I read this with a sponsee this morning. The reading talks about the loss of HOPE, and how hard doing all those little things that recovery requires seems when you don’t have hope that anything will get better. And how freeing those little things can become when you do have hope. The quote itself reminds me that I need to keep doing those little things when they seem easy and when they seem hard.
I have been in OA for over 40 years, but I have only 18 years of abstinence. I have had years and years of up and down abstinence and relapse. I always believed that the OA program worked and therefore I never left. But I was sometimes convinced that I would never be able to turn to my HP enough to maintain those little actions on an ongoing basis. I kept hoping that I could get away with not doing all that work. Hoping that the extra food I put in my mouth wouldn’t be a problem...but it always made things worse and never better.
I never stopped going to meetings and I kept trying to gain enough of that “secret” thing that would make the difference to keep me abstinent. And I tried to keep doing those little things that I knew made things better-- writing, doing 12 Steps, working with a sponsor, making calls, writing down my food.
Then one day a smart-a** newcomer arrived. She got into program quickly and started sponsoring a bunch of people. One day she asked me “Margie, when are you going to get abstinent?” I realized that even though I didn’t really like her program (she was very focused on weight loss) she was actually doing MUCH better than I was. So, I was willing to have her temporarily sponsor me. I said, “I am willing to do everything that you are doing today. I may not be willing to do it tomorrow, but I am willing today!” And I did that.
I was not willing to do it her way for very long--maybe a month. It was enough to get me started. I have continued to do those little things that keep me grounded even in this strange time of isolation.
These days, I am very grateful for virtual meetings via various video apps and for phone calls. I am grateful for walks with my dog and sunshine and spring flowers. I am grateful for three meals a day with nothing in-between, day after day. I am grateful for my quiet time in the mornings and my sponsor who is willing to take phone calls five days a week; I normally only call once weekly. I started doing meditation about two years ago and it is vital to me now. I am very grateful that I don’t HAVE to do things rigidly or perfectly.
As I repeatedly do things they have become a permanent part of me and my recovery.
Margie - Region 1