Back to the Beginning

What we needed now was a way of being sober over the long haul, and living sanely through good times and bad. ~12 Step Literature

How fitting that we can start at Step #1 at the beginning of the year. In years past, I would start off on a big project or life alteration at the beginning of a year, a month or a new week. So, it boded well for me to begin my sobriety at the end of a month, in the 8th month of the year, and on a Saturday night.  It is never too late to begin a life change like sobriety. Well, death might be too late. I am glad I found it early enough in my life, so that I could enjoy the new found health and energy that it affords. I also had plenty of years to be productive and do all those things I thought I might like to do someday, when in fact that day could never arrive; at least not while I was still drinking.

Step #1 is probably the hardest for most folks. It requires the admission of complete powerlessness and the the complete willingness to do whatever it takes to get and stay sober. We alcoholics want what we want, and when we want it! The key word for Step#1 is faith. The freedom that Step #1 affords us is the Freedom from the Bondage to Self. That may seem like a tall order, but it is one that can be met. All one has to do is be willing, listen up, and remain teachable. It is recommended that when struggling: get prayed up, sponsored up, and meetinged up! AA is a not a sprint, it is a marathon…so pace yourself.  Here is to a whole new journey and another trip around the sun. Hang on to your hat!

More on Step #6

We read from the our AA literature that all that is needed is complete willingness and complete honesty. One old timer told me once that it is much like a sculpture who chisels away from us, that which is not a part of us. Many newbies in the  program wonder aloud, what will be left of me if these traits are removed. Others are a bit more stubborn and more confrontative in thinking, “hey, this is me: love it or leave it.” Neither gets too far in keeping those thoughts alive and well.

All, that is needed is a willingness and a honesty at whatever level the person can achieve…..anything is a start.  How do we know we are ready? Well, that would have been a subject of step #1. Many times, I have referred back to step #1 when there appears to be no movement beyond step #5. There is no shame in reviewing and recommitting our prior agreements. A refresher course also helps the sponsor to ensure that no stones are left to be turned over. Here is step #6 in it’s totality: