Aug 17: Giving Thanks for Tough Times

Giving Thanks for Tough Times

Though I still find it difficult to accept today’s pain and anxiety with any great degree of serenity – as those more advanced in the spiritual life seem to be able to do – I can give thanks for the present pain nevertheless. I find the willingness to do this by contemplating the lessons learned from past suffering – lessons which have led to the blessings I now enjoy. I can remember how the agonies of alcoholism, the pain of rebellion and thwarted pride, have often led me to God’s grace, and so to a new freedom. 
Grapevine, March 1962

Thank you to GROW for giving me the opportunity to be of service this week and helping me to celebrate another day sober.

In all honesty, with my connection to my home f2f group at an all-time low and having finally admitted I am harbouring a deep-seated resentment with the God of my understanding (that led me back in March 2007 to a 15-hour drinking binge and the beginning of an 18-month period hitting bottom), I am now hanging on by a thread. I am very grateful to GROW for providing the support and guidance I need at this time.

It has been suggested that I pray to my HP to help lift my resentment which I am doing earnestly, and my early foundation of going to meetings no matter what is helping my feet and the rest of me to get there. I am grateful for these tools which are right now saving my butt.

This morning I decided to get out my only bit of hope for sanity and sobriety – the literature. Since I was a child I have found a safe haven in books, and I didn’t realise until I came into AA that this would be a line of communication where all else fails, I can still hold on to something. I opened “As Bill Sees It” randomly, and there it was: the passage I needed to read.

I have been thinking of all the times when I felt like there was nothing left, no hope, no possibility for an end in sight… like the time I came to AA and thought I’d be turned away as just another loony, or in sobriety when it was a struggle to get up every day, or when I thought I’d never have a relationship with my family. Each time, I’ve been shown that solutions arrive. Just not how or when I expect them to. But they do come *if I surrender.*

Moreover, I’ve had to learn a little about myself. What are my patterns? How do I sabotage including beating myself up? What have I had to let go? What did I have to accept? What is my level of self-honesty?

My latest trial is teaching me that I can only rest my sober life on faith and that my HP knows what he/she/it is doing, even though a part of me is crying out ‘you’re wrong, you’re so wrong.’ I look back at previous occasions and realise, ‘ok… so you had a point, you were right.’

So I guess I’m getting to another stage of trust in my relationship with my HP and that only life’s lessons can teach me that. Having gratitude for pain is so new for me – but I guess this is when I need to learn this, whilst still in pain.

As I write this I realise, I’m so glad I got to pick this week’s topic. Through gritted teeth I realise I have to be teachable again and perhaps my new experiences will benefit others. I am thankful… finally 🙂

What lessons have you had to learn in sobriety when going through tough times – habits, behaviours, attitudes, communications? How has this affected your relationship with your HP if you choose to have one? Or perhaps as an agnostic/ atheist, how you cope with life sober?