Thanks to all those who share their long term recovery here. It's so important to hear from people who have that, in my f2f meetings it seemed so rare sometimes, the daily struggle was what I heard for so long...
The few who actually had good strong recovery were always too busy to sponsor it seemed (my perception at the time of course), and it seemed everyone was coming back from a relapse or just going into one, the talk seemed to be that not "if" you had a relapse, but "when" you had one how to get back from it.
The lady who is my sponsor came in to program at one of the first local meetings I started in my town, I had been in program for over a year and for many meetings it was just her and I, and she made remarkable progress, not instant but steady progress and she lost all her weight, worked the steps in what I considered a strong fashion, and as I was constantly struggling to get this program in to me, she was a real beacon and an example to draw from. Three years ago she asked me if I wanted her to be my sponsor. Because of things that I shared at meetings she felt drawn to me she said, and after some thought, I said yes, that I had wanted to ask her, but my pride had gotten in the way, after all I came into program before she did, and she had always said what an inspiration I was to her, which was me doing a lot of talking the talk, but not walking the walk, and I felt like a fraud and unworthy. BUT, she had what I wanted, and I got to a place where I really wanted it more than I wanted to "appear" like I already had it... so I said yes, and it still took me over a year to really commit to her, to use her in a wise and reliable fashion for my recovery.
When I hit my bottom, she was there to help me get through, to set in motion a good strong program of recovery and one of the most important things I remember her telling me at that time was, "I give you permission NOT to relapse." It is not inevitable and you can choose not to. Be Strong!
This program has now been "IN" me for over 2 years, and I still feel that way. Relapse is NOT inevitable and I choose not to have to deal with it. I pray I never get past that thought, so I keep my vigil, I keep doing the things that keep me in recovery, I keep walking even when I really don't want to, I keep making my food plan every morning, I keep reading, I keep working on the steps, I keep making phone calls, I keep going to meetings, - I keep coming back!
I continue to WORK this program so my life can be happy, joyous and free. I keep doing all that for me, cause if I don't I can be of no use to anyone else, and the thrill of seeing someone else "get it" and pointing to me as some small kind of inspiration for them is gratifying, not so much for my own ego anymore, but for the sheer joy of them finding their way out of their own particular Hell, to be thankful to my HP for letting me be an example of His power makes me amazingly grateful and awe struck. The third step prayer says it for me,
"God, I offer myself to Thee - to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"
Frankly I still have many difficulties, but how I am able to handle them now is much different than before program. I have been relieved of the compulsion to "drug" myself with food as a way of dealing with my life's challenges and that in itself has relieved Much of my difficulties, and has allowed me to really work on learning to cope with the rest of what happens to me. I was always trying to deal with the negatives in my life cause that's all I saw, but now I can also experience joy again, even amidst the challenges of living. Having that balance is so cool, to look forward to some things with the innocent unbridled expectations of the child in me and still be able to consider the responsible adult-like things (consequences) related to those activities, and make a decision while considering both is nothing short of miraculous.
The topic at my f2f meeting last night was "incentives". What keeps me working this program? What makes it worth it for me? As I stated before, to be able to live happy, joyous and free is what keeps me coming back. The difference being, what brought me here was to get away from the life I was living, but what keeps me coming back is the draw of the life I can have. It's the difference of running "from" something and running "to" something, one is fear and one is expectation, one is negative and one is positive. It's the flick of a switch in my thinking that changes my perceptions of my life.
All praise to my Higher Power for allowing me this gift.
I am so grateful and so blessed to have this program in my life, to have people who truly understand the nature of this addiction and who have found a way to cope and are willing to share it with me. I, in turn, share with you bits of my experiences in hopes that it will also be helpful.
I am humbled by my Higher Power's love for me, it is a gift beyond all my comprehension, but I am thankful for the glimpse that I have seen and I pass it on cause that's what this program is all about, that is one of the joys of living in recovery.
Keep coming back.
love and hugs,
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