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Nov 23

our ideas of success

“No matter what our accomplishments, the principles by which we live will sustain or destroy us…The work we do in the steps helps us to define our values and teaches us to work toward our goals.  It doesn’t matter how many times we have taken the steps, there is always something new in the work and in the reward when we do it to the best of our ability.  But when we stop halfway through, we don’t just miss half the gifts of recovery; we miss the point.  Oddly, it’s just when we come face-to-face with our most painful character defects that we stop surrendering.  Our commitment to work the steps has consequences whether or not we follow through.  When we stop in the middle, we leave ourselves with too much awareness and not enough hope.  When we see the process through, we notice that doing the work takes much less energy than avoiding the work.”  p. 91  NA  Living Clean:  The Journey Continues

noone was rooting for me when i came back into the rooms on Dec. 3rd of 2007…there wasn’t a whole lot of encouragement from friends and family…i just didn’t have the support i had the last several times i had tried to get clean…these people had watched me get sober and drunk…drunk and sober…over and over again…what made them think that this time would be any different?…hell, i wasn’t even sure it was going to ‘take’ this time around…and besides, i really didn’t want to stop getting loaded anyhow…i just wanted to stop being miserable…my life had become impossible, and i couldn’t see anyway of carrying on without giving the program another chance…so, i ‘acted as if’ this thing were going to work for me this time around, and moved forward with the motions

the fact is, i never really followed through with the steps before…i never completed that personal housecleaning…never made all of my amends (especially the harder ones!)…i never committed to daily prayer and meditation…never made any time for self-evaluation or continued to watch out for character defects…what had started out as a hot-and-heavy program had slimmed down to half measures and middle-of-the-road solutions…eventually all actions stopped and there was nil…and when some real trouble came my way?…i hadn’t the resources to combat the temptation to get loaded…once again, it became easier for me to make the decision to get stoned, rather than fight and stay sober

i remember when i first started getting high…i was seeing these people getting loaded, having a good time…i wanted what they had…i wanted to have fun all the time…have the companionship associated with people who partied…they seemed to not have a care in the world…they appeared to be so happy and content…it looked like a good time…i wanted that desperately…then, after getting stoned and drunk all the time, the drugs and booze ceased being a luxury…it became a necessity…i had to do it in order to satisfy a craving, or change the way i was feeling…when i was sad, i used…when i was angry…lonely…i got high to go to sleep at night…i used in the morning to prepare for the day…when i was bored, to make life exciting again…then, i started experiencing sickness, and i would get loaded to overcome it…when i experienced physical pains, i would get stoned to manage it…i just didn’t feel right unless i was getting messed up…i needed it to feel okay

everytime i’ve come into the program, it was out of necessity…i don’t think many people walk into our rooms on a good day…something caused us to come…whether it was a wife…or a husband…close friend or family…the courts…our employer…not many just make up their minds to stop drinking and drugging…but that doesn’t matter…i don’t think it matters why we come in…what matters is why we stay…in the literature i read, it talks about first working the steps because we have to…we are afraid of going back out again, so we have to do what we can to stay sober…it is necessary in order for us to recover…once we have worked through the program some, and have become acclimated to this way of life, we work the steps because we ought to…we feel obligated…we have responsibilities now…people expect us to keep staying clean and walk the path…we may have sponsees and other members who depend upon us to be present…we know that if we don’t keep on the way we are going, we risk returning to our former life…so we keep our program because we feel we ought to…finally, we reach a point in our sobriety where we want to work the program…we have seen what happens when we stop…we experience the promises when we do…the lives we touch when we carry the message…the miracles that take place as we fulfill God’s will in our lives…we don’t want to miss a thing, and we don’t want anyone else to suffer like we have, and not have the opportunity we have been afforded…we want to stay sober and work the program because it pleases us…it is the bright spot in our lives