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Hi guys, Auds here sober and abstinent just for today by the grace of God, this fellowship, and my own effort.

"The gift we can offer others
is so simple a thing as hope."

Daniel Berriga

I always say that faith comes with mileage, I want this and don't want that becomes getting what you don't want and finding out that you really did want it after all. After many twenty-fours of thinking that my Higher Power would give me what I wanted if He only knew all the circumstances. Hmmmm! Let me reread that and ask you if it makes sense. Of course not! So let me reiterate that God gives me what I need and not what I want. So after many twenty-fours of getting what I don't want I find out down the road that I am grateful for those unanswered prayers. I have finally accepted that I don't know what will make me happy. My Higher Power has done a great job when I let him, and when I accept it I realize that he has answered my prayers. The answer was no.

I equate my Higher Power with a loving parent who can see far more clearly than I what I need. I need to stumble and fall, it is in trying stuff that we find our own path. I need to succeed for that gives me hope that I can do some difficult stuff. I need to hear the way that others have achieved those things that are necessary to my well being.

When I hear things at meetings and I think YES, I know my higher power put those thoughts in the speaker's mind. If I hear things at meetings and they make me remember what addiction feels like, My Higher Power is saying pay attention.

T. H. I. N. K. = the happiness I now know. It's mine for the footwork. If I let my spiritual health decline, if I start isolating, if I let my disease tell me that abstinence is not important, I am planning on relapse.

One day at a time I can do anything with my Higher Power's help. Pg. 105 in the 12+12 is so important to me. I learned this page from looking it up so often and it gives me hope. The hope that I am not alone and that the things I do are done by others.

"We discover that we do receive guidance for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God to give it to us on order and on our terms. Almost any experienced AA/OA (member) will tell how their affairs have taken remarkable and unexpected turns for the better as they tried to improve their conscious contact with God. They will also report that out of every season of grief or suffering, when the hand of God seemed heavy or even unjust, new lessons for living were learned, new resources of courage were uncovered, and that finally, inescapably, the conviction came that God does move in a mysterious way his wonders to perform."

The next paragraph says "all of us without exception" and "When these things happen" which gives me hope that I am not the only one and that when not if means that we are not expected to be perfect. It is progress not perfection that enables me to stay the course.

For me faith comes with mileage means that I can now see what my Higher Power has in mind for me. Most of the time, I kick and scream if things seem unjust, but when I give myself time to reflex before reacting, I find that the next right thing turns out to be what makes me happy. If not exactly happy at least it makes me grateful that I have not made a bad situation worse.

Anger, fear, and the how dare theys make fertile ground for relapse. Hope, faith, increased conscious contact with the winners and my higher power make fertile ground for recovery. I am not good at promptly anything but I am becoming better and better at sooner rather than later. I believe that my higher power gave me recovery to have a life. Into addiction I lived alone in dark rooms. In recovery I live in a world where I make mistakes that no longer defeat me.

I believe that we should make our abstinence from trigger foods a loose fitting garment, but our abstinence from sugar and alcohol complete. Their are those who abstain differently from me and if it works for them that is their abstinence and none of my business. I can only abstain in a way that is comfortable for me; otherwise, I am liable to feel that if I can't be perfect then why try at all.

I had a friend in OA when I was new. He said that if he had known what his abstinence would be like after a 300 LB weight loss he never would have begun. It seems as if we need more food when dragging three hundred pounds around. As I have given up the last fifty pounds I have had to increase my exercise level and, on occasion when feeling particularly willing, reducing the size of my portions.

Do I still have bouts of rebellion? You bet, but they are further and further between and as long as I keep my body free from addictive substances and go to the places where I hear what I need to hear to increase my conscious contact with the God who guides me, I can just for today accept my imperfect self and go forward with hope that just for today I will do my best. My honest best. One day at a time, one moment at a time things will get better.

I am living a life I never imagined. I am sober and abstinent, I am not isolating. I am intuitively handling situations which used to baffle me. (most of the time.) I am not regretting the past recent or otherwise because I know that each stumble of mine will get me to where my Higher Power wants me. I live with such gratitude today, that I have been given this wondrous gift of recovery. I live with gratitude and that makes me feel healthy energetic, and serene.

As usual I have gone on and on, but if you don't have faith and hope, I pray that you don't give up. Faith takes time. We need to see that facts as we see them. They are not always the truth. We need to find out time after time that good lies where we saw only bad. Then we can hope that we will find out that the future is just that. We will want to live in today and the knowledge that fear keeps us from the comfort of a workable now. Hope is the wellspring of sticking to it. Faith is the product of sticking to it.

As usual take what you need and leave the rest. this brings love and hugs from a grateful recovering coe and alcoholic.

xoxoxo Auds

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