December 20, 2012
I was talking to my sponsor yesterday. As we were reviewing my day, i.e., discussing my daily tenth step and so forth, I realized that I did not have anything to discuss, or, as he says, anything that “required clean up”.
Later on, I realized not only do I have less resentments, I have more spare time, I am getting more things done, efficiently even, and I feel lighter and am more capable of feeling varying degrees of emotions.
Immediately, I assumed that it all had to do with the fact that I have been attending a lot less meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (“AA”), i.e., I attend about two meetings a week, down from seven to ten.
I should preface that I am not advocating the attendance of less AA meetings, in any way.
Nevertheless, I have discovered, for me, that as I have attended less meetings, while completing more step-work, i.e., a daily 10th step, and 11th step, not to mention always giving thoughtful consideration to steps 6 and 7, I don’t carry around as much baggage.
Put another way, I don’t take as much personal because I am focusing on my part, keeping my side of the street clean, and truly internalizing, for the most part, that what other people think is none of my business.
Consequently, I don’t require so many AA meeting(s) to manage my feelings, calm me down, or avoid uncomfortable feelings.
Initially, I was thinking that AA meetings were the problem, or more specifically, the “sicker than others” people in attendance. No, that was not and has never been the problem.
I was the problem! I had an inability to deal with my fellows. Eventually, the same problems that I had out in the world-at-large began to follow me into the rooms of AA.
Due to sobriety, and in particular actively working steps 6, 7, 10, and 11, not to mention 12, I recognize my part.
Routinely, my part was not establishing and maintaining boundaries. Either I would acquiesce, i.e., go along with whatever was going on, despite how I felt, or eventually, after letting it build up, I would react in a not so graceful way, or leave the situation entirely, never getting to the heart of anything.
Today, I am learning to “feel the fear and do it anyway.” I am adhering to my needs as well.
If I need to get into bed by 9:30 pm, I am not going to an 8:30pm meeting to pacify a friend. As well, if I don’t want to answer a question, not because I am embarrassed, but because it’s none of that person’s business, I say, “I rather not discuss that”, or “That is private.”
I realize now that there is nothing to be afraid of.
With that said, God help me to establish and maintain appropriate boundaries. Divorce me from fear, reticence, and apprehension. Help me to be kind yet firm in my resolve.
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