Before I stumbled through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, growing along spiritual lines was the farthest thing from my mind. I didn't need to strengthen my relationship with God because there wasn't anything wrong with me that a big paying job couldn't fix. And as soon as I landed the job it would be easy to attract a new, sexy girlfriend who would tell me how wonderful I was. My problem was motivation. I couldn't seem to muster up any energy to look for work. No job turned me on. The jobs I was qualified to do seemed beneath me. The others looked too difficult. Months went by as the balance in my checking account plummeted. I began waking up (coming to) gripped in fear. Finally, I went to a therapist who, thankfully, told me many painful truths about myself. She doubted that I could get any clarity on my life as long as I was still drinking. One week later I walked into my first AA meeting. At age 47, it felt like I had found my way home.
Like all of us that stick, my life began to improve. The obsession was removed. I really enjoyed the meetings and my new AA friends. As I repeatedly worked my way through the steps, I began to get comfortable for the first time in my life. I no longer needed the warm cocoon that alcohol provided to feel right with the world.
This sense of ease and comfort that AA provides is wonderful, but a danger lurks. An old timer told me once if I was totally comfortable in AA, I wasn't doing it right. If I am willing to grow along spiritual lines, I have a willingness to do the uncomfortable things as well as the fun things. I am willing to continue to inventory and see my character defects face-to-face rather than sweep them under the carpet. I am willing to admit when I am wrong and make sincere amends. I am willing to do battle with the voice that tells me I don't have to go to the meeting today because I went yesterday. I am willing to put the interests of other people ahead of my own. None of these things come naturally to me. My first impulse to avoid doing anything that might bring the slightest bit of discomfort. However, another part of me realizes that it is my willingness to do the uncomfortable things that hold the greatest potential for growth.