By the time we get to Step Twelve in the program of recovery, a lot will have changed in our lives. A lot changed in my life. I recently was reflecting on my life before and after that Gift Of Desperation that I had several years back. I thought my life was manageable. I thought I had things under control. I didn’t think anyone really knew how much I was using and that I was covering things up pretty well. Yeah…right…
Looking back on my life I can see now that somewhere along the line, my addiction became my “go-to” for dealing with things in life. If things went well, I celebrated. If things went wrong, I commiserated. All is good in the world? Time for a drink. There’s a threat of war? Time for a drink. The only way I dealt with anything was by either floating on the red sea of wine or jumping off to drown my sorrows. I had no other way of dealing with life any more. If I had used any other ways of dealing with life, they had been discarded somewhere along the way. And of course, I was only pretending that I was dealing with life. In reality, the world began ignoring me and moving on without my not so imperious presence.
Upon coming into recovery, I found that life was very difficult to deal with life. I no longer had my crutch. I had to learn or relearn what I was supposed to do. I listened at meetings. I read our literature. I talked to my sponsor and to other recovering members. Gradually I learned how to do simple things like say ‘No, thank you,’ and ‘I think I’m going home. Thanks for a nice evening.’ As time went on I learned that I can stand tall against tragedies as well as triumphs without falling back on my old stand-by. My thinking changed. I was no longer doing the same things that I used to do. I was facing life and managing.
This, for me, is the spiritual awakening that is talked about in Step Twelve. A change in my spirit, my response to life. It’s a change in mindset: a new approach to life. And it’s just an awakening: it doesn’t mean I’ve got it all figured out. I see a spiritual awakening in the same was as I look at waking up in the morning. When I first start to become conscious in the morning I slowly open my eyes, come to realize where I am. I get up, put the coffee on and maybe after that first coffee, I can say that I am awake. In the same way, I see a spiritual awakening as that first opening of the eyes in the morning. It will take a while before I am fully awake spiritually. A few more cups of ‘spiritual’ coffee, if you will, before I am spiritually conscious. More will be revealed.
I am grateful.