Recently I wrote about being better in 2014, making those self-improvement changes, growing at every level, body, soul, and spirit. I also added growing in recovery too. You see, if I don't improve my serve, I become less effective in helping others recover. With the gift of sobriety I received from God, I received the honor of giving back that gift to others as I improve and mature in Him.
There is a huge difference in helping others and trying to control others. This may not be clear to me at times so I need God to remind me, which He does so painfully well. Truly, the pain is more aggravation to me because I thought I had learned that lesson, YOU CANNOT FIX THEM. Helping them, however, is making suggestions, listening intently to their issues, and giving warnings of what may be from personal experience.
I had a young man hit a bump recently, and another hit a milestone. With both, what was learned carries weight in determining their tomorrows. I have more concern for the one who reached the milestone, than the one who relapsed. The relapse is in the humble state of remorse, needing God's forgiveness, as well as the forgiveness of others. The other is at the jump off stage, "thanks for the help God, I'll take it from here."
"To learn you must love discipline, it is stupid to hate correction." Prov. 12:1
"If you search for good, you will find favor. If you search for evil, it will find you! Prov. 11:27
I laid out a plan of attack for my sponsor-ees to work with in their recovery. It is a compilation from my recovery, and from the hundreds of stories of success I heard in meetings and through reading. One thing to avoid is fear of change. By making little changes in attitude and actions, the bigger, more difficult changes become easier. This will sound crazy to you, but read on to the explanation.
Little Changes/ Big Differences
If you shave the right side of your face, shave the left first. If you button your shirt from the bottom up, go from the top to the bottom. Change which foot you put your shoe on first. If you are at the bank or store, get in the longest line, not the shortest. Drive in the slow lane on the highway.
I'm not Crazy
Even if these seem stupid, they are dramatic and challenging for the alcoholic/addict. The way they always did things throughout their life, landed them addicted, homeless, incarcerated, etc. By making these little changes, they begin to feel like a different person, not the addict they were, the drunk who chronically relapsed. It is effective, and truly helps them move to greater challenges.
In both of these young men, and the others I work with, trouble can be avoided by working a plan, not our plan. AA, NA, CR, et al, have laid out "how it works" for all of us to attack our addictions. God, I believed, designed them. If we want to improve, the fear of relapse has to go. If we want to improve, each milestone reached is not a stopping point, but a reaching point...reach a little further. By God's grace and help, there is always more.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!