I learned everything I needed to know about how to stay sober and grow along spiritual lines in my first couple of weeks. You taught me there are no secret handshakes or complicated spiritual theories to master. You said I can enjoy a life beyond my wildest imagination if only I would take a few simple actions over and over again. Go to meetings, work the steps, be of service.
I believed you when you told me that consistency is the key, that I must take the actions despite whatever else is going on in my life. Meetings, steps and service has been the cadence of my life through job loss, through serious financial set-backs, through the frustrations of living in China before AA was established and most recently, through the death of my beautiful, young wife.
I don’t take credit for any of it. My recovery is nothing I do and everything God does. I was graced with a spark of desire to grow into a new fuller expression and with the willingness to take the suggested actions. I sense a gentle hand is pulling me toward wholeness. My job is simply to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to keep trudging: meetings, steps and service.
When I was new I noticed many newcomers at my home group and a goodly number of old timers, but there seemed to be a gap in the 10 to 20 year range. I asked my grand sponsor about this one day. “Do all those people go out and drink?” “Maybe some do,” he said, “but some probably have enough recovery to live sober lives without meetings.” Then I asked him why he kept coming back after 30 years. He said, “Let me put it this way… Some people are satisfied with one bite of the cake, some people are satisfied with a slice of the cake. As for me, I want the whole damn cake.”
I might be one of those who can stay sober without Alcoholics Anonymous, but why would I want to try? I want the whole damn cake too.