When you first came to 12 Step, what were you hoping to get out of the program?
A sober husband?
A quick fix?
Validation that you were a victim?
A magic tool-kit to eradicate addiction from your loved one?
When I first came to Twelve Step, I think all I wanted was to find some way to feel peace again. I came because I didn’t know where else to turn, I stayed because I saw people who had been where I was and who had something I didn’t.
12 Step may not be a Fairy Godmother, but it does offer an almost-magical transformation to those who are willing to “thoroughly follow its path.”
But the rewards of working recovery are not necessarily things that materialize in concrete ways as favorable circumstances. Instead, they have been things that change me on the inside rather than the outside.
I am amazed at the impossible-to-predict changes I have seen in my personal life and in all of my relationships as I have worked the Steps. From starting this path from a rock-bottom that seemed endless and all-encompassing, a black hole of despair that I could not claw my way out of…the rewards of this program were more than I thought were possible.
Working the 12 Steps has freed me from compulsive behaviors that I had been trapped in for the past 18 years and resigned myself to saying were “just a part of who I was.”
Working the 12 Steps has freed me from unconsciously stepping into the Drama Triangle as a Rescuer in many of my interactions with others.
Working the 12 Steps has freed me from a frustrating, dysfunctional parent-child relationship with my husband. It has given me an entirely new vantage point to see myself and him, giving us both equal footing in a humble, honest, accountable relationship where neither one of us is the victim or the hero, and we both get the privilege of sharing a lifelong journey towards God.
Working the 12 Steps has freed me from a life-long battle with perfectionism. I have been awakened to the truth that the real power in my life comes not from focusing all my energy on doing more, doggedly determined to become what I perceive as “my best me”, but rather from focusing my energy on letting go and creating the space in my mind and heart for HIM to do more and to mold me into HIS version of my best me.
Working the 12 Steps has freed me from a narrow concept of God into a broader, more connected and joyful way to relate to Him. It has opened the doorway in my mind and heart to turn a business relationship with the God I thought I knew into a life-long passionate love affair, where I get to rediscover over and over not only who He is, but who I am through His all-loving eyes.
These are just a few of the rewards that I am seeing in my life today.
The rewards of working the 12 Steps don’t guarantee us worldly success.
They don’t offer financial security or even the ultimate safety of our marriage.
They can’t promise that our husbands will love us or our children won’t fall victim to addiction themselves.
But they do offer peace and growth through every circumstance we could ever face, and a conscious, fulfilling life lived with serenity, dignity, and emotional growth.
For me, that’s more than money can buy or any Fairy Godmother can muster.
Please share the gifts you are feeling in your life as you work the 12 Steps. We need your strength, hope, and experience!