to help.” – p. 95 AA BB

 

after getting about a month of sobriety this time, my sponsor asked me to begin adding service to my program…at first i started working the coffee bar…i signed up to do this once a week, and to this day if the bar needs cleaning after a meeting, i do that also…or, if noone is working the bar, and coffee needs to be brewed before the meeting, i do that…now that i have over 90 days sober, i have begun chairing meetings…the day of the week i have chosen to do that is for a Big Book study…i love literature meetings, because we get to read through the instructions and share our own experience, strength and hope with that, instead of focusing on one particular topic of discussion

 

recently we have begun reading through ‘Working With Others’, which is the chapter completely devoted to the 12 step work with other alcoholics…i am not in a place to sponsor yet, but i do not see where i cannot be of help…someone with a few days without a drink has an easier time listening to a person with a few more days, weeks or even months…sponsors are detrimental to 12 step sobriety, i believe…but, it also important to find a group of fellows who share in the same amount of sobriety as i do…it is sometimes easier to watch what others go through who have the same time, than someone with many years who may not have walked through it since the beginning of their own sobriety

 

Christmas night this year my wife and i went to eat dinner before going to a meeting to pick up our sixty day chips…i received a phone call from a friend of mine who was drunk and contemplated committing suicide…i told him to hold on, that we were coming over to take him to the meeting with us…since i’m still early in sobriety, this isn’t something i would have been comfortable with doing alone…i have to take someone in the program with me…i’ve never been on a 12-step call before, and neither has my wife…my friend wanted help cleaning his room…empty beer cans and vodka bottles everywhere…he was crying and asking for help in staying sober, smoking a bowl of weed…on the way to the meeting he came out of a blackout, or something…immediately upset once learning we were going to a meeting…but, it went well, and he got to meet some people up there who offered help in getting sober

 

my friend is still struggling with sobriety…but, i know that there is very little i can do for him…instead, i describe what i have done and are doing today to keep sober myself…i refrain from lining out a plan of action for him, unless he asks me questions…i am not one to hand directions to people…instead, i give him descriptions of my own way of life, and how it is helping me keep away from the drink and drug…i know there is nothing i can do to save my friend…so, i look to God for that…what strikes me accordingly is that i believe my help towards my friend is more of a help towards me…it takes me out of myself…my bad thoughts and feelings are replaced with a genuine concern for another suffering alcoholic, like myself…although my friend may not have enough willingness yet to give himself completely to the program, and a God of his own understanding that will help solve his problems…his difficulty in life and this horrible disease has gathered my attention, which guides me to looking to my own Higher Power, whom i ask for help in my friends addiction