Unshakable Foundation, Part 1

Hey there blog-peeps! Long time – no type! Just living the dream or trying to…. I guess. Not even gonna attempt to catch you up on all that madness!!! I will just jump right in with something that I have been working on, towards and putting in to practice in my trudge over the last 17 months.

“There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an UNSHAKABLE foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God’s Kingdom. And we will be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to find and do the Will of our own Creator.” 12 & 12 page 98

So first off, If you have done more than just the 1, 2, 3, waltz around the rooms of AA, then you have had an introduction to the self-examination that this piece of literature is referring to. We learn to inventory our behavior at step four, confess to another in five, identify character defects and become willing to have or HP remove those in 6, ask our HP to remove those objectionable to us in 7, decide who was harmed in 8 and make restitution to those harmed in 9. We begin to continuously monitor our thoughts and actions with the practice of step 10, while we our cleaning up the wreckage of our past. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am not the greatest at telling you that I am full of fear while I am in the middle of a knock-down drag-out fight with my husband. It looks like rage on the outside but is truly more like insecurity and self-centeredness. Which is why I have become extremely grateful for step 11 for several reasons.

See, I miss stuff during the day that I am supposed to catch in step 10 when I  “continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.- Big Book(BB) page 84” I will still lie to myself in the moment. So, our literature gives us a backup plan of sorts on page 86, “when retire at night…” under step 11. Just in case I miss it in the moment, because, lets face it, I will miss it!!!!

I have been going through and answering those questions on page 86 in the BB in writing form and sending my invertory to an accountability circle of women for 17 months. Much different than just reading over them and answering them in my head. Or what I did for the first 7 years of my sobriety, which was not look at those inventory questions at all. I can look back at my written inventory and see what I need to bring to my Higher Power for corrective action in prayer. I can see where I have been intolerant of others or unkind and unloving. I can see which character defects have been activated once more due to my selfish, self-centered behavior.

It is not to something I use to make me feel terrible about myself but to see what I can do better tomorrow. I want to grow in understanding and effectiveness like the BB says at step 10. To understand where I have been wrong and what I have done good so that tomorrow I will be able to a better instrument for my HP. After all, He did grant me this gift of GRACE in sobriety. I do try, however falteringly, to do His will daily…

I Hate This Disease!

“As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did—then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen—Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand!…….He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.” excerpt from Big Book pages 151,152

I found out last night that this disease took yet another of my friends! Damnit!  I hear people say that sometimes others have to die so that we can stay sober and I just don’t subscribe to that. I believe that we all have a chance to live. Nobody else needs to die for me to stay sober. You can believe whatever you want…… If that is your truth then great! It simply is not mine.

It breaks my heart that this man is gone from this earth and the pain I know his family is going through! He was there in my early sobriety and you just don’t forget those people that make such an impact in your life when you are going through such an overhaul in the way you live. He was hilarious!!! Had a great sense of humor and could make anyone smile!

What a reminder of the seriousness of this disease I have! That it can take life at any moment! That I am truly on a life and death errand. That all this work that I do for my own sobriety that I bitch about and the service work that I do really does have a purpose if it helps just one person. The thing is, I don’t get to choose who that person is so I just have to keep saying “yes” just in case. Isn’t that what the responsibility statement asks of us? “I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”

My belief is that AA is not for people that need it because we’d have a 10% of the population as active members because that the estimated number of alcoholics there are (so I have heard…. I have never actually researched it myself). It’s not for people that want it either because I have been around scores of alcoholics that wanted to be sober and are not. The want what the program has to offer but wanting it alone is not sufficient to attain a spiritual experience. I believe AA is only successful for those who DO IT. I mean DO ALL OF IT! The steps, the meetings, sponsorship, service, the fellowship, inventory, prayer, meditation, sacrifice, love, tolerance, answer the phone, honesty, amends, etc. I fail! We all fail! But there is always a step and someone with experience with where we are at to help us get back on track and on the AA beam.

I pray everyday for the alcoholic who still suffers and sometimes the alcoholic who is suffering is sitting right next to me in my home group with a whole lot of days since their last drink.

Prayed to Jail

I was not too big on God when I got sober but I was kinda out of options! I thought I had “neatly evaded or entirely ignored” the God idea fairly well. I did this because I felt that if I prayed He might just know my location to send all the hell, fire, and whatever else I had coming. It’s not that I didn’t believe in God, I knew he was there.  Wherever “there” is. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my mom the night I got out of Jail for the last time where she was telling me that I just needed to pray and trust God blah, blah, blah….. I told her, ” that God shit may work for you, but it obviously DON”T work for me!” It’s not that I blamed Him or anything, I was just certain that after all that I had done there was absolutely no way that He would have any room or desire for me.

Then I end up at AA….. I may not be very quick but I am too damn smart at times! I saw that G-O-D in red on the wall in the 12 steps and knew these people had tricked me into another religious churchy group of some-sort. Well that was not the case at all! They told me I could choose my own conception of God, I didn’t tell them this at the time but I knew from what I had learned as a child in church that there were these things called sins. On the scheme of things, this choosing your own conception of God had to be a very BAD one!!!! Well I was so very wrong about that and about a lot of other things.

The feeling was that my life was over, but the actual truth was that it was just about to begin. I didn’t have anymore “good” ideas when I got to AA. When they told me to start praying for God to keep me sober in the morning I did it anyway even though I never thought it would work. Before too long I had a whole 2 days sober then 3 days sober! I was amazed! I know that sounds crazy but to someone who’s every waking moment away from a drink was when am I gonna get it? what time am I gonna get it? where at? how much? when can I get off? how much longer? can I get off early? can I sneak a doobie at lunch?etc…. 3 days is a big damn deal!!!

My mom called me one Sunday morning when I was about 3 weeks sober and we were talking about thangs, yes I said “thangs”. She asked if she had told me about what happened to her the night that I was arrested with my “full house”.  She proceeded to tell me the story. She felt something was very wrong with me but had no idea what it was. (partly because I wouldn’t return any of her phone calls and the last time she saw me I was stoned/strung out/drunk at my Granny’s funeral) She had this overwhelming feeling that I was in trouble and she called my Auntie who, by the way, has one of those super telekinetic God connections that just baffles me! They get together that night, on their knees, and pray to their God that He remove the Devil from my life. Less than 6 hours later I was arrested and a week later I was sober.

At 3 weeks sober I still wasn’t too keen on God but I was sober. I wasn’t too sure about this Devil thing and really I didn’t care. However, I was very sure about a few things….. When she told me that story I got chills from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I knew from that moment that God was way bigger than me and that He had ALWAYS been there, no matter if I was aware of Him being there or not. I also knew that I was arrested that night as direct result of an answered prayer because 2 people loved me enough to ask. Thank God for their selfless request I am sober today! Thanks for praying me to Jail!


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