No Back Patting Here

its-handled

I remember the early days of my first try at sobriety. 30 days, 60 days, 3 years… Announcing each milestone as some right of passage for which I took all the credit. I would pat myself on the back, grin from ear to ear, and congratulate myself for a job well done. Yes, I took the actions necessary for getting through each day without a drink. Yes, I dragged myself to meetings when I didn’t want to. But I see now that there was a force guiding me in those actions.

As for me and my own choices? I have to look at where those have gotten me in the past. My choice to pick up a drink. My choice to act a fool in the midst of it all. My constant poor choices for years, which led me to a vicious cycle of daily drinking and despair. Where was God in all of this? Trust me when I say, He was there. But I was not with Him. I pushed Him aside and forced my own will upon the world. I wreaked havoc on my world and everyone in it.

Today, I think of God, my Higher Power, as a gentle father… A father who wants what is best for his child. One who would move heaven and earth that his child feels peace and happiness. Would a loving father want his child to drink into oblivion? Would he want his child to fall into bed each night in such painful despair, and awaken to shakes and sickness? Would he want his child to feel a loneliness that is indescribable? As a parent myself, I can say with all certainty that a parent would NOT!

So when I walk into a meeting these days, I do not look at my sober time as any accomplishment of my own. There is absolutely no back patting here. I know with every fiber of my being that I stand here sober at this very moment because some force greater than me, my Higher Power, my God, has relieved me of the obsession to drink. This reprieve, as it says in the Big Book, is only for today.  God will keep this obsession from me as long as I continue to take the actions necessary to stay sober, and I can only take the steps when I am living within His plan. So I put my daily trust in Him, and believe that only He, not I, can keep me that way!

~ Paige Loveland

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