The majority of us that enter into a recovery fellowship (such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc) do so for one single purpose: to quit drinking and/or doing drugs. Much to our surprise, however, we almost universally find that when we stick around the program we get far more out of it than we originally hoped for. These promises, summed up on page 87-88 of Alcoholics Anonymous, often are read before the start of every meeting to serve as a reminder of what we are working for. Here we break down them down.
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
While early sobriety is typically brutal for the newcomer to deal with, we are often amazed at how fast our lives begin to improve. Typically our health is the first thing to improve.
As we begin to move through the twelve steps, our relationships with loved ones slowly become repaired. Our desire and obsession to use slips slowly begins to slip away. And it only gets better when we continue down the path.
3. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
Alcoholism and addiction are full-time jobs. If we take an honest accounting of how much time we spent keeping our addictions going, it often left us little time for anything else. Our bucket lists often fell to the wayside as our addictions consumed all our time and bank accounts. Once we are freed from this bondage, we can begin to live our lives to their fullest potential.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
Almost universally, the past is a sore subject for us. The opportunities we missed, the relationships we lost, the hurt that we caused, all combine to make the past a difficult subject for us to handle. As hard as this promise is for most newcomers to believe, the program gives us a new life that makes us glad we have gone through all the things we have gone through. For without our past, we could not be where we are today.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
Addiction without question robs us of serenity and peace. The shame of addiction, coupled with the horrible things many of us end up doing as a result of it, combine to keep the cycle perpetually going. Facing these demons in sobriety by going through the steps returns the serenity and peace we once had to us through a series of actions.
For example, once we complete the ninth step amends to those we harmed, we no longer have to hide our heads in public in fear we will run into someone we wronged. We can put our heads on our pillows at night without being plagued with racing thoughts of shame and regret. These are just a couple of examples of how the steps return serenity and peace to our lives.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.