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STEP FOURLove is... AA ( All Around )
When I made a searching and fearless written moral inventory of myself, I felt set free. It felt like a black cloud had been lifted and a huge weight was now gone.
In my drinking career I had done and lived recklessly because when I drank daily as I had done and the quantity I had been drinking, I honestly think that if I had killed someone, the countless times I had driven and been over the limit, I would still definitely have been able to justify it in my head. Drink led me to some really dark places and I honestly thought that was how my life was meant to be.
When I did Step Four, life became better and easier. I started to live and love myself, therefore for me Love Is AA ( All Around), because I now love myself and have love for everyone all around, no matter who they are, what walk of life they come from, what colour or age they are.
The love and kindness I have experienced in AA helps me every day to accept I am an alcoholic for life, who does not drink one day at a time. I accept, acknowledge and am no longer ashamed of my past, because I choose not to behave that way anymore. I can’t change the past but I can change the future, so I believe that when I ask God to grant me the serenity to ACCEPT the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can and WISDOM to know the difference, I am accepting and changing my future for the better. One day at a time.
Having lived my life for many, many years with no Programme of any kind, Step Four made me realise that my addiction had rendered me unable to tell the truth when I left my house, and that was only because I lived alone and had no one to lie to.
Every single word that came out of my mouth was a lie; my name, my job. I was in fact the star of my own show, a show I thought I loved, but like all good shows it had to end. I thank AA and God it did not end in suicide or death as I had often written it in the script but thankfully I was not able to do the scene instead I found the rooms of AA.
I spent a lot of time agonising and thinking about all the events and things I had done in my drinking days. As we know alcoholism is not just about the quantity we drink or how often we drink, it’s about our actions before and with a drink. I was able to share all my events, issues and things with my sponsor; things I had never told anyone else as I was ashamed and embarrassed to admit to anyone the things that I had done, things I thought I would never share and take to my grave.
My sponsor never judged me, but listened, showed compassion and told me I had a illness and she also shared some of her Step Four, so I no longer felt the shame or embarrassment and I didn’t hate myself anymore. I actually felt good, with a sense of relief as the heavy back pack I had been carrying was now lifted off my back and I now had to start taking the stuff out (by continuing the Steps), in order to get the peace and serenity I have always wanted in my life. Five years’ sober, I now love that I haven’t caused problems, created havoc, lied or done things that I am ashamed or embarrassed about.
Now I live my life on a daily basis where I am aware of what has happened, I know I have not lied or upset anyone. If I do, I promptly admit it and apologise. I know my character strengths and weaknesses so I am able to act and think appropriately before I seek guidance from God every day to help me maintain all the steps.