Get the Hell Up and Keep Moving Forward

stumble

Today, I should have been receiving my 4 year chip. However, that one night slip just over a month ago changed that. ¬†Working with a new sponsor, praying, and re-reading my Big Book have become the focus of my days this past month. When I slipped, I had a moment, a brief moment, in which I thought that since I screwed up, I may as well just keep on drinking. But thank God that moment was brief, and I got my ass back to AA the next day. As mentioned, I got a new sponsor, found some women’s meetings where I could share more openly, and opened back up my dusty Big Book.

So on this particular day, I have been feeling quite uneasy. I started feeling sorry for myself. ¬†Then I got a text from an old friend from AA back in Illinois who I haven’t seen in quite some time wishing me a happy anniversary. That made me feel even worse. So I sent a text to my sponsor letting her know how I was feeling. She simply said, “Imagine how much worse your life would be if you did not quit drinking back in 2010! One night does not erase all the good!”

At a meeting last night, I shared my shame and guilt. After the meeting, an old-timer who I had never met before came up to me and said that the only thing that matters is that we achieve longevity in sobriety… and that we continue to move forward. He said there will always be bumps in the road, whether they include relapse or not, and that we cannot use those as an excuse to go backward.

They were both right. The important thing is that I did not continue to drink. I could easily have just said f*** it… but I didn’t. I got right back on the path, and continue to grow. I did not lose the lessons I’ve learned these past four years. I have a very long way to go, but don’t we all?

So, I will keep on trudging the road to happy destiny. I simply will NOT allow this stumble in the road to be the end of my journey. Instead, I will see it as a slight detour… and get right back on the road… this time, using God as my GPS.

~ Paige Loveland

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Complacency is a Dangerous Place

complacency

The lies of the enemy rarely tempt us to evil, but rather to complacency. Who is this enemy? Our disease.

Pain, worry, anger, & fear… these are all emotions we may recognize as dangerous, slippery slopes along the path of our recovery. But what many of us ignore, myself included at times, is complacency. This was the topic of my women’s meeting tonight. In all of my self-searching, I have discovered that complacency has been my biggest problem. Attending meetings, being social in sober circles, reading meditation books, etc… these are not enough to keep me sober.

I had been walking around with my Big Book covered in my fancy leather binder, notes in the margins, neatly kept. I had read that book, cover to cover. I had ‘worked’ the steps THREE times… but was I ever really working them? The mere fact that I do not know what it really means to work the steps means that I have a great deal of work to do. People talk about the fourth step as having been pivotal in their recovery. I agree, but the truth is that I think the third step is where the transformation begins.

Yes, step 1… I am powerless… YES. Step 2, came to believe… AMEN. But Step 3, made a decision to turn our will and our lives over… You have got to be kidding! I wanted to be in control. I believed that being strong and having the desire would be enough. I had never trusted another person with anything of importance. I’m a self-admitted control freak. If I can’t trust others with simple daily tasks, how in the world can I turn my will and life over to a God that I do not fully understand? But I simply had to… at all costs.

~ Paige Loveland