May 20: Freedom in Sobriety

Freedom in Sobriety

Thank you for allowing me to be of service.

I’m aware we have many new members to Grow and many newcomers and returnees to the program and our fellowship. You are so welcome. I was told to listen for the similarities and ignore the differences, this freed me from my pessimism and my prejudices and probably helped save my life.

I was also encouraged to share and this helped free me from feelings of worthlessness. I began to see and feel I was a valid human being and an equal.

Whilst life is life and may present me with challenges or fun on any given day, just for today and for a few consecutive days now, I am free from active alcoholism. I am free from the prison of having to drink even when I didn’t want to. Free of the plotting and planning of how much, where, with whom.

This was the first freedom I experienced when I began my sober journey and began to understand and practice the principles in our 12 step program. I found freedom in understanding this disease, the condition of powerlessness as described in the AA literature.

I soon experienced freedom from my dishonesty. I was no longer sneaking around, denying my drinking or making out I was ok when I was dying inside. I was free to be honest!

And I learned a new kind of honesty in the rooms of AA. I heard members share with gut level honesty. They were putting words to the thoughts and feelings I’d buried for the ten years of my drinking. This was the beginning of freedom from my past.

Our Big Book talks about “a new freedom” (p.83, p.xxi). Two stories that give me hope that this program will continue to work and keep me free are My Chance To Live and Freedom From Bondage in the back section of the Big Book.

Today and each day I aim to bring the spiritual tools of our fellowship into my life. My consistency in doing this varies (progress not perfection!!). I find keeping these simple things a consistent priority is the easier softer way. As the path gets narrower and I have less wiggle room for Sophie’s way, I find the view gets better.

My freedom from fear and from anxiety seems to be connected to how willing I am to let go and let god. Right now I’ve been working on seeing it as a choice. I can choose worry, fear, anxiety or I can choose to say a little prayer and begin to let go of my fear & ego driven expectation. I then experience freedom from fear, and freedom from “the bondage of self”.

Connecting with some prayers, a reading or two, quiet time for a little meditation, seeking god’s will instead of bombarding life with my demands, being of service inside and outside of the fellowship; all of these offer me a freedom I never knew was possible. My favourite summing up of my “new freedom” is on p.124 in the 12&12

“we need no longer be square pegs in round holes but can fit and belong in God’s scheme of things…. no amount of pomp and circumstance, no heap of material possessions, could possibly be substitutes”.

Freedom to be me, freedom to feel good enough about being me, freedom to choose values and morals and live by them, freedom to find my personal Higher Power (the god of my own understanding); all gifts of my sobriety.

Thank you for being there and sharing the journey.

Please share if you can your hope, strength and experience around Freedom in Sobriety or on anything recovery related you wish to. Wishing you all a sober 24 hours.