I just started reading the 12th Step. In NA I was taught that the steps were not a foot race to “feeling better” or “getting better”. Too often I see folks trying to do a 4th and 5th Step with under a year clean who are not ready for the emotional aspects of Stepwork. This is what I was taught and it has worked so far so I don’t question it.
So I am reading the 12th and, for me, it had a practical approach at what living this Step was really about. It simply for me is doing what I learned in the preceeding 11 Steps and the results show in how I live my life and help others.
While in recovery I have put aside my belief in coincidences and luck. I came into work this morning and talked with a co-worker who has a friend who is in trouble. The details aren’t important. I got together a schedule, some literature, and circled some meetings in the area.
I knew in doing this that it would disclose that I was in recovery, that I was an addict, that I attend NA. All of that seemed less important than the person who needed help. This for me is the essence of our program. I did nothing special, nor do I need any recognition for it. I reminded myself that someone made themselves available to me to receive help, and I can do the same.
This person looked at me and said they would have never have guessed that I was an addict, by the way i carry myself. Not using it as an excuse. It took awhile for that to sink in. I was speaking about this to one of the guys I sponsor last night. There is a line in our Text that says:
We are not responsible for our disease, we are responsible for our recovery.
Too often we want to use this line as a free pass. To act the way we want to, and then blame it on being an addict. This is bullshit. Whomever is teaching newcomers this thought process, has had their own recovery stop.
What this line means is that I did not do anything intentional to get or deserve this disease. For the longest time I thought I had done something wrong, that I had inherited this maybe genetically, or circumstantially. In the end, what does it really matter? I ended up in NA one way or the other, so why spend countless hours examining and re-examining my life to find out “where it all went wrong”?
Our loved ones did not see some cloaked, mysterious figure and said……
Look…There goes the disease of addiction again, destroying our lives!!!!
What they said was…..
I don’t know where your Father is kids.
I have to move forward and take some responsibility for my own actions. This is what we mean by being responsible for our own recovery. This is accomplished by staying clean, going to meetings, doing stepwork, being involved, and making ourselves available to those in need.