Accepting life on life’s terms was especially difficult for me in my early sobriety. I had a sense of entitlement that I was to basically have a quiet and sane lifeby doing nothing. Adversity did come in my first few years and I had to learn to surrender and show up. Just because I was sober did not mean that I was exempt from life’s ups and downs. In the beginning I had a lot of wreckage to clean up. I had made such a mess of every area of my life that it took me a few years to get back on track.
I attended at least one AA meeting a day. Sometimes I would attend two or three meetings as I was not working and was not in school. I desperately wanted to stay sober so I applied the program of action to my life. I called people and went to coffee after meetings. I found a sponsor and started working the 12 Steps. Life was still coming at me but I was learning and developing the coping skills necessary to stay sober.
As time went on the wreckage began to be cleaned up, one thing at a time. I had to learn how to prioritize what needed to be done. I also learned how to place an issue on hold if I was unable to deal with it at the time. Life on life’s terms began to be somewhat manageable with God’s help. I learned to try and keep the drama in my life to a minimum. I learned how to not catastrophize over every thing I was faced with. Life became more livable and I also became more comfortable in my own skin.
Learning to cope with life as it comes at you is not an easy task. It takes practice and more practice. Using the tools of the program is critical to staying sober over the long haul. I learned to deal with issues in a sane and sound way. I had the help of many people in cleaning up my wreckage and not creating new wreckage in my sober life. I am very grateful to these people. Just because I’m sober does not mean I get an Ezeepass through life. Life is difficult. Loved ones die, people disappoint us, we get fired, we have money issues, we have relationship issues. The list could go on ad infinitum.
By working the 12 Steps and applying the principles of the program to my life I have been able to deal with my issues. I no longer have to think it’s the end of the world if an expected check is late in the mail. I can do the footwork for an issue and stay out of the results. I was always very results oriented. As an alcoholic I had to learn to live with unresolved issues. Health concerns, financial set backs and keeping a job became things I had to deal with. I always wanted to know how something was going to turn out. I had to learn patience and that the world did not run on my time table.
As the years went by, I have become able to deal with whatever comes at me. I may not like it and may kick and scream. However, I am able to surrender and do the next indicated thing. This has come about through practice and application of the 12 Steps. By using these tools my life is calm and serene most of the time. I am no longer a drama queen. I am truly grateful to the program for helping me to grow up and live my life as it is presented to me on a daily basis.