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Audio Version

'We in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men. What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, "a design for living" that really works.'- Big Book, p28.

I try each day to raise my heart and hands in thanks to God for showing me a "design for living" that really works through our beautiful Fellowship. But what, exactly, is this "design for living" that "really works"? For me, it is the practice of the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability, the continued awareness of a God who loves me unconditionally, and the hope that, in each new day, there is a purpose for my being. I am truly, truly blessed in the Fellowship.

I need a design for living. Without some level of framework my thinking goes completely out of control. Sometimes I think about how I survived without a Programme. When I was drinking, though, I didn't think about stuff really. I didn't consider other people, I had no real plans except pipe dreams, and I just concentrated on drinking. Once the drink was put down my sole focus was staying sober and reviewing the Steps. Then once Step Twelve had been formally covered with my sponsor everything settled down a little and the framework was in place. I took a deep breath then commenced sober living.

I embrace it all now, good and bad. The design for living encourages me to not shy away from pain but instead to face it and learn from it. It encourages me to share and ask people how their day is going, and to ask if I can be of assistance. It tells me how important it is to be grateful for what we have, and not to focus on what we don't have. It helps me become increasingly more aware of who I am, and once more is uncovered then I channel that through the Programme and wait patiently to see what grows. Above all, this design for living comes with the greatest strength of all. A Higher Power and a Fellowship - so we are protected as well.

We are very lucky people.

Brighton Area Intergroup