My P’s and Q’s

My mom used to tell me (yes, many times!) to “mind your own P’s and Q’s”. I did love to mind others a lot! I used to wonder: what the heck were P’s and Q’s? When I came into the 12 Step program, I was given this assignment: Go through step # 7 in the 12 X 12 and see how many “P” words you can find. That kept me busy for about an hour. So, it effectively kept me sober for one more hour. I think most of the early days were filled with such assignments for that very reason: keep Jo busy and out of the bars. These days, I know when my character flaws are not in charge of me, I have a new meaning for P’s and Q’s: Peace and Quiet. For that I am grateful! When I am not practicing my old behavior patterns, I have peace of mind, and no one is steaming mad at me. It makes life so much nicer!

Later on, I learned that there are 6 P’s to recovery: perspective, pain, prayer, patience, process, and payoff. Gees, there is so much to learn. No wonder I am never bored. I get a new perspective by talking things over with a sponsor, reading, meditation, and journaling. Experiencing pain is my teacher. It teaches me that I am human and have feelings and limits. Prayer humbles me to hand things over and recognize that I am not in charge. Patience is necessary because it helps me slow down and realize that this is a process, not a race. There is no graduation. The process is in incremental steps for a reason: we cannot expect to change over night, and we need each step in succession in order to build upon the prior ones. A good foundation is necessary to have a stable and secure footing on which to build. And, finally, the payoff keeps us coming back. Those are laid out in the Promises of AA. Make a copy of these promises and put them on your fridge or mirror. Read them daily. That is what we are shooting for. May you find peace and quiet in your life.

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