Endigar 65

I am now officially over half way complete with the amends process, weighing in at 52% accomplished.  Sponsee One is out of the hospital, and we went to the meeting together tonight.  It was a 12 & 12 meeting, based on the book 12 steps and 12 traditions.  We talked about the 1st step, about powerlessness.  I really need to get a clear way of understanding and expressing myself on this one issue, because it is so essential to get the program.

Well Rick, since you have crossed over the halfway point let me ask you a few questions based on the 12 promises associated with the amends process:

1.  Were you amazed before you were halfway through? 

I would have to say yes, and maybe qualify that with the word surprised.  The changes that have taken place as a result of this program took me by surprise, and I find that amazing, because I am very self-absorbed, or so I have been told.  How did this happen?  What happened to make this program so very real for me?  Does the program have its own set of Keebler Elves that work while we are otherwise occupied?  I have been amazed.  yes, I have.

2.  Do you know a new freedom and happiness?

Yes, definitely.  I know a new freedom in my spiritual life.  The program did not give me a Higher Power, but gave me the freedom to seek one without all the religious pretense and bondage of second-guessing and need to appease a disinterested Deity.  As a result, I feel, not continually, but more and more often, the happiness of a child’s heart that can see and enjoy magic again.  Today, on my off day, I went out to Oak Mountain in the misty rains given to us by the storm front affectionately known as Fay.  The voice of the waters was loud and beautiful, and for the first time in many decades I fell into an ecstasy.  I made a new covenant with my Higher Power just prior to this event, and felt it confirmed in this manner.  I could see every leaf and rock in a new and powerful way.  The high was more intense then any chemically induced variety I personally know.  I am overwhelmed by it all.

3.  Do you not regret the past or wish to shut the door on it?

Courage.  Self-confidence.  Experience that connects me to my fellows, a powerful humility that resists that disease-activating arrogance.  This program has taken my most embarrassing, humiliating, ignoble performance in life and helped me find a way to transform it into the strength of heart found through integrity.   It has given me skills to correct the way I relate to others.   I really like me.  In fact, I think I am following in love with me…is it abnormal to enjoy your own body odor?  Anyway, I digress. 

4.  Do you comprehend the word serenity, and do you know peace?

Hmmm.  To be truthful, this one is a bit up and down.  I had “acceptance issues” from the very beginning.  Page 417 of the Big Book was prescribed to me in my first treatment.  I cannot claim full comprehension of the word serenity.  I have developed a greater appreciation for the word serenity, and a desire to know peace more often than I do.  This is probably the most difficult aspect of my sobriety to date.  I am working on it. 

5.  Considering how far down the scale you have gone, can you see how your experience will benefit others? 

I can.  I have been afraid that my experience is too “high bottom” to be of any real help.  But I have seen that the disease provided me with many points of being able to relate with others.  I relate to the alcoholic Father who loves his children more than life itself, and yet knows that will not stop the insanity.  I relate to having your workplace credibility sullied, destroyed.  I relate to being preached to by those who have no clue what its like to be powerless.  I relate to the bringing of horror and frustration into an extended family.  I relate to becoming a devil in my church, where my devotion to religion was inadequate.  I relate to waking up and experiencing the possibility of being isolated, spiritually.  No god.  No magic.  No hope.  So many bankruptcies I have felt.  Although I can re-emphasize them all with greater and more overwhelming tragedies, it is all the same.  It is not necessary for me to totally trash my life to be of use here, in these rooms. 

I really need to get to bed.  I have to get up in the morning for work.  Can we continue this interview tomorrow?

How about just one more question before you go?

Alright.  shoot.

6.  Did that feeling of uselessness and self-pity disappear?

Do you mean that suicidal, morbid paranoia and feelings of futility that haunted me?  That made me fantasize of how nice it would be to cut myself, bleed out while I drank into a mindless stupor.  Is that the feeling you mean.  I am no longer a victim.  My usefulness to myself and others increases on a regular basis.  Emphatically yes, they have not only disappeared, they have absolutely vaporized.  I have no real clue as to how that transformation took place.  I guess because the disease affects me on so many different levels, that when it recedes, it is hard to identify the path of its retreat. 

Now really, I have got to get some sleep.  I’ll do my best to be back tomorrow.  Good night.

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