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The 12th step is about carrying the message of recovery to the alcoholic/addict who is still struggling today….now. Not all people who get clean are able to truly make it through the 12th step with a sponsor. Only the lucky ones do. The ones who have been beat down so hard by their addiction that they realize there is no where else to turn but to stay in recovery for the long haul. I happen to be one of those lucky ones.
Each day that I wake up breathing, I pray fro a better understanding of what God’s will is for me. I try to pass that message to the new person who is still struggling….and his or her family members. This is a tough job but it is very rewarding, spiritually speaking. If you are one of the lucky ones who has been able to truly and honestly complete all 12 steps to the best of your ability, as the books suggest, it is your duty to renew your commitment to recovery regularly. This is the least that you can give back to the program that has saved you from the hell and misery and pain of active using.
It is important to remember where we came from as addicts severely addicted to all compulsive behaviors in our lives. The only thing that 12 step programs promise is freedom from active addiction as long as you try your best to follow the basic, simple directions. The pain and misery that active addiction caused us got to the point to where it was so unbearable that we had no other place to turn except for the 12 step groups.
As we advance in our daily recovery and we get more time under our belts, our spirituality awareness increases and we become less about self and more about wanting to know what God’s will is for us today and tomorrow. This is a major factor in remembering the pain that active addiction caused us and our loved ones. The 8th step clearly defines the harm that our using caused everyone that we came in contact with. The 8th step defines the specific types of harm that we did whether it was things that we did to others…or things that were left undone.
Each of the steps have significant meaning as a person progresses through his or her recovery but becoming complacent at certain points along the way seems to be a common problem with most addicts and alcoholics that share in meetings. And that is the exact purpose of this blog post today…to not forget how important it is to regularly renew our commitment to recovery. To not forget the pain that our active addiction caused us.
As we all get back to work now that the holidays are over, it is important to remember the most important person in the room…the new guy. The person who has less then 30 days clean and sober…the person who may only have 24 hours clean and sober. Remember how your first 24 hours was a miracle? Remember how you could not even imagine staying clean for one hour never mind one whole day! I do remember that! We hear new people come into their first few meetings all the time who say that when they share. It is important to remember that this is a new year and time to renew our commitment to recovery by helping a newcomer with our wisdom, and knowledge of recovery.