Perseverance means “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success (Oxford Dictionary).” This is found to be true at times in achieving and maintaining sobriety. Possibly in the beginning of our sobriety we are in a pink clous or honeymoon phase of our sobriety. Our new found freedom from alcohol and drugs is overwhelming. For the first time in possibly years, we find ourselves serene and happy. We are very grateful for this newfound way of life.
Then the weeks and months go by and we find our enthusiasm waning for our new way of life. We get bogged down in dealing with the wreckage of our past. Consequences from our addiction days may be present on the horizon. We may have legal or domestic troubles. This can all serve us to give up on the program and to revert back to active addiction. It is as this junction that it is ever so critical to be in to working and communicating with a sponsor and other members of the fellowship. We must double up on our Step work and let nothing discourage us from our primary purpose to achieve and maintain sobriety.
We must persevere with the working of the Twelve Steps and let these passing feelings run their course. We must realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel and persevere no matter what. Remember, we are on a life and death errand here. We may have to rely on the faith of others who have gone before us if we feel ourselves lacking in faith. It has been said that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. This is all part of growing in our sobriety to find a new level of serenity and happiness. We realize that feelings aren’t facts and get busy on the step work if we have been procrastinating.
We may find ourselves particularly bogged down in the personal inventory. The Alcoholics Anonymous program says that we must get through these steps or we may not overcome drinking and using! This sounds like a very good reason to me to continue to work hard and complete these personal inventories. We may be dredging up things from our past that may be upsetting. This is why we need to complete the inventories as quickly and thoroughly as possible. It is not pleasant to sit with these things on our mind from the past. This is a necessary part, if not critical part of the steps which will enable us to understand our past and why we did the things which caused us distress. In understanding the past, we are able to let it go. This information is now to become useful when we begin working with others. We will learn to give it away in order to keep it (peace, serenity, happiness).
The amends process can also seem particularly daunting. By the time we are at this stage of the recovery process we will be well equipped to go forward and make our amends to others. We have our list which we made with our sponsor when we took inventory. It must also be realized that we do not have to make our amends all at once. We take each item step by step. We also realize some amends cannot be made and let it go at that. The point is that we be willing to make amends except when to do so when injure ourselves or others. Our sponsor is extremely helpful here when it comes to determining who not to make amends to. Some people may have passed away. Confessing marital infidelity may do more harm than good and destroy the family.
Bottom line is we can get through these days which may cause us distress. The sooner we het busy in the work the better off we will be. We will regain our newfound freedom and happiness. Remember “this too shall pass.” And we will be happy, joyous and free as we trudge the road of happy destiny.