My name is Veeru & I am an alcoholic,
But for the grace of god, and your help, sober not only today, but from ever since I came into the fellowship – 23rd Nov 2007, to be precise.
“Once an Alcoholic – Always an Alcoholic”, these words kept haunting me during the first few days in the fellowship.
Can one never recover, is there no way out, can I ever overcome my emotional conflicts within – I kept pondering over these thoughts that loomed large – like dragons over me.
“Take the program – practice the steps”, I was told by my sponsor and that only through the 12 steps program, is recovery possible. I started out with guidance of my sponsor and decided to embark upon the 12 steps journey – the recovery program… as I traversed along I learnt that there is indeed recovery possible – but for that I MUST be “IN RECOVERY” or be in the program and for that I must keep coming back…
As I approached the process, I realised something, which helped me further understand the taking of the 12 steps:
I realised that I don’t necessarily have to “CLIMB UP” the steps but that I had to CLIMB DOWN the steps – why ?, because I realised that my Higher Power had actually taken me up from ground level (that’s where I got the message of the fellowship) and put me up on a pedestal high up from where I could take step 1 and climb down to the 12th step, before I reach out to the still suffering alcoholic with the life saving message of our fellowship – I must climb down, because that’s where the need for the message is, that is where the suffering alcoholic is.
My HP, could have taken me directly “right Up” – you know where, but he did not do that, he gave me an opportunity to recover and to Climb Down to the suffering alcoholic, and if I don’t climb down properly, I could “slip” & fall directly to ground zero, where IF I survive, I may or may not be able to get / take the message again…. And believe me, it’s tougher climbing down than climbing up – and I am doing just that with your help & support & the expert “navigational skills” of my sponsors (program sponsor as well as my service sponsor).
It is only when I have climbed down the steps and taken the program in the true sense of it, can I pass on the message effectively – if I pass on the message from the 1st step, or from in between, I will not be able to reach the suffering alcoholic, who is at the end of the 12th step, remember!
If I am able to shout out from in between the journey, the message, it is bound to be ineffective, because I, myself, have not recovered and as we all know, Illness begets Illness. It is only recovery or the recovered (by the practise of the steps completely), that can effectively carry the message….
And the more I carry the message, the more complete is my recovery. It is for this purpose that I found & use my ‘hook’ & ‘anchor’ of Committed Service in the fellowship.
As I travel the path of climbing down the 12 steps program, I am grateful that I could look at taking the steps differently. The program as we all know is a lifelong program of staying sober & carrying the message via the steps and sponsor ‘s guidance is very essential, so take time in identifying a “good” sponsor – take help of the available literature on sponsorships & stick to the winners.
Winners don’t do different things, they do things (take & practice the steps) differently.
The “spiritual awakening” that the 12th step talks about, is really the proof of the pudding (the program) and only then can we try to carry the message and practice the principles (the 12 steps) in all our affairs.
On 22nd of November, I will be completing 5 years of sobriety with the help of God as well as your help and support of the fellowship and I continue to solicit this help & support.
God in his wisdom often sends his angels down to walk with us…
… We know them best as FRIENDS!
Thanks dear friends for everything!
Yours truly with gratitude…….
KEEP WALKING. . .Veeru. S A A Orlem Group Malad (W), Mumbai.
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