Sobriety Bank Account

I'm pretty sure that if I ever have to take that first drink, the last thought I'll have before I swallow is "what's the use in staying sober? My life can't get any worse." Of course it will get worse, but, by that time, I will be in so much pain that death or an institution might look like a step up.

At this point I will have severely overdrawn my sobriety bank account. My disease -- whose number one job is to convince me to drink again -- will have won.

I look at maintaining a fit spiritual condition much the same way as maintaining a fit financial condition. If I am spending more than I am making I'll go into the red. I can't stay in this position forever. Sooner or later the creditors will take away anything of value.

I deposit spiritual currency every time I practice a principle of our Program, every time I attend a meeting, every time I pray and every time I put my hand out to others. If I maintain a big fat spiritual bank account, I won't be thrown off the merry-go-round when it starts spinning out of control.

Feeling restless, irritable and discontented is a reminder that I'm drawing down on my sobriety bank account. I can't afford these feelings. It's time to get back into action.
Have a great sober week.


In the Chapter to the Agnostics on page 57 we read:

“What is this but a miracle of healing? Yet its elements are simple. Circumstances made him willing to believe. He humbly offered himself to his Maker-then he knew.”

This is one of my favorite passages in the Big Book. It reminds me that my recovery, my whole life really, is a miracle. It is nothing I do, but everything God does. I heard there is no in-between when it comes to believing in miracles. Either I believe everything is a miracle or I believe nothing is. Today, I choose everything.

My first miracle was when the obsession was removed from me. This happened before my first AA meeting, before getting a sponsor and taking the steps, before practicing any principles. The desire to drink magically vanished from consciousness. I had been drinking daily for thirty years. Now the thought of a drink was nowhere to be found. What the hell had happened?

Today I know this new freedom and happiness was Grace-a gift I did nothing to earn unless you count being a slave to alcohol for thirty years. This experience is the bedrock of my belief in God.

Through the years, all the miracles of the twelve promises have come true for me. Today financial fear is gone, I have no regrets about the past and I know what serenity feels like. I rely on my intuition -- that small still voice inside me -- more than ever before. Recently I have noticed I am much better I’m much better at keeping my mouth shut instead of putting my foot in it. This Is a major miracle!

I find the phrase "then he knew" to be downright mystical. Then he knew what? I know much less today than when I walked into my first meeting twenty years ago. I know that my life feels better when I’m being of service. I know there is a plan for every one of us even if I don't know what the plan is. I know that all the sickness, disease, war and poverty in our world is not the result of some cruel God punishing us for our so called “sins” but a loving God simply setting us up for a miracle.

Easy Does It

Easy Does It is impossible when ego runs the show.
I met a beautiful woman a year and a half ago. A true gift of recovery. She lives in the desert two hours away. I’ve been driving back and forth to visit her every other week. On most days it’s a beautiful drive, but last Thursday ego decided to grab the steering wheel.

It’s a winding two lane road through the mountains. There are very few passing opportunities, but there are turn-outs about every five miles with signs that read, Slower Traffic Use Turn-outs. Well, I got behind a slow poke who refused to turn out. I started heating up when he passed by the first turn-out. Just before the second turn-out I got up close behind him and turned on my bright lights. Still he refused to turn-out. Now the committee in my head was going crazy. I stewed for five more miles until just before the next turnout. This time I tailgated, flashed my lights and blew my horn. When he refused to turn-out, I became homicidal. I was so angry, it felt like black smoke was pouring out of my ears.

Then Grace happened. Somehow a thought intruded into the chaos inside my head. “This doesn’t feel good.” I realized I had been torturing myself for thirty minutes for no reason. I took the next turn-out, turned off my car and waited ten-minutes. Peace was restored and I went on my merry way.

Our book says, "it's a spiritual axiom that every time I am upset, there is something wrong with me." Today I know that what other people do or say is never the problem. It's always my reaction to what they do or say that is the problem. I am grateful today that I don’t suffer as long before I recognize these ego traps. I am grateful today that I no longer beat myself up for giving away my serenity. I am grateful today to be alcoholic. There is no possible way I could have traveled from where I was to where I am today without having a disease that was going to kill me unless I treated it spiritually through practicing the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.