“And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even alcohol. For by this time, sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame.” Page 84 of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous – known as “The 10th Step Promise.”
This sane, normal, reaction is what we have come to expect; it is automatic. This is not where we started or what we thought would become our natural go-to.
We can't describe a lightning bolt or cite the aha moment that flipped us. It happened, for us, gradually and slowly and as a result of steady movements and specific acts that were suggested for those who desired healing from the hurt of addiction, as laid out in the first 164 pages of the book referenced above.
This is our testimony: The completeness of the program Alcoholics Anonymous has worked for us. We have stopped the fight, having found victory through surrender. We have been transformed, gaining quality of life while losing the lure to live a life less than whole.
Getting to this point of peace resulted from hundreds of decisions and thousands of uncomfortable actions. We learned that we had to learn. We came to understand that an answer existed and that others would unselfishly guide us through the method with care and without compensation.
Twelve action steps, wrapped with solid suggested activities came tightly packaged in just one hundred and sixty-four pages—a complete conversion for just seven cents a page.
Where to start
To find the promised land demanded a stop at our point of pain. We had to rest near our place of desperation. We had to own ourselves - to wholly accept the men we had become and to identify our true abilities was but the beginning of the restoration process.
Lost and disorganized, we were in desperate need of finding hope. We needed direction, a plan that worked. We didn't know it then but quickly discovered that our “must” was the substance of experience. We required a partnership with someone, anyone, who had made the decisions and had taken the actions. We needed proof and a mentor – one who could effectively lead us through the program's progression.
How to approach
At a crossroad, it was time to choose casual or complete commitment. As we had learned how to get by and game the system, we took a hard look at the importance of this turning point, tapping deep into the agony of our current existence, and concluded that some measure would not suffice. Only complete and exhaustive measures would suffice. We would not have it said that we didn’t try our best.
We would approach each step and every suggestion with the intensity of life or death. We would devote ourselves to being fearless and thorough in our advances. We would leave no stone unturned and welcome the ache of the work as a boxer preparing for fight.
The secret sauce
No matter where we are on the path to recovery, we find ourselves one step ahead of the next guy. This positioning could be cause for self-celebration or could be the catalyst for a thrust into a new dimension of existence. For us, we have chosen to pursue the latter as there is no greater accelerator of peace and purpose than to help the next generation of struggling alcoholics. There is no greater gift than hearing the words, “You saved my life.”
There is no greater joy than participating in human transformation.
Look, we didn't invent this stuff. We didn’t buy it, and we are not selling it. We are not the best at it or the worst at it. We are just two guys who believed in it, worked it, and reaped the mass rewards of something freely available to anyone who desires a major makeover.
We have yet to learn and practice some traits and behaviors. We promise that we will share what is uncovered. Our commitment is to our sobriety, and we pledge that we will be there to help those in need.
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed…” Page 83 of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous – known as the intro to “the 9th step promises.”
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a sober.coffee podcast titled “Bonus Drop - Paul's Story - Sharing Experience, Strength and Hope”, The session dropped on 9/26/2021 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.