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.”
Here are the promises the green book, Working the S-Anon Program, makes for those who sincerely seek to work the steps:
When we approach the process of recovery with honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to apply the principles of the Twelve Steps to our lives, we will soon begin to see the rewards.
We will become able to surrender our self-defeating behavior.
We will find that we have the strength and insight to make good choices for ourselves.
Our ability to act positively on behalf of our health, families, jobs, and bank accounts will amaze us.
We will find that others are doing things for themselves, which we thought we had to do for them.
Our ability to give and receive love will expand tremendously, and we will become increasingly available for loving relationships with others.
We will recover the feeling of joy.
We will become more honest with ourselves and experience a new comfort in our intimate relationships.
We will feel the security that arises from true fellowship with others in the program, knowing that we are loved and accepted just as we are.
Feelings of failure and inadequacy will be replaced by self-confidence and independence of spirit.
We will no longer expect other people to provide us with an identity or a sense of self-worth.
We will find the courage to be true to ourselves.
We will know peace of mind and feel a stronger connection with the Higher Power of our understanding, and our Hope will turn to faith that God is really working in our lives, as we explore the wonders of serenity, dignity, and emotional growth.
As I read these promises, 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 gifts 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 Gifts that I am seeing in my life today.
The Gifts of the Program 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!
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