Practicing These Principles in All Our Affairs & Thinking Things Through
In order for me to stay sober today, I must practice the 12 steps every day and invite my higher power into my life every day, and I try to be mindful to thank my higher power for the day sober and take an inventory at night. The only thing that I’ve been diligent about is working the 12 steps. The second thing is definitely asking my higher power to guide me. I do forget in the evenings to be thankful and that is something I need to work on.
For me today the way to be diligent in my program and to continue my sobriety is to remember to “practice these principles in all my affairs” and “think things through”. I’m blessed to have had a spiritual awakening as a result of the steps, and I try to carry the message to those still suffering in and out of these rooms. And practicing these principles in all my affairs means not just in the rooms of AA, but also out in the “real world”.
In the past year- year and a half, I have had what others may look into my life and say, “plenty of excuses to drink and get drunk”. In September 2011, I had emergency back surgery which was the second time in my life same area of the back. Seven months later while stopped to make a turn I was rear-ended subsequently having a second emergency back surgery on the same area this time much more serious having disc replacement screws and rods. That was May 22, 2012.
In December 2012, my mom had hip replacement surgery and had to take care of her. Talk about practicing these principles in all our affairs and standing by our 12th tradition, “placing principles before personalities” that was a true test of my sobriety, seriously!! I love my mother; however, she is a very difficult person to live with. After that, it kicked in my illness and I have been struggling ever since.
End of January, I was laid off my part time job I had been doing for the past 5 years. It is and was the only job I could do with my disability as it was from home, and I got to design the job around my needs. About that time, I was diagnosed with a rare disorder that I’m told has probably been misdiagnosed for many years. It at least explains why I’ve been feeling like my health has been declining. The good news is there is a possible solution for it which I am engaging and now. And I believe that HP took care of my job situation. I was going to have to resign. (HP works!!)
There were many times, especially when I was caring for my mom, when I was so broken down emotionally, physically, and spiritually that the thought of a drink pass through my mind. (Yes it is true, even with 20 + years, it still happens!) But that’s exactly what it did it passed through. You see today I’m able to stop, pause, and “think things through.”
There’s been so much that has happened to me in my 20 years of sobriety that would bring a person to their knees. When things bring me to my knees, it’s exactly where I need to be to ask my higher power for assistance. It’s exactly where I need to be to think things through, “is it worth taking a drink over this? What will I feel like afterword, and what will it do to my health both mental and physical?” All of my answer is always points to absolutely NO WAY is it worth drinking over this.
I am not a complainer the only reason why I explained the top things was is just a snapshot of one year. I deal with so much more on a daily basis being physically disabled and having chronic illness, however drinking is just not a part of my life anymore, and thank HP nor is it an obsession. Over the last 20+ years the program has proven to me that if I choose to work the steps, invite my higher power into my life, practice these principles in all of my affairs and think things through – I can, have and hopefully always will be able to get through anything that life throws me sober. For me when the road gets rocky, I’ve learned to look for the solutions rather than live in the problems.
In the last year I’ve been more active in another 12 step program which deals with my chronic pain and chronic illness. The reason why I am mentioning this is that although chronic pain and chronic illness is a big part of my life, I am an alcoholic first and foremost. I’ve notice that in the past couple of months I’ve gotten very what I call “squiggly”. The other 12 step program, although I’m very active in, I do service work, sponsor and what have you, does not and is not addressing what needs to be addressed and that is my alcoholism and behaviors.
Just because I stopped drinking doesn’t mean I stopped being an alcoholic and this has been a huge reminder that I must stay diligent in my AA program. There was a time in my program when I went away from meetings, didn’t have a sponsor, and I can tell you that I felt the way that I feel now. Sort of disconnected and acting as if I am “drinking (behaviors of negativity, discontent, etc).
I’m happy to say that I do have an AA sponsor, and it had been suggested that I up some meetings in AA hence wanting to go ahead and chair this meeting and hopefully start a commitment to start sharing here and making my online meetings for AA.
I’m also very excited to report that my back surgery appears to be successful, and I am able to get to the computer better than I had before. I’m not quite ready to be able to make face-to-face meetings; however, I hope to be held to do that by the end of the year. I am left with some perm. damage to the nerves and such, but am learning to live with it. Thank HP for online fellowship and meetings! No excuses for sure!
So as for a topic, I originally had the second part of the 12th step in mind, “practicing these principles in all our affairs;” however, I also seem to have talked about, “thinking things through”. When I look at the two together I guess they go hand-in-hand at least for me. So I look forward to hearing your ESH (experience, strength and hope) on one or both of those subjects.