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To Know The Difference

Some things in our lives, no matter how hard we try, we just can't control. The serenity prayer in 12-step programs covers this. I experienced this for the first time in 2011 when I read The Big Book, by Bill W. for the first time. Those three lines are spoken very often and contain an immense amount of wisdom, often having the full meaning taken for granted. I'm not trying to point fingers at anyone, I'm saying that I took it for granted personally. Falling very deeply into using it as a mantra, hoping that saying it enough times would make it this pillar of my life that brought world peace into all existence around me. Boy was I wrong.

After 9-10 months of regularly attending AA meetings, back then, I relapsed. Of course, it couldn't have been a ME issue, those darn 12 steps just didn't work for me! I moved on with that bad attitude and my addiction progressed worse and worse over the next decade. All the while I was spreading the nonsense about the 12 steps not working for me, and for that, I am gravely sorry. The reality of it is, I wasn't ready. What I thought was my rock bottom was actually far from it. I wore out multiple metaphorical shovels and pickaxes fervently searching for that emotional bedrock. And let me tell you, if you look hard'll find it.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. —The Big Book, by Bill W.

Now, I sit neutral on the effectiveness of the programs that utilize the 12 steps. I ended up getting sober using Vivitrol shots, Peer Recovery Coaching, and mental health counseling (click the links for more info and resources). They're just what worked for me when I was finally ready to live a healthier life. But, I stand on the foundation of multiple pathways. What worked for me may not work for you, and that's okay. But if you've tried multiple pathways yourself, I urge you to try and keep the tidbits from those paths and attempts you've made to get sober in the past. They're like tools in a toolbelt or pieces to a puzzle. You get enough of these resources in your pocket, and your chances of staying sober through the inevitable storms of life can go up profoundly.

I had some stressful stuff happen today, and as the dust settled (my bad attitude), I realized that I hadn't done a very good job of accepting the things I cannot change, and had let my attitude overpower that wisdom to know the difference between what I need to accept or courageously take action to change. I let my temper stand in front of the self-awareness I should have, and now I have an apology to give. Swallowing that pride is never comfortable, but essential to keeping the healthy relationships we make in our lives.

Today I am asking my Higher Power for better control over my stress response and how people treat me and I'm making an effort to do better in the future.

Until next time.

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May 03
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Very well done sir 👏


Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for sharing your story. Love ya bud!

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