A Thoughtful Soul

At Times You Have To Let Go & Let God

Today I was stressing out looking online for ways to keep my house. Working against God’s will. I’ve been praying daily and nightly but still trying to do things my way.

Along my searches I ran into a woman realtor in California  who posted her number on a forum with hopes to help someone  with their foreclosure. I called the number and spoke with her for over an hour. In the end I felt so much better and accepted the outcome.

Let Go and Let God Quote-Anonymous People

I need to start fresh and everything is pointing to  leaving the house and focusing solely on recovery. The woman has been in AA and sober for many years. She has been through my situation and much worse. She is now a success and living a life of God’s will and true happiness.

Things don’t happen by chance. We are now friends on Facebook and I’ve volunteered on a hotline to help people in crisis.

Prayer is great if you let it work in your life.

When a young woman texted DoSomething.org with a heartbreaking cry for help, the organization responded by opening a nationwide Crisis Text Line to provide an outlet for people in pain. Nearly 10 million text messages later, the organization is using the privacy and power of text messaging to help people with issues such as addiction, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, sexual abuse and more. The data collected in the process is reshaping policy and preparing schools and law enforcement to better handle spikes in crises.

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AA Big Book

There is comfort in knowing you aren’t alone, that what you’re feeling isn’t unusual, and that there is a solution.

AA Big Book - Fourth Edition - Anonymous People

I didn’t connect with the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous until over a year into my sobriety. I didn’t care to read it and I didn’t think it had anything of substance I could relate to. Boy, was I wrong. I can understand why it’s the sacred text of AA groups around the world. It has wisdom that has spanned centuries and saved countless lives. There are stories, steps, theories, and personal advice from a plethora of different people inside the big blue book. Everyone has their favorites, and these are the ones I consider to be mine, in no particular order.

1. “Those events that once made me feel ashamed and disgraced now allow me to share with others how to become a useful member of the human race.” p.492

I always wondered why people would want to hear my stories, and then I read this line. Our personal stories and how we recover can pass on the message that other people who are sick and suffering need to hear.

2. “Many of us felt that we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it – this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.” p.34

This one is a perfect description of when the obsession of the drink enthralls you. Even if we are good people, we still can’t drink “normally,” no matter how hard we try.

3. “Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one.” p.xxvii

Cunning, baffling, powerful. We all believe alcohol is fun to begin with, but it takes hold of us, so much so that we cannot differentiate a true reality from our false reality. We believe our alcoholic life is the only one we want, deserve, or need.

4. “The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker.” p.30

This says it all. I remember when I read this line for the first time. Attempting to control my drinking was what I had been doing unsuccessfully for years. I didn’t realize that other people did that, or that it made me an abnormal drinker.

5. “Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.” p.64

This line always resonates so well with me. Alcohol was but a symptom for me. I can remember always feeling that anything I had in life was never good enough for me. I was always on the search for something – whether it was a party, a friendship, a man etc. Knowing this cause and the conditions surrounding my drinking has been transformational in my recovery.

6. “When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.” p.417

This line was also life-changing for me. Acceptance and surrender are popular themes in recovery and now I understand why. If I want peace and serenity, I must accept everything as is, not wish it was different.

7. “I listened to their stories and found so many areas where we overlapped – not all the deeds, but the feelings of remorse and hopelessness. I learned that alcoholism isn’t a sin, it’s a disease.” p.344

I always assumed I would never be able to relate to another alcoholic. I held myself up, like I was better than “them.” But when I finally started listening, I could relate to at least one thing in every story I heard. I also learned that addiction is not a moral failing and that it can affect anyone.

8. “We talked of intolerance, while we were intolerant ourselves. We missed the reality and the beauty of the forest because we were diverted by the ugliness of some of its trees.” p.50

This is my favorite line in the Big Book. I was extremely intolerant when I was drinking, yet I was the first to point out intolerance in others. The second part of this line is also loaded with significance. I think this is a world view a lot of us hold until we are able to see the bigger picture.

9. “Adversity truly introduces us to ourselves.” p.530

There is beauty in the battle of addiction. It’s hard to see until we truly embrace recovery and realize what we’ve been through and how we got where we are. But it’s absolutely true – adversity allows us to learn and grow into who we really are.

10. “When I am willing to do the right thing I am rewarded with an inner peace no amount of liquor could ever provide. When I am unwilling to do the right thing, I become restless, irritable, and discontent. It is always my choice.” p.317

For many of us, alcohol has been our solution for as long as we can remember. In recovery, we realize that it doesn’t provide all the things it promised. The beauty of recovery is that we learn inner peace does not come from external sources, it comes from within. The way we obtain it is through doing the right thing, which is always our choice. How lucky are we that in recovery we have choices?

The wisdom from the Big Book isn’t limited to 10 quotes. Its words and interpretations are left up to the reader to use as they choose. There is comfort in knowing you aren’t alone, that what you’re feeling isn’t unusual, and that there is a solution. The Big Book has given me that comfort and the push to move forward.

-By Kelly Fitzgerald 07/29/16

Big-Book-Fourth-Edition


Practice The 7th Tradition and allow Anonymous People to Grow in Support of Alcoholism and drug Addiction



AA -The Promises

 

1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed
before we are half way through.

2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.

3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.

5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience
can benefit others.

6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.

7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.

8. Self-seeking will slip away.

9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.

10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.

11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.

12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for
ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Alcoholics Anonymous p.83-84
Reprinted from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous with permission of A.A. World
Services, Inc.