The Need to Change
The need to change Laura came to me through my HP, my AA program, newcomers, and long-time AA members.
Once I experienced the relief and blessing of not having to take a drink when I was happy, sad, glad, angry, upset, etc., the ‘need’ to change became a ‘want’ instead. As the saying goes, AA is not for this who ‘need’ it but for those who ‘want’ it and I wanted desperately what you had. I couldn’t change everything all at once, but by learning and working through the Steps with my sponsor and listening to those who came before me, I realized that I had to change many things about myself if I were to remain sober.
Thankfully, I learned that ours is a lifetime program and that there is no graduation date because it will take more than a lifetime to change/remove some of my character defects.
What have I needed to change? Many, many, many aspects of my character; i.e. I had to admit that I needed help from others instead of being too stubborn to ask for it or to even admit that I needed help. I needed to forgive myself and others. I needed to be honest in all my affairs. I needed to accept myself for who I am and am still working on loving the person I am. A former sponsor of mine told me that every time I looked it the mirror, I was to say, “I love you” which would help me to change my opinion of myself (this one, I’m also still working on from time to time).
The first thing I needed to do was to get help to stop drinking and my HP provided exactly what I needed. In sobriety, I have been able to build and maintain friendships and leave my drinking buddies behind. I needed to make time to listen and help others by giving away what was so freely given to me. I needed to become more health-conscious about what I put into my body and how I take care of it; i.e. quit smoking. I have had to follow instructions and advice given by healthcare professionals instead of dismissing them without even trying their suggestions (contempt prior to investigation?). I have become aware of and grateful for the many, many blessings I have received in my life.I would not change the last 30 years of my life in sobriety for anything. I have slowed down quite a bit due to age and health reasons but due to the Grace of God and you people, I am sober today. The compulsion to drink was removed as soon as I became serious about getting sober. I have regained my self-confidence and self-esteem, and have learned a lot about what makes me tick, found my Higher Power whom I call God, joined online AA groups, became a sponsor to a few, and found my niche in the AA way of life.
What changes have you been able to make so far in sobriety? How do you feel about these changes? Please feel free to share on this topic or on anything that may be troubling you. I look forward to hearing from each of you.