On a recent episode of sober.coffee podcast, the boys were joined by Lisa Avelleyra, author of the book “Get me to the Abbey.” First and foremost, we highly recommend reading this novel as it takes the reader through Lisa's journey toward recovery.
Spoiler alert; Lisa flourishes today and has become a voice of hope to the hurting.
We left the coffee shop encouraged and inspired to continue sending out a message of a life of peace and serenity that can be had for those who are open and willing to embrace sobriety as a lifestyle.
Each of us has the opportunity, and the responsibility, to be a voice of reason and hope in the world that challenges the notion that one can live comfortably in their authentic self.
At many meetings that we attend, the statement titled “a vision for you” is read at the end of the session. The assertation comes from page 164 of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and we will look at four parts of these assuring words in today’s blog:
“Our book – (The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous) - is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little.”
Oxford says a suggestion is “an idea or plan put forward for consideration.”
There are many, but one of the things we love most about AA is that it doesn't speak the language of directives. Instead, it speaks in terms of suggestions, only laying out what has worked for numerous before us. This is the same way that we operate. We realize that we know only a little. So, we share the successes and failures of our short journeys so that maybe, just maybe, the listeners and readers can gain some guidance and encouragement from our experiences.
The message here is that nobody is telling anybody what to do. We are simply conveying what has worked for us. For example, skydiving instructors might suggest carrying a parachute on the way down. You don't have to do what is suggested; it will probably just work out better for you if you follow instructions from somebody with more familiarity.
“Admit your faults to Him and your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past."
There is nothing more that can be done to change the past. But, dealing with it soberly is essential to recovery. These sentences reflect the action required in the 12 steps of AA. What has worked for us was taking the suggested action with all the vigor we could muster. Success demands thoroughness.
The old engine needs an overhaul, and only we can repair the damage caused by uncontrolled character defects exasperated by drug and alcohol use.
We can only express that working the steps fearlessly brings healing beyond descript. Surrendering, taking an accurate inventory, confession, and restitution can't be underdelivered.
“See to it that your relationship with Him - (your interpretation of a power greater than yourself) - is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others.”
This is one of 147 promises within the first 164 pages of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. We have personally experienced countless of these promises come to fruition in our short time working the program.
A quick but important note; to the “God-Uneasy,”; the big book uses the terms God and higher power interchangeably. We had the flexibility to define a power greater than ourselves – nobody forced their views on us, nor will we force our views on you. We didn’t get hung up on this concept early on. We needed time and patience with ourselves to come to a place of comfort. It is not a prerequisite to have this whole thing figured out before the healing begins and the promises unfold.
“Give freely of what you find.”
Asking “.what you can do each day for the man who is still sick.” is such a powerful drive in the world of successful recovery. We have seen it as the linchpin to the sobriety in us and many others. The magic is in taking the attention away from the self and placing it on the betterment of another. The more one helps others, the more one heals self.
In order to help, the text reminds us, “If your own house is in order,” as “you cannot transmit something you haven't got.”
Simple, simple; act on “suggestions,” be open to a power greater than self, Clean your own house, then help somebody clean theirs.
May God bless you and
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a bonus drop sober.coffee podcast titled #114 Special Guest: Lisa Avellyra- Author of “Get me to the Abbey”……The podcast dropped on 05/31/2023. Click here to hear the podcast.
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.