I am a grateful alcoholic. Isn’t that an oxymoron. How can anyone be grateful for a deadly. disease that nearly destroys everything in its path. However I am truly grateful.
My higher power never gave up on me even when I gave up on myself. By the grace of my higher power I am alive today. I understand now why it is important to give away what I received because it is in giving that I truly do receive. It is one of those many paradoxes of our program.
It reminds me of a special prayer…the peace prayer or the St. Francis prayer which too is about the paradoxes in life:
Lord, Make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is error, truth.
Where there is wrong, the spirit of forgiveness.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Our program offers nothing new only a way for us to live life on life terms. The other prayer which is inscribed on our chips and truly inspires me is the Serenity Prayer.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Bill W once said, “Never had I seen so much A.A. in so few words”. It is so true. The amount of courage it took for me to take that very first step to admit, to surrender that I am an alcoholic, that I was not in charge…was intense, to say the less. I was in an hopeless and lifeless state of mind and as someone said “the over-reliance of self blocked me from the solution”.
Even in the BB on page 62 “.[the alcoholic] is an extreme example of self-will run riot”. I was. I was scared to let go. I was trying to survive the only way I knew.
Not one of us realize the amount of strength we have until we actually do the work. For me I wanted to recoil because the intense pain and inadequacies I felt I couldn’t do it however somehow my higher power believed in me more than I did myself.
So what is this higher power? No one has ownership over it or can package it. Whatever belief or non-belief we may have, it does not matter…it is so different for you and for me. For me when I surrendered and let go…I open myself up to receive. My teachers are everywhere…in service, prayer, meditation, nature or on a busy street, even in the trenches of life. The opportunities for growth are there.
Lately, loneliness has entrenched itself deep inside me and this as we all know is truly a deadly recipe for any alcoholic. The intensively of it just radiates throughout my body and simple things trigger all the negativity within my soul. It is that feeling that I want to run from, to drown out, to deaden. As I spiral, I find myself wondering aimlessly doubting my every step.
Funny how easily that wanting to control the uncontrollable comes back. To take back that power I so freely gave as the point of desperation. By the grace of my higher power in helping other alcoholics, giving away the gift of life I received. I receive the gift of remembering where I came and where I am today and in doing so I gladly turn it over, I surrender. Like my many teachers, even a feeling of loneliness can become an opportunity to grow from.
My dear GROW sisters, we travel this path together. Please share your experience, strength and hope of letting go, accepting the opportunities of growth … so that another can grow.