We can never lose our love and tolerance.
I recently celebrated three continuous years of sobriety and recovery. I have been asked often in my short three years, “How did you do it?” When I have given the honest answer of how it happens for me I am taken back at some of the looks and responses I have received. Void of love, compassion, and tolerance I have been chastised for my answer. I can accept that there are multiple ways to recover but, for me, mine has been GOD. Now that does not mean there were no other people or groups that helped me in my recovery but it was all God’s orchestration. If I have learned one thing it is that the more it becomes less about me and more about God the more the promises appear in my life.
The genesis of my recovery began with God pulling me to my feet as I opened my heart to Him on my knees. I realize that there are many avenues and paths for one to find recovery from addiction and alcoholism. For me, mine has been a spiritual path. I believe it to be a path that does not fail, as long as, you choose to stay on that path. It has not always been an easy path to navigate. Like with any transformation in life comes change, which takes consistent effort. But what was I to do and how was I supposed to do it?
I got what I needed, a lesson in patience.
During my first year of recovery I felt the urge to take in everything as fast as I could. I wanted a lifetime of sobriety in one day. I would learn that this is a journey and not a destination. It took me a long time to get here and it would take time to learn how to get out. I attended my, 90 meetings in 90 days, in about 60 days. Every morning I would spend reading the AA literature or my Bible. Even more motivation was being denied the right to have any sort of contact with my little girl. I was motivated and on fire for recovery but in all my haste I was missing the point.
During the first year I could feel the shift in my soul of a spiritual experience. I could sense that still small voice calling me to my purpose. My expectations failed me as I began to see myself as a strong oak when I was only still a sapling. I thought I knew exactly what I was doing and got behind the wheel ready to drive away into a sunset in paradise. I was not drinking but I was hardly in real recovery. The finish line was my objective and I thought I was there without ever even running in the race. My need to take control would lead me to a dead end and destitute.
By not taking one day at a time and living in the moment I lost the purpose in my recovery. It was becoming my will be done because I know better. I ended up with no place to live, no job, and dwindling resources but still sober. My mistake had become glaringly obvious. When I run the show I make a mess of it, and I was once again brought to my knees. At the beginning of my second year of recovery I moved home to Tulsa, OK to be around family and I conceded that God would be better at directing this show than I would.
Finally found my way back home.
It was when I finally came back “home” that it all finally began to click. I was sitting in a meeting and the term “one day at a time” hit me like a frying pan to the back of the head. That had been what I was missing. In a rush to recover I had been blind to the beauty of the process. Now, I was willing for God to be in control and to just live in the moment, day by day. My program was finally ready for some growth. I began attending GUTS church along with AA meetings and I was intent on developing my relationship with God and following the principles of my program.
Over the next two years my program of recovery would evolve. I became more plugged in at church, focused on furthering my connection with God, attending meetings a little less, and I started to develop a website and blog to help bring awareness to the fight against addiction and finding purpose through it. My program has multiple parts to it but what has become most important is my personal and intimate relationship with my God. It is the component to my recovery that, for me, insures success. By spending time in His word, writing on what it means to me, and praying humbly yet boldly I am gaining warrior strength in my soul. Keeping spiritually fit is my best defense against alcohol and key to unlocking a life of my dreams.
By reading and speaking God’s promises over my life I have found such a complete peace in each day. His words are beginning to become imprinted upon my heart. It is like seed that has been planted and is now beginning to produce fruit in my personal and professional life. Each morning I spend time reading, praying, and writing without fail. I have disciplined myself to get up as early as I have to and in the last two years have not missed a day. It is my commitment to my recovery, to my family, and to me. I am not a morning person, to say the least, but now I actually look forward to the mornings and my time with God.
Believe in your way but let’s blend together in strength.
Having answered the question of how did you do it I want to emphasize that it was just the way I have done it. I also must profess that I find this works if you work it. We can and we do recover, however, we do it in various ways and with different methods. Whether it be the 12 steps, holistic, completely spiritual, or whatever you have found that works, the thing we need to remember is that “it works”. What works for one may not work for another and our message must be one of love and tolerance. We must show we truly are honest, open-minded, and willing and that we embrace everyone from all methods. Learning, sharing, and encouraging each other in our recovery. It is not a race and there is not one better than another. No matter how you did it, how I did it, remember we are all in and all together.