Life began anew and was Happy, Joyous and Free.
The world does not change, but in Recovery we do. We move from pain and fear to change and awareness. We learn to accept the world as it is, rather than as we wish it to be. This awareness leads into new behavior and a new way of life. It feels good to feel good! To feel good, we need to be good. To be good, we need to do good for ourselves and others.
The Dalai Lama said “I believe that the purpose of life is to seek happiness.”, and he also said “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” Happiness comes from learning to live in the present moment doing the next right thing, and the next right thing after that. There is a real sense of well being. We feel more physically alive, enjoying a good workout, food tastes better, our eyes see more, our ears hear more. Our activities have direction and are focused. We are connected to others and our life has meaning. We judge ourselves with honesty. We recognize our accomplishments, our limits and our weaknesses. We are happy simply to be alive!
There is joy in helping someone help themselves, and seeing them go from desolation and despair to living the good life. We are free from the bondage of self when we work with and care for others. There is real joy in passing the lessons of Recovery onto someone else.
We faced the truth about ourselves and that truth set us free. We realize our choices make us who we are. In Recovery we are free to make choices, and are no longer a slave to alcohol or drugs. We are responsible for our choices and actions. Yet at the same time, we see we are not in total control of the results, but that a higher power is. We are free from the need to control or change what we can not change and free to change what we can.
Right in the middle of page 132 of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, is
“We absolutely insist on enjoying life.”
We learn to love our life, it’s the only one we have. We find life is about living, loving, learning and of course laughter. The joy of living is the theme of Recovery, and action is it’s key word. Happiness, purpose and fulfillment are found in a life worth living.
When I was practicing my alcoholism I had a set of tools that I used to maintain that way of life. I used anger to keep everyone away from any kind of emotional intimacy. I lied to avoid responsibility. I judged others to keep my ego pumped up. Denial was used to avoid looking at my defects. Isolation became a protective cocoon. I was a very lonely person. Alcohol plus “I, self, me” equaled my alcoholism.
I was living two lives. My inside life was fearful, angry, ashamed, guilty and full of self loathing. On the outside I tried to project an image of strength, capability and confidence. My inside life was like the “Picture of Dorian Gray.” and I felt like I too was selling my soul to the devil.
To change I had to get to know myself and find out why I did what I did. The Steps showed the way. Working the Steps was not easy and took time. It is still an ongoing process today. I found that trying to get rid of something or trying to stop something was difficult. I had more success by trying to replace an old way of doing something with a new way.
For example, instead of making up a story about why I was late, just tell the truth and admit to making a mistake. Doing it the new way, removes the bad feeling about lying, the fear about being caught in a lie, the anger that is often the response to fear, and by looking at the mistake I might learn how not to do it in the future. Why was I late? Can I change my behavior, so I am not late in the future? I felt free and gained a sense of power in shaping my behavior and my life.
I became a part of the Recovery community by attending meetings and working the Steps. There was a transformation from “I, self, me” to becoming a part of a fellowship. I was not alone any more, I was part of something greater than me. I became part of a “we.” Life was good. I felt supported, encouraged and cared for. I no longer felt like a victim of self.
Sub Menu items.
Alcoholism and addiction are very serious topics, and Recovery is hard work. However one of the important elements of Recovery is humor. We learn to laugh at ourselves and share that laughter with others. Sometimes laughter is nothing more than letting the hot air out of the ego balloon.
- Heard at Meetings – A quick one liners heard at meetings.
- Problem Drinking? – Here are some signs you might have a drinking problem.
- Rule 62 – The story behind Rule 62 which is “Don’t take yourself too damn seriously.”
- Acronyms – A collection of acronyms related to Recovery.
- AA Humor – Take some more time to laugh and enjoy. This is from friends in London Ontario, Canada AA.