Thursday, February 5, 2009
There is no easier softer way
I always like the part in the Big Book from "How It Works" about thinking that "......we could find an easier softer way. But we could not". In Al-Anon, there isn't an easier softer way either. No, we're not in imminent danger of drinking ourselves to death, but we are in danger of a slow, painful emotional death.
I've read a few blogs recently where people are trying an easier, softer way in my opinion. And I listen to this in meetings too. They are making a few meetings if there's time, they are reading a daily reader, but they still feel miserable. And yet, they wonder why.
My experience has been that there is no easier softer way. Half-measures do nothing but prolong the agony. Here are the "steps" that I took to find some peace of mind:
1. I got myself a sponsor. I trusted what I'd heard that I needed one. And so I found the person who would be my guide at my third Al-Anon meeting.
2. I did what my sponsor told me to do. I called every day, I did the readings, I went to several meetings a week, including open AA meetings.
3. I worked the steps. I didn't complain or worry that they would be too difficult. I wanted peace and serenity. I saw that in the faces of those who had worked the steps. I wanted what they had.
4. I started doing service work. I did little things at first...putting out literature, bringing food for meetings. Then I signed up to chair meetings. I told my story when asked to do so. I began to chair Beginner's meetings. And now I'm a GR as well as sponsor.
5. I didn't make up excuses. I work a demanding job. I sometimes don't get home until nearly 10 PM because I go from work to a meeting or to meet a sponsee. I'm not some kind of robot. I get tired and worn out. But this program is important enough to me that I give it time and energy.
6. I got honest with others and myself. I was done with denying things. I got a lot of stuff that had been haunting me off my chest. I realized that by getting rid of all the secrets that I had carried around for so long, I felt lighter in mind and body.
So if you're really looking to go down the road to recovery, then there is no easier, softer way. If you're content to stay stuck in the same pile of crap that you've been sitting in for all these years, then be my guest. I always liked that my sponsor would say, "it's nice and warm sitting in all that shit, but when you move around it stinks". Yes, it does. And being a half-person stinks too.
Thanks... I just needed to say these things.