This past Friday I celebrated 9 years of continuous sobriety. Which is pretty awesome if I do say so myself. A good friend & I both got sober the same year, so we like to compare notes on a regular basis about the phases we go through, and how crazy it is to be creeping up on a decade of living sober. Good stuff. I went to my home group on Wednesday night and got that shiny new coin above, which has been in my pocket since then. I like to carry my coin with me.
We spent the holiday weekend at the campground with family & friends & food. My girlfriend and I also decided to celebrate my anniversary by finding a local meeting, which proved to be an adventure. Lesson learned: always carry a current meeting list! The one I printed from last year sent us to a meeting that had since moved. We did manage to find one a half hour later at a club house though. It was a Living Sober meeting, open discussion format, so we got to hear from a variety of people. I got another coin which I'm saving for another friend who will celebrate 9 years in the fall.
At both meetings I shared my experience, strength and hope. The bottom line for me is that I sat down, shut up, and did what they told me to do. If a person wants to stay sober, they need to be willing, open & honest. They need to work the steps thoroughly and be willing to take suggestions. It is a humbling & at times painful process, but it is worth it. It's not easy to walk in and admit that you don't have the answers, and that what you've been doing has clearly not been working for you. But the Promises do materialize if we are willing to do the hard work.
The 12 Promises are from pps. 83-84 of the Big Book.
"If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through . . .
- We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
- We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
- We will comprehend the word serenity.
- We will know peace.
- No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
- That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
- We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
- Self-seeking will slip away.
- Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
- Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
- We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
- We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fullfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them."