Bianka here, welcoming everyone to Detox to Rehab’s weekly daily reflections. Every Monday we will be live streaming on Facebook the daily reflections from both Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and NA: Just for Today. Please feel free to join, post questions, and/or leave feedback for us at noon.
September 12th: I Am Responsible
“For the readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine.” — Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 87
Step Nine: Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
I Tend to Blame Others
Step nine is an ongoing step. It allows me to have long-lasting recovery and a life that has been changed for the better.
Without the 12-steps, particularly step nine, I don’t think I would be clean and sober today. This step has changed me, it has shown me a new freedom and happiness – it has given me my life back.
I feel like Breana captured it the best.
“…I blamed everyone else for my problems and everything in my life was everyone else’s fault,” she said.
I have been where Breana was. For so long, I never wanted to take responsibility for the wrongs I had have done.
It was always “your” fault. I never did anything wrong. When I came to a 12-step program, I learned quickly I needed to take responsibility for my past acts in order to recover. No matter how bad “you” have hurt me, I still did you wrong and need to make it right.
So, if I want to stay clean and sober, I need to take action and make all amends, except when to do so would injure them or others. When I say, “injure them or others,” I mean somethings are better left unsaid. Or if it was to hurt someone else’s feelings, a girlfriend, for example, I need to move on to the next person I need to make amends to. When I move on to the next person and make the amends, regardless of how it goes, the feeling I get inside my heart is priceless – goodbye guilt and shame.
Let Go of Your Ego
When the negative feelings lift and you can finally forgive yourself after making amends, it truly is a beautiful feeling. Amends are not only about making things right, they also teach you valuable lessons of why you wanted to get clean and sober in the first place.
Or as Connor put it, “It’s about growing and learning, accepting, admitting and all that stuff.” – Connor Z.
Connor was spot on, and I totally agree. Life is a learning process. And if I don’t admit to my wrongs, I am going to do it again because I won’t learn from it. This step will help you stay clean and sober. You just have to believe in yourself and let go of that ego. The 12-steps really do work, you just got to work them.
AA vs. NA
Where today’s AA reflection talks about step nine, the NA reflection illustrates becoming a more comfortable version of yourself because of recovery. Both reflections make amazing points and remind me why I need to stay connected in my recovery.
September 12: New Horizons
“My life is well-rounded and I am becoming a more comfortable version of myself, not the neurotic, boring person that I thought I’d be without drugs.” – NA: Just for Today
Who Would Want to Live That Way?
In all honesty, I was a neurotic, boring person on drugs. I am the exact opposite who I was in my addiction because I am clean and sober and couldn’t be any more thankful for that. I am able to do things today. When I was getting loaded I couldn’t do anything besides fish for a vein in my arm. I was not fun to be around; I was a miserable person. Who would want to live that way?
I Love Myself
When Breana said, “I am defiantly becoming a more comfortable version of myself,” I couldn’t help but smile because I related to her exact feeling, thanks to recovery, I love myself today. And to be able to say “I love myself,” honestly, is a blessing in itself. Working the 12-steps, attending meetings regularly, and keeping a constant contact with your higher power is all you need to keep going. Work through the struggle and be the person you were meant to be.
I Am Living a Life I Never Dreamed Existed
Because I work the steps, attend meetings regularly, and keep a constant contact with my higher power I am living a life I never dreamed possible. I was living behind a dumpster at one point, staying in a church to feel safe, and walking for nights on end trying to get my fix. I came from a dark place and fought through the struggle to get out, you can too.
I Was Living in Fear
“I need something to be okay…I need to be alright…The way I used to do that was to get high. I don’t have to do that anymore and I didn’t think it was possible,” Connor said.
I needed something to be okay also. I found out how to be okay in heroin, men, alcohol, meth, etc. I thought these drugs would make my life better because I was not okay with who I was as a person, I was living in fear. Fear of myself.
“On a day-to-day basis, I am okay.” – Connor Z.
It got to the point the drugs weren’t doing anything but making me feel worse than I did in the first place. I needed a change of pace, I needed something to make me feel whole again. When I was introduced to a 12-step program I found my new, healthy drug that made me feel alright. My life was better than I could have ever imagined and just as Connor said I didn’t think that was possible.
My Worst Day Sober
“My best day high couldn’t compare to my worst day sober.” – Bianka F
It is possible, living and being okay with yourself is possible. To this day, after a year and some change of being clean and sober, feeling okay without the use of drugs and alcohol baffles me. I live a life I never imagined was possible and I am truly happy. I feel the happiness inside me and get to share my experience with others. From where I came from to where my life is today, is a miracle. I am a miracle; you can be a miracle too.