[link=”http://www.ramasethu2001.multiply.com”]SERENITY IN ME THROUGH 12 STEPS[/link].
I have an elated feeling of belonging to a privileged band of people in[link=”http://www.aa.org”] AA[/link] and in[link=”http://www.na.org”] NA[/link] . This sense of belonging is very much important to me, since I didn't seem to belong anywhere or to anything during the period of life, when I was an active alcoholic. I always lived in a world surrounded by empty bottles, glasses and ash trays full to the brim and with full of despair and fear in me in a hungry, angry, lonely and tired, hostile world of my own making.
I always had the temptation to apt for the easier and softer way to get away from this world, through the bottle since I neither had humility nor responsibility. Now when I look back, nothing has just happened like that and events of activities do not happen on there own. It was always the result of my careful and meticulous planning. When questioned, terror and fear would strike me and I would deny.
Even though I could not manage my own life, I tried to run others life and that was clearly an end to my self-seeking. I was hoping against hope that I was not a true alcoholic, till I became hopeless and drifted into a tomb of alcohol and despair. I was bent on slow suicide.
I was very clever in building a wall between other people, on an emotional level and myself, and I was an expert in that. I had become a psychopathic and pathological liar and strangely I also had a sense of humor to do it.
Communication was only one way for me, I was in charge, I told every one what to do and I made the big mistakes. After becoming sane, serene and sober by god through AA and NA, I have found out that communication is an art and a four way process which includes asking, telling, listening and understanding. This by applying in my life, I am able to build bridges of understanding with other people.
Irony was in the beginning, I could never live up to my own standards for myself. So alcohol filled the space between what I wanted to be and what I really was. When I walked in to the fellowship of AA and NA in 1982, it appeared to me that it was a short time course and it had worked so well to me, that I had reached a sort of heaven right here on earth, but John Barley Corn had other ideas.
It was complacency and in turn I was trying to escape life and not mastering it. I was emotionally avoiding hazardous situations usually involving new people, places, time and things, because I could not cope up with life and I was scared that I would get hurt. I was too afraid of life to become involved in living. I always insisted on getting involved at people instead of with them.
I never had the courtesy of allowing others to grow. I was too interfering and argumentative. I did not know those exact me, a sure sign of confusion of self. This is one of the primary reasons, which in no time led me once again in to the urge and hell of uncontrollable drinking. This is a progressive illness and I proved it, and second half of the first step took care of the rest.
I was not ready to bring myself to ask for help since I was too sentimental about my hurt pride and insured ego. After repeated relapses I understood there is no possibility of my staying sober, on my own will or strength.
During the active and practicing alcoholic days, I did not have the feeling of belonging and the feeling of being accepted. Now I have both in AA.I now believe strongly through the steps, that serenity without growth is stagnation. Through sharing and AA And NA, 12th step work I am now able to get involved with a people.
I am also ready to take a few calculated risks for the sake of progress. I am able to replace the fear of hurt and failure with faith in god and value serenity, enough to take a chance and to grow. I know that my only job is to see myself clearly and release myself to his care. My present compulsions are in away always positive which gives me a great deal of joy, acceptance and serenity.
During my repeated relapses and binges I was some times able to inhale peace, thus cauterizing what I had come to decide, with no respect for myself, must be a wound of my life. I drank as if I the great river of my blood was carried by alcohol not water. I was, to put in a four-letter word in it 'mess'. When I was on water wagon and in AA, on and off, I wanted to shout from the roof top “I've quit drinking and I've quit using” and convince every one around, but nobody seemed to be bothered about these antics of mine.
As time progressed so did my alcoholism and drug addiction. Now after a great struggle and considerable period of sobriety, I have found out the difference between absolute serenity and just serenity. I have clearly understood that people pleasing and opinion seeking is not serenity, since there is no end to it, need to seek through prayer and meditation for strength to fortify my beliefs in my higher power. The disappointments in the past were in reality a blessing in disguise.
Life was a mystery, I realized all I need was to look into today and run life and take it as it comes. I need to seek, through prayers and mediations for strength to fortify my beliefs in a higher power. The disappointments in the past were in reality great blessings in disguise.
I could not do it alone. Today the AA And NA program and the grace of god have restored my faith and I am sober and serene with the help that I find in the AA And NA fellowship. In trying to practice the principles in all my affairs, has taught and added a new dimension to my life and has given me back a faith in god, which I thought I had lost forever. Initially I was just a Zombie walking around aimlessly with no faith in God or in Life.
In the beginning when I came to the program, I had brought with me too many self-centered doubts and fear of what other people in AA and outside world would think about me. I now feel open and honest about myself in AA than in the outside world. I also had the panting desire to change the world to my convenience and had a very muddy and murky ideas about how do it. But now by the Grace of God I am now clear eyed, sober and cheerful.
I had been drugged by drink, by hypodermics, by sleeping pills, I would fall, crushing my head on the tiled floors of many a bathrooms, the marks are still there as scars on my face to remained me of my insanity. In AA And NA I have found people who had lived through some of what I had experienced, and these people have eased some my worst feelings through their sharing.
My conduct in the early days towards myself had been far from perfect, since I could not stay sober for any given time or specific time. When I woke up from the haze of alcoholism on Sep2,1992, life was a mystery realized all I need to do was to become willing and meeting the problems of life I face, while staying sober is the main point and for this I need serenity.
The AA program has now taught me not to want to start again my drinking. I also leant that sanity, sobriety and serenity requires scrupulous, constant surveillance. I am gradually finding a new awareness of life and natures beauties, which I had long forgotten. This awareness is in store for an alcoholic who is recovering and it is a treat, which is quite overwhelming. I now realize the absence of change means the absence of growth.
My life through AA And NA is serene and has changed for the better ” One day at Time” .I had realized that stopping drinking was not the happy ending to all my problems. It is a very good beginning of a new way of life since I found out the only person I can change is myself .Out of this pain I have made joy.
In AA sharing everyone teaches me something, if I have an open mind to listen. I also have something to give in this beautiful way of life. My policy has matured into a give and take policy which has restored mutual respect since I am willing to believe in “Live and Let Live” policy. My road to emotional sobriety has begun with this.
I have now an opportunity to prove my sincerity by continuous action, to do the only thing in which I can reasonably hope to succeed is to improve myself towards realities of life and my spiritual attitudes .In olden days, alcohol had twisted my thinking and filled it with resentments.
It had warped my judgement and paralyzed my usefulness Now nothing has changed outside, but inside, my own attitudes have changed to better my life in a gradual fashion hated everyone and the whole world, now through god in AA, I have replaced this emotional outburst, into patience and loving kindness
I also learnt that in sobriety it is alright to express any legitimate concerns on our views without feeling guilty .I have also not only found away to serenity but a priceless formula for learning how to live in a positive way. I am always touched by the gestures of AA And NA members and that gives me immense serenity.
The simple statement that I make in the meeting “I am an Alcoholic And Addict”, eliminates the past fears, the frustrations and the feeling of helplessness and near hopelessness has given me the courage and confidence to struggle for serenity. I had a lot of half empty, half-full problems and AA has given me the answers, by attending meetings, sharing and caring through the AA way of life I have learnt that depression and fear can be overcome.
Through this serenity I have understood and I have been learning there is much in this world I can understand and I need to understand, which will become easier each day if I take them “One Day At A Time”.
If I face myself in serenity through AA, I will find freedom from bondage of self.