I went to a…well I’m not sure you can call it an AA meeting. Workshop? I don’t know if that’s the right word either. Whatever I went to today was pretty cool but overwhelming too. They take you through all 12 steps in one day! Obviously you aren’t really ‘working’ them (I don’t believe you can do all those 12 steps in one day – some of them are pretty hard cord where you dig deep and have to trudge up a lot of emotional past garbage, etc so there’s just no possible way to effectively work the steps in one day…at least in my opinion!)
Today for me it was more about learning the 12 steps (and taking lots of notes – seriously I felt like I was back in school! I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with the speaker! lol). Sure, at every AA meeting I hear them but because I haven’t started working them (except for the first three) I didn’t really understand what all they entailed. So today was kind of eye opening for me. It was all emotional. I have a lot of past garbage, shame and guilt that I have to deal with and it’s not pretty when I started taking my moral inventory (step four)!
After today’s meeting it really reiterated that I am ready for a sponsor (I have asked someone we’re just trying to coordinate schedules to sit down and talk about it) and ready to really start working the steps! (I have to be honest – this scares the shit out of me. As I mentioned above some of these steps require some really hard, deep, internal, soul searching, icky feeling, emotional work!) So, what are these 12 steps?
The 12 Steps of AA
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The first two steps for me were a breeze. No doubt, 250% I am powerless over alcohol and that my life was unmanageable! Believed that a power greater than me (God) could restore me to sanity. I’m struggling with step three a little…I’ve been a Christian for many years and I’ve always struggled with letting God have control of my life. But I’m most freaked about step four. I’ve started working it a little bit and it’s not pretty. Until I get my sponsor in place, I’m not going any further with the steps. I need someone to help me through this. I need someone to share all my garbage with that isn’t going to judge me because she’ll understand exactly where I’m coming from when I share all these skeletons I’ve let build up in my closet over the years.
That’s one thing I really love about these AA meetings I’ve been attending – people GET me. They’ve been where I’ve been. They’ve had to deal with the shame and guilt too. I look up to these people that have had several years sobriety now and are living happy, joyful, wonderful, awesome lives today. It really gives me hop that some day I will be able to move past all this garbage, forgive myself and get on with life!
I kind of rambled a lot of this post. I was all over the place with my thoughts…can’t help it. I just have so much going through my head after today! How can you not when you sit in a ‘meeting’ for 5.5 hours and learn all sorts of stuff about the AA steps?
Until next time…
photo credit: RAWKU5