Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sunday 8/9/09 "BACK TO BASICS - A,B,C"


"Remember that we deal with alcohol - cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is one who has all power - that One is God. May you find him now!"
(From "Alcoholics Anonymous" 'Big Book', pp. 58-59.)

Whether we have one day, one year, one decade or more of sobriety, we must never forget the basics. When I was newly sober I had no idea how to stay sober and I had to keep it simple so I followed the basic directions I was given. Even after many years of sobriety, life can throw not just curve balls, but gigantic objects at me. At those times and all the times in between, I must practice the basics. I must remember that the physical distance between me, an alcoholic, and that first drink is about as long as my arm and this distance is not apt to change. All it would take would be an unguarded, nonspiritual moment in my mind when my brain says, "Oh, F--K It!"

The spiritual distance between my mind and spirit and that first drink is the distance I must rely on to prevent taking that first drink. This distance was important then and is now. Just one drink and I'm back into the allergy with its obsession and compulsion that is too powerful to control - that will take me back to Hell.

The greater my connection to my Higher Power, to my God, the greater the distance I am from taking that first drink. Here are the basics that helped me form, strengthen, and maintain this relationship and still work today.

A - Get on my knees and ask God to help me stay away from a drink today. I also ask him to help me with any difficulties I may be having. I need the power He can provide - the power I lack. At night I thank Him for keeping me sober.

B - Reach out for help from the people in Alcoholics Anonymous. I had a sponsor that I called, got together with, and worked the program with. As hard as it was at first, I had to also reach out by phone and in meetings to other alcoholics trying to stay sober. I remember a time early in sobriety when I was a wreck in my mind. I don't remember what the issue was, but I could not deal with it alone in my own head. It was a Saturday morning and no one was at home. (No cell phones back then.) I couldn't reach my sponsor or the few friends I had. Thank God I had a list of women's phone numbers. As hard as it was, I just kept dialing numbers on the list until someone finally answered the phone. I did not know who I was talking to, but I just kept talking to her until I was sane again. It worked. That was a powerful lesson in the healing power of one alcoholic speaking to another alcoholic.

C - Go to meetings, listen, and try to identify with people rather than compare. I had to keep an open mind. This still works.

D - Another basic was the mantra I repeated in my head, "I don't drink 'NMW' - No Matter What!" I also used to hear often, "Even if your a -- is falling off, pick it up and carry it to a meeting." That is what I did.

E - I must always remember that I can not do this alone, can't stay sober alone and can't live life alone. I need other people and I need God.

I thank Alcoholics Anonymous and all the wonderful people in the program who taught me the basics and continue to keep my memory green and keep me repeating the basics.

I am grateful to you bloggers. You motivate me to think about so many aspects of my sobriety. That is such a blessing.

Prayer Girl


Madison said...

This is beautifully written. I wonder what got you to that point of desperation. It's that first step in the right direction that is so awesome. I'm sending this to my daughter.

Mike Golch said...

Prayer Girl,What a great message!Thank you for sharing it.

Findon said...

Excellent PG. The basics never change, they are my foundation, even if I mess around with the rest of my stuff, so long as I keep to the basics and never forget that I'm an alcoholic and today I will not drink, then all will be fine. Thanks for the post

Tall Karen said...

"The things I learned in the first 30 days of sobriety will keep me sober through anything."

Reminder: Keep It Simple Sweetheart

Steve E. said...

"BAck to Basics" ...or "Still IN Basics"??? Both are GooooD!

Mama Zen said...

Thank you for this.

Syd said...

I'm grateful for you Anna. You provide a gentle perspective on so many aspects of recovery and life in general.