How do I get started?
You don't ever have to use again
I had reached a point where I could not go on using. It was either quit or die and I knew it. The good news, they told me I didn’t ever have to use again!
The first obstacle to overcome was my own thinking. “Your ego is killing you,” they said. I had used denial to hide from my drinking and drugging and that same denial was working hard to keep me from accepting the fact that I had trouble.
If I don’t know what’s wrong, I can’t fix it. I had to recognize that I did truly have a problem with my using. I had to accept the idea that I had crossed a line and could never go back, that I could never pick up a drug or a drink again. But more that realization and acceptance, I had to embrace my own brokenness, hold the idea to myself that I was an addict, that I had a fatal and lifelong disease, but it could be treated successfully, IF I applied myself.
I don't have to wear a mask
Only in a meeting can I be totally myself. I don’t have to wear a mask any more. And I need a guide to help me make my way through all this recovery stuff, because, to be honest, a lot of it didn’t make much sense yet.
That’s where finding a Sponsor comes in. “When the student is ready,” they say, “the teacher will appear.”
I accepted the fact that my brain needed a thorough cleaning out, “a psychic change,” they said, but how to begin undoing years of broken thoughts? Honesty first! Without an honest look at myself, I can’t know what to work on. Without a foundation built on honesty, everything which follows will collapse under its own weight.
I must be open to new ideas
My old ideas had become so fixed in my mind that I clung onto them ferociously. I had to become open to new ideas. “Yes, but” was no longer an acceptable answer.
I needed willingness
At the start, part of me was not willing to give up my wine and cocaine, not willing to toss out all my old ideas. I was afraid I would never have any fun again. If I couldn’t be totally willing, they said, it would be enough if I were simply “willing to be willing.”
Prayer and Meditation
It is never too soon to begin developing a prayer life. As forbidding as it sounds, it is actually pretty easy.
Like most, I had totally given up on the idea of God. If he did exist, he had certainly given up on me. But they kept saying that I needed a power greater than myself to get me clean and sober. (No, a doorknob will not do!)
At this point I would normally have gotten up and left the room, but then they said I could pick the “God of my understanding.” I started with the idea of unconditional love, and life got a lot simpler.