October 29

DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 29: “By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character.” ― Grenville Kleiser

If I am steadfast (a favorite word) about all of my duties and tasks in both recovery and my personal life, along with work and service, I will become someone of whom I can feel vastly different than the person who came into this deal in 1986.

I can see how far I have come in so many areas. I am not always where I want to be, but I sure as hell am not where I was. In the areas that don’t deal with my direct addiction, I am so happy to see how this thing really splashes all over my life. It ain’t about the drugs and alcohol…a familiar refrain from me, I am sure you know!

Step 10 is great, but there is so much more to it than that. I am diligent about being a better student, a better friend, a better daughter, wife, mother, sister, cousin, employee, employer, volunteer, and general human being.

Not drinking or using is a good beginning, but just the basic first steps of a toddler in this life thing. There is a great deal more that I want to manifest here. I want to be a spiritual entity in all areas of my life. I want to walk in integrity, with healthy relationships and a good way of walking through this world. AA and 12-step recovery is just the beginning. Now I can learn to be a good homemaker, a good neighbor, a good citizen of the city, state and world around me.

I can be a responsible woman, with roles to play in many arenas, not just when I am sitting in AA meetings and talking about recovery. It should show in the community where I live. It should ripple out into the world I inhabit in all that I do and say and walk and talk.

Am I responsible for myself in the grocery store? In paying my taxes and my bills? In being current on all the things that make me a good home owner or tenant? Am I polluting the world around me because I am too lazy to be mindful of my trash or what I do in my daily life?

Do I eat well to minimize the money spent on my healthcare? Am I responsible for taking good care of my health so I am not a burden on the world around me? Am I mindful of how I eat and exercise, so I do not become a health risk for my family and the society in which I live?

Am I teaching my children and grandchildren how to live well and take responsibility for myself and others?

Am I walking in compassion for others, or do I wait for someone else to do the right thing? Am I polite and courteous on the streets, when driving a car, when shopping in the grocery store? Do I step up to work to help my community, either in or out of recovery settings?

All of these, and more, make up a good life and a responsible human being. Participating in the ongoing maintenance of recovery has many aspects to it. Not drinking or using is Day 1, from there we MUST grow or we have missed the whole point.

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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