I’ve been away for a while, working the program but putting focus where it has been needed the most, on my children and my life. Working the program in solitude has it’s benefits, but it also has it’s drawbacks. As with most things in my life, fall through spring is my writing time of year, a time for reflection, introspection and deep spiritual growth, Spring through Fall is the time for living out those changes and putting them into action. This year has been no different. But sense of community is lacking when I’m not engaging with others in the program.
I couldn’t be anymore grateful for all that as transpired from the wreckage of this disease. I have found that I am more than capable of doing much I didn’t think I could as a single parent, with God’s help.
One of the infinitely great things about living and breathing the 12 steps is that you see it work, you feel it work and you catch yourself more and more naturally using all that the steps teach you. Deeper than that you catch yourself communing with God, as you know him, more and more often. Asking for less and listening more.
It is somewhat common for the steps as there are 12 of them to be studied step by step monthly as they coincide with the months of the year. That being said, the step for September is:
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
When I was young in the program I always thought how could an amend really hurt or injure others. It often baffled me, the ultimate question being, “If I’m not to judge others then how do I “judge” if an amend could hurt or injure others?” After working through the steps for many years I have come this year to realize that this is a time of listening to my Higher Power.
I am one who mid sentence will turn my face upwards and say “God, I need a brick.” Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, I mean that I need a brick dropped on my head or a very clear sometimes loud communication from my Higher Power in regards to what His Will is for me. And when I ask, I listen for that communication. This holds true for making amends. I can’t know if it will hurt someone, I can’t judge that. Because I can’t judge where another person is in their recovery if they are even there. But what I do know is that God will make a way if it is His will for me and for the person or people involved.
I have learned so much that I would not otherwise have learned going through these past 2 years. And mostly I have seen and and learned that my Higher Power when I align my will with His brings a peace beyond compare. I have learned that no matter what may be going on outside my world that the peace and serenity need never leave my being. And I have learned that if that serenity does go, it’s because I’m not putting my priorities in order of highest importance.
Though many place a great deal of emphasis on Step 9, both in the step work as well as in difficulty, I have found for myself that the greatest challenge, the most amount of work comes in becoming ready. I have made many amends over the past 2 years. Many of the amends I have made have been to myself some to my children and plenty have been made to the alcoholic in my life. I have made amends to those I hadn’t truly realized I’d harmed until I began the release of the disease itself. The odd thing about this is, growing up in a recovery environment, a 1st generation recovery family, I didn’t even realize that the disease had affected me then too albeit indirectly and cunningly until I found myself smack dab in the middle of the disease itself with an active alcoholic, in the throes of a family in denial of it’s generational effects and pervasiveness.
The disease takes its time to creep in, and, it takes its time to leave. It always has and it always will. I am beyond thankful for the experience, for the love, for the time, for even the struggles past and present that are teaching me. In learning this I hope to help my children see their options for ways of living life that I didn’t even see growing up.
So today I am listening to my Higher Power’s will for me. And today I heard write.