Carrying the Message
Over the last week or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about this last week’s topic, “Listening”, and relating to how important it is to accept and bring in the messages that are provided to us in this program. I’ve also heard and read a lot about some of us who are still suffering, and thinking about how my own personal story includes a strong inclusion of self-created chaos and feeling like a victim for most of my life.
I drank in part because I thought “I deserved it” for all the bad things that had happened. I used alcohol as an escape, and justified that because I had a victim mentality. AA and the steps have taught me that I do not need to be a victim anymore.
Through working this program and carrying the message to others, I empower myself and can let go of the victim mindset. I can stop feeling sorry for myself. Yes, bad things do happen in our lives, but alcohol does not happen to me, and I have the tools through this program and all of you to be strong and shift the focus from “poor me” to empathy for others who are still suffering.
This is Step 12 work, but in reality, I think the sooner we can work through the inventory of our faults and our past sufferings and shift to focus outside of ourselves, the sooner we can start to really live and stop suffering. We don’t have to identify or label ourselves based on things we did or that happened to us in the past, and if we carry that message of hope to others, we can be free ourselves.
I have been in and out of these rooms for 16 years, but two years ago on February 24th, I found GROW and really committed myself to this program. While I still had to go back out for a few more minor lessons after that, so this is not my formal 2-year “AA Birthday” (that shifted to January last year), it was the time that I really opened my eyes, started listening, and started to get this program. I now work daily on my steps, and carrying this message forward to other alcoholics and, through that work, feel a peace I never dreamed possible.
My question/suggested topic this week, is how are you hearing the messages, and more importantly how are you shifting (or have shifted) to losing the shame, victim mentality, and sorrow that we enter these rooms with, to carrying the wonderful message of hope and promises forward to other alcoholics?