The Happiness in a 12-Step Fellowship
Recovery Reflections: April 19, 2017
Hello everyone! My name is Bianka. I would like to give you another warm welcome to Detox to Rehab’s Recovery Reflections. Please join us and listen to the experience, strength and hope shared by Corey, Brandon, and Madison.
We will pre-record readings from Alcoholics Anonymous: Daily Reflections. We express how this reading has helped our recovery or how it has impacted us. We thank you and hope we can inspire your recovery journey!
April 19, 2017: Brothers in our Defects
We recovered alcoholics are not so much brothers in virtue as we are brothers in our defects, and in our common strivings to overcome them. – As Bill Sees It, p. 167
The identification that one alcoholic has with another is mysterious, spiritual–almost incomprehensible. But it is there. I “feel” it. Today I feel that I can help people and that they can help me.
It is a new and exciting feeling for me to care for someone; to care what they are feeling, hoping for, praying for; to know their sadness, joy, horror, sorrow, grief; to want to share those feelings so that someone can have relief. I never knew how to do this–or how to try. I never even cared. The Fellowship of A.A., and God, are teaching me how to care about others.
The 12-Steps Helped Me
“I only cared about people as far as they were useful to me,” Corey said.
When I was using drugs, the only person that I truly cared about was myself. I’d act like others were important to me if they had something to offer me like drugs or shelter. I would tell them, “I would do anything for you,” but in all reality I was just using them for what they had. When I decided to change my life around, get sober, and surround myself by others in a 12-step fellowship, I didn’t understand why they wanted to help me.
“I was really struck by how much people seemed to care about me, because I knew I had nothing to offer them,” Corey said.
Not only did I use people for what they had when I was getting high, other people used me. It is how things go in that life style. For me, everyone I knew were linked up with someone who had something to offer them. So, when I came into the 12-step fellowship I made clear to these people offering a helping hand I have nothing to offer. I told them I came out of jail with the clothes on my back and a 12-step book. It was all I had and they accepted me.
“It was kind of weird to have people genuinely care about me,” Corey said.
The only people I knew who truly cared about me were my family and family friends. I had lost all the other people in my life that I would say did care because of my addiction. So, having so many unfamiliar, smiling faces offering help and wanting to see me succeed was really strange. I was surrounded by people who would rather see me fail then move up in the world for so long. Having people that truly care feels nice. Although I was surrounded by people who were happy, I was having trouble becoming happy myself.
“I did what these people did; I became a happy person,” Madison said.
Becoming a happy person didn’t happen overnight; I had to do the work- happiness didn’t just come to me. The first step I took to gain happiness back was getting a sponsor that could take me through the 12-steps. As I was working these steps I noticed a difference in me; there was a change in my attitude and behavior. I felt serenity take an important place in my life. I now understand why these people cared for me when I didn’t care for myself.
“It is natural for me to care about people,” Brandon said.
Now that I have been clean and sober for some time, I look for the individuals who came in like me: alone, scared, depressed and willing to change their life. I help those people through the steps like my sponsor did for me and watch their life change before their eyes. I can think clear today and have minimal worries.
“I don’t spend every minute of every day thinking about getting high or not getting high,” Madison said.
My thoughts aren’t consumed with thinking of heroin and other drugs. I can think like a normal person. I think of my family and friends, my work, health and how I can be of service to the 12-step fellowship. I would have never thought my life would be the way it is today. It is only by the grace of god I made it out of my addiction alive. There is hope for all who are suffering with a drug or alcohol addiction. All you need is the willingness to change.