When I came into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous 17 months ago, my life was falling apart from the inside out. I was scared, angry, and depressed; I felt there was little hope for the future. I blamed the world for my misery; it wasn’t my fault that no one understood me.
I felt the need to talk about humility and the process of step 10, as it has been a consistent theme in my life over the past few months. Everyone’s experience of the steps is different, but I have found a profound importance and need of the principles of this step lately and wanted to share them with you.
Recently, a parent of the New Life House community wrote an article about the third step, the third step prayer and what they both meant to him and his program. It got me thinking about my own spiritual program and how I have used prayer and meditation since I stopped using drugs and alcohol.
One of the hardest parts of sobriety for me, personally, has been learning how to be living in the now; in the present and less in the past or the future.
I can spend hours worrying about what is going to happen two years or two months or two weeks from today, while I let the beauty of the present slip by without notice. This is a common issue for many of us in sobriety, we easily get lost in our past or our futures and forget to just be, to allow the gift that is the here and now to be the focus in our lives. Luckily there are many ways to help us live in the now, and by practicing staying present, we slowly but surely will come to do so naturally.
For a lot of alcoholics, finding drugs and alcohol was a welcome relief. As a kid, I remember being keenly aware of a distance that existed between me, and everyone around me. It was like they all knew the punch line to some cosmic joke, and I was the only one in the room who wasn’t laughing. So, when I got high for the first time it was as if all the discomfort I felt in my own skin disappeared and for the first time I was no longer on the outside looking in. The problem was that getting high was a temporary solution to a permanent problem. The drugs would get harder and the frequency with which I used them increased, as I kept trying to recreate that initial feeling of release that I got the first time I used. At the end I was searching for an escape that didn’t exist anymore, trying to fill a God sized hole with drugs and alcohol that just weren’t doing the trick.