February 12

HOPE MONTH: DAY 12: “We’re called to be faithful, to take those first difficult steps–and to leave the results up to God.” ― Alex Harris

To continue this journey, even when we feel that we have “worked” through all the steps is the challenge. That is why the numbers are so low in long term recovery. When you sit in a meeting of 50 people, there are probably 20-25 of them in their first year. Then there are 15-20 in years 1-3. And another 15-20 in years 4-8. Then the numbers drop off sharply from years 9-15, maybe 10. Years 15-20, perhaps 4 or 5. And from 21-27, perhaps 2 or 3, and so on.

I have learned that there are at least half to 2/3 of the meetings are peopled with those under 1 year to less than 10 years of recovery. Usually about ¾ of them are under 20 years. And a small number between 20-27. After that, there may be 3 or 4 with more time. Usually fewer.

The numbers are not good. Our odds are great, and we may believe that recovery is complete at any given time.

I love what a friend of mine says, because I have heard it from him for over 30 years; “I suffer from alcohol-ISM, not alcohol-WASM.” This means that we are still sick, forever. We must continuously take these difficult (not!) steps – and leave the results up to God, over and over again.

There is no completion, no goals to set, no degrees to receive, no awards to thank the Academy for. We get Grace, that is all.

One day at a time. We are either recovering and changing our old patterns of behavior and belief, or we are relapsing. We are most close to that relapse when we are not working toward resolution of our old ideas than we were before we knew they existed.

My BB tells me that I suffer from a progressive illness. Not progressive drinking or drugging. This means that I am more of an addict than I was yesterday. I believe it. Why?

Because I get more, and greater Screaming Purple Monkey shit thrown at me than when I first got here. I am more aware of it, too. I am more uncomfortable with it all. So, I work harder today than I ever did before. And thank God I did the work along the way.

We are called to be faithful. This is such an important concept. If I am faithful to my recovery, I don’t just dig it out, like a box of band aids when I am f—d up. I do it when the sun is shining, when the clouds cover the sun, when I am happy, healthy, sick, angry, sad, whatever. I just do it.

And I am faithful. Forever faithful to the practice of these principles that I can only do One Day at A Time, every day, NO MATTER WHAT!

I would probably take a day off, if I wanted what I have seen happen so many thousands of times. But I do not. This is my personal journey through recovery. It is my LIFE. And I want what I heard in those first early days; HAPPY, JOYOUS, and FREE. And I got it. And I am keeping it.

And I keep going, because I want recovery today, and today I have it! Woohoo!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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