It’s all too easy to focus on the bad decisions I made as a performing alcoholic. The hurt and pain I caused those around me over the years. The fears that I carried in my soul and that in turn I instilled in my child. The numerous jobs, homes and relationships that I ravaged and tossed aside.
Once I finally surrendered to the fact that I had long been running on self-will and acknowledged my powerlessness over people, places and things I felt a great sense of hope that all was not lost in my life. The fear of being alone (even in a crowded room) began to leave me. The constant tension in my shoulders and the racing thoughts began to ease. I realised I was not a bad person trying to be good, I was a sick person trying to get well.
When I look at myself and my life through the reality of the 12 Steps I can now see a girl who had been ill for a very long time and was fighting for survival. The irony is once I stopped fighting I won the battle. I am no longer trapped in the hell that is addiction. I have a daily reprieve from the insanity of Alcoholism and am discovering through the 12 Step Programme a way to free myself from the horrors of the past. I am discovering (Oh!) My Goodness.
Now that I have discovered the goodness that was always within me, what should I do with it? Of course. Give it away!! That is how I was taught to keep my Sobriety, by giving it freely to those who need it. Giving my time to newcomers in the rooms of AA, being an example at my home group and getting involved in service where I can. These days I give away my new found Goodness by mending the bonds with my family which were bent but thankfully not completely broken by my Alcoholism, spending time perhaps drawing pictures or building Lego villages with my son instead of enduring our waking hours together in anticipation of a drink, being useful at work instead of a loafer and a drain on resources, being a friend who listens instead of a drama queen who disrupts.
It seems like backwards logic that we give something away to keep it but, in my experience, (Oh!) my goodness, it works.