Good topic Dallas,
And what I'm sharing here actually parallel's some of your other posts this morning, seems like we may both be experiencing some self reflection at the moment, I know I certainly am.
Don't think I've gone into my story too deeply at this point so just a bit of background first. First came to AA almost 26 years ago no, my first sobriety date was on March 18th, 1982, day after St. Pat's Day, had to get one last one in you know. After that I spent the next several month's faithfully going to meetings, about 4-5 per week and was flat-assed stoned at every one of them but I didn't drink! Well I think you probably know how that worked out, I drank after almost 8 months.
When I got back on November 18th of the same year, this time sober and clean I really threw myself into the program, worked the steps, got a sponsor and as Dallas loves to remind us every chance he gets, practiced, Action, Action, Action. Hey it works Dallas, I'm not critisizing.
I then spent the next 5+ years working the program and getting as involved in service as I could with the help of my sponsor who was a tireless man when it came to AA service work. I met a woman in AA about this time and after a 2 1/2 year courtship we married. Although neither of us consciously meant to we both nonetheless drifted away from meetings and the program. Neither of us relapsed, our life appeared to be happy, joyous and free from addictions, we had a beautiful child who is now 12 years old and we're very proud of him.
Almost 3 years ago now my wife and fellow alcoholic and I found ourselves in a fairly stagnant and somewhat poisonious relationship, imagine that! You see, she suffers from depression, always has since I've known her and when I had finally built up enough resentment toward her about that, after living with it for 16+ years, things began to crumble for us. She found herself suicidal, had to be admitted to a hospital and found another claiming to have the same feelings and depression as herself. That's when I lost her, to another, my world collapsed and I had nothing of substance to prop me up. But I did have AA if I chose to go back, it had been a good number of years since I'd gone to a meeting, spoken to a fellow member, practiced the principles in any of my affairs. But the group I had helped to start some 20 years earlier was still there, still good people there that remembered me but more importantly welcomed me in with open arms.
That was a little over 2 years ago and I'm still going, still involved, started an additional meeting that had been dropped somewhere over the years. I pray everyday to God that I won't allow myself to make the same mistake twice and drift away from the very thing that gave me the life I have today, that fourth dimension, see I got to part of it eventually Dallas.
Ok here is the next part of my story, during the time that wife and I were separated, a little over 2 years some major changes came about for both of us. Shortly after her initial involvement with the other man she allowed herself to enter into a new world of addiction, she became addicted to "crack" after 18 years of continuous alcohol sobriety. Since we were separated this was not something I became aware of until just this past September, we were at a place in our lives discussing the possibility of giving it another go. When I found out about her addiction, she made the decision she wanted to go into a treatment facility and then I told her I would address our relationship with her after she completed the rehab.
During her time in rehab I searched for something to help me with this new twist of life and came across another 12 Step program, modeled after the one that saved my life all these many years ago. This program is basically NA's version of Al Anon, it's called Nara non and the 12 Steps are the same 12 we here have all come to know, love and embrace.
I am currently working the 12 Steps through this program and as I said they are basically the same, have found that I view them in a different light and as a result some things about me have surfaced that need to be addressed by me. This isn't to say that had I remained a steady member of AA for those years I was absent, that I wouldn't have stumbled upon this new awareness. But the point is I did become aware, through my involvement in this program, of some glaring defects of character needing to be expunged. This is where a parallel comes in, Dallas posted something under Relationships in Recovery and the journey I've started on in working the Steps again in this new light is what's allowed me to see exactly how sick I still am.
Taking action, in any program or facet of one's life will always result in the same thing, CHANGE. It's a fact of our natural world and it doesn't mean that the change will necessarily be a good change, action can result in adverse change, no doubt. Today I choose to take action in my life that I will continue to scrutinize, analyze and do everything I possibly can to be sure the results are POSITIVE changes, today. And then tomorrow, God willing, I'll start all over again one day at a time, through the help of my programs and all the good people I surround myself with, including all of you, to affect those positive changes in all my relationships.
Thank you so much for letting me share and thank you Dallas for this topic, as you can see it sparked much within me.
In love and recovery,