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Glad Enough?

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I’m writing this article just a couple of days after having a lovely long chat with my sponsee about handing things over to my Higher Power. It capped off what ended up being a fortnight or so of my Higher Power reminding me just how important Step Seven is – I missed a couple of meetings due to family events and work and I very quickly found myself feeling the effects.

In a weird way it wasn’t because I was struggling or feeling wobbly in my sobriety – quite the opposite. I handled potentially stressful events easily, things have been going well, I’ve been feeling good. However, what I did find was that, despite hearing of many people with long periods of sobriety going back out and drinking again, my mind was starting to trick me again, whispering things like, “See, you don’t need these meetings” and “Why do you even keep all this up now?”

Sharing all this with my sponsee reminded me of the work we originally did on this Step together and helped me to remember that I need to constantly hand things over – no matter how small – to my Higher Power. In the past couple of days, I have been careful to get back into working my Programme with the same intensity as I did in my early sobriety. Almost instantly I have found myself feeling calmer and more balanced.

A good friend in the Rooms always says, “Nothing will make me mad enough, sad enough or glad enough to drink again.” While I have felt I did well with the first two parts of that, it is the ‘glad enough’ which nearly crept up on me again. I have been glad and grateful for my sobriety, keeping mostly calm and contented but this alone is not enough.

Asking for help in the mornings and expressing gratitude at night before going to sleep is a powerful tool and wonderful framework for the day though it too is not enough on its own. Even all of this and going to meetings isn’t enough if I am not carrying on the various practices of the Program outside of the Rooms.

I now fully understand that I need to always keep a close contact with my Higher Power and this begins with being willing to keep HP informed about all my feelings - even good ones. Especially good ones, as for me these are the sneakiest ways that my alcoholism will try to creep back in – when I am feeling happy, level, like I have ‘cracked it’ or that I am ‘better now’.

It’s easy to see when I am down or stressed that I need to hand over resentments or worries to my Higher Power but, as I was discussing with my sponsee, I also need to keep that contact with the different aspects of the Programme when things are going well too.

My alcoholism is always with me, always watching and waiting, ready to exploit extremes of emotion in either direction, but my Programme and all the wonderful people in it are also always with me - always supporting and guiding me. These past couple of weeks have been a great reminder to me to make sure to always reach out and accept that support and guidance – especially when I start feeling like I don’t need it any more.

So, with gratitude and love, thank you to all the wonderful people in this Programme and to my Higher Power – I will be sure to improve and maintain the close contact which keeps me sane and sober and do what I can to support others in their own journeys of sobriety.

Thank you all so much

Yours in Fellowship
ROBBIE H, Northampton