Hello ladies and gentlemen! My name is Bianka. I would like to give you another warm welcome to Detox to Rehab’s Recovery Reflections. Please join us each Monday at noon on our Facebook page to listen to the experience, strength, and hope shared by Connor, Sarah, and myself.
We will live stream a reading from Alcoholics Anonymous: Daily Reflections and Narcotic Anonymous: Just for Today. We express how this reading has helped our recovery or how it has impacted us. Please join us, engage in the audience, post questions, and/or leave feedback for us at noon. We thank you and hope we can inspire your recovery journey!
October 3, 2016: Serenity After the Storm
Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him.
— Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 93-94
Read the full Daily Reflection here: http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/daily-reflection?y=2016&m=10&d=3
As an addict and alcoholic, I have been to some dark places. I have seen things I can’t conceal and done things I can’t undo. However, this doesn’t make me a bad person. I am now living a better and more spiritual life because of pain I endured in active addiction.
The Discomfort in Growth
“The painful part is like right before the growth,” Connor said.
Although I had to go through pain in order to grow, it doesn’t make me weak. In my experience as well as Connor’s, the pain only lasted a moment and was right before we recognized a transformation of self was right around the corner.
“It gets difficult and painful until I get to the point where I’m ready to do something about it,” Connor said.
A problem of mine was when I realized I was going to grow, I would prolong it because I have a fear of change. That being said, I would live in discomfort and misery until I knew the fear of change had to go in order to survive.
One of the driving forces to make people change is suffering.
“I suffered so much and experience so much pain and anguish that I got desperate enough to make some change,” Connor said.
After some time, I got to the point where I was desperate enough to survive. I was done feeling the way I did and in order for that feeling to diminish. I had to grow.
Sometimes, we have to go through various trials in order to become the people we wish to be.
“I had to go through what I went through to be who I am today,” I said.
I am now living my life based on spiritual principles. If I didn’t go through all the discomfort and anguish I went through before the growth period of my life, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today. And even though I may have done terrible things in my addiction it doesn’t shape the person I am in this moment.
“He started to think about all the things he has done before and that caused his emotional pain to know he has put all of through that,” Sarah said.
Sarah proceeded to say, “It was a realization of what he has done that made him want to stay clean.”
Things were different for Sarah’s brother; he didn’t feel the pain before the growth like Connor and I did. He felt it when he realized what his life has come to. Even though we had a different experience, I sympathize with Sarah’s brother. It took me time to forgive myself for all wrong I have caused my family. However, it made me push that much harder to stay clean and sober for myself and my loved ones.
Although I can’t shut the door on my past and pretend it didn’t happen, everything in my life has worked out for the best. Even if I felt like I hated my life at some moments, it was all worth going through to be living the life I have today.
AA vs NA
The AA: Daily Reflection focuses on the path of spiritual progress while the NA: Just for Today puts attention on seeking freedom from ego and the battles caused by self-will. While each reading is very different, they share the same importance. They give me hope and guide me in the right direction. Also, it reminds me of how blessed I am to be living a life clean and sober.
October 3, 2016: Losing Self-will
Addiction and self-will go hand in hand. The unmanageability that we admitted to in Step One was as much a product of our self-will as it was of our chronic drug abuse. And today, living on self-will can make our lives just as unmanageable as they were when we were using. When our ideas, our desires, our demands take first place in our lives, we find ourselves in constant conflict with everyone and everything around us.
Read the full Just for Today here: http://www.jftna.org/pages/10-3.htm
If I don’t have a higher power, my life is at risk of being as unmanageable as it was in my addiction. This doesn’t mean I am going to pick up right away, it means without spiritual principles I will be living in misery. Who wants that? I know I don’t. This is why I chose a better way of life by working the 12-steps. I don’t have to be miserable today. I have the choice to be a better person than I was yesterday.
The Importance of a Higher Power
“My self-will gets me high. If I didn’t have something greater than myself to restore me to sanity, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” I said.
Connor proceeded to say, “I needed to take action based on my higher power and the program and everything I have learned instead of taking action based on my own self-will.”
I am happy with the person I have become. I have never loved myself until I found something greater than me. If it wasn’t for a Higher Power of my own understanding, I wouldn’t be able to live a life without the use of drugs and alcohol. Because when it is all about Bianka and I am doing what Bianka wants, I will be getting loaded.
“That’s when it got a little easier for him when he realized it didn’t have to be God or something like that, it could be anything, just something bigger than you,” Sarah said.
I love the 12-step program. It is so cool because you don’t have to believe and worship the same thing as everyone else. It just has to be something greater than you. It doesn’t have to have a face or name, it just has to be something that watches over you, something you can pray to for guidance. It is a beautiful program. It works if you work it.
There is Hope
There was a time I didn’t believe the program would work. At that time, I was homeless. I had one shirt and one pair of shorts. I was searching days on end for heroin. But it wasn’t over. When I found the heroin, I would sit for hours with a needle in my arm searching for a vein. I truly thought I was hopeless, my family and friends lost hope too.
I ended up getting arrested and was facing some jail/prison time. I was scared and wishing I was at home with my family. I dropped to my knees and prayed. I didn’t know what I was praying too but at that moment I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I knew if I wanted to be clean and sober I could be. All I had to do was work for it.
I got released out of jail because there was no evidence against me and my mother picked me up. I hadn’t seen her in a little over a year. It was probably one of the best moments I have ever experienced, knowing I was safe and with the person who never lost hope. I am now 15 months clean and sober. I am living a life I never dreamed possible because I started to believe in something greater than myself. Recovery is possible. You just have to choose life over death.