God, grant me the serenity…
Hi, my name is Jessie and I’m an alcoholic. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells us this,
“The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it. Unless one’s family expresses a desire to live upon spiritual principles we think we ought not to urge them. We should not talk incessantly to them about spiritual matters. They will change in time. Our behavior will convince them more than our words. We must remember that ten or twenty years of drunkenness would make a skeptic out of anyone,” p. 84.
I know God places in front of us exactly what we need to see at the time. As I’ve written about, my parents are visiting for the weekend, and I’ve been struggling with how to talk to them about my faith and my alcoholism. That paragraph in the book was exactly what I needed to see today, though. “Our behavior will convince them more than our words.” I am hoping that more than anything, they will see a happier, healthier, more stable person when they see me, and that will be enough explanation for them.
Nothing is ever that simple, though. There are some things that my behavior alone can’t explain to them. There are things they deserve to hear directly from me. I’ve told them that I stopped drinking, but I have not yet told them that I’ve been going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I don’t know that this weekend will be the time for that, but I’m hoping they see through my actions and behavior that I am serious about no longer drinking. I will be facing plenty of temptation when I see them – in our old neighborhood bar. Hopefully by sitting there in front of them and not drinking alcohol will prove to them that my decision to stop drinking is more than just temporary or a joke.
My faith, however, is what I’m more worried about having to explain to them. I know this is the time to bring it up, while they are visiting for the weekend, but I’m terrified of how they will accept my honesty. But, just as the book says, I’m hoping my behavior will convince them more than my words. Skepticism is my biggest fear. I’m terrified that they will hear what I’m saying and think that its a joke or that someone is forcing me to go to church and to find and accept God into my life, which isn’t the case at all. This journey has been something that has been a long time coming and that has filled an enormous void in my life.
Last night I was digging through my desk and I found what I was looking for – my handy red Alpha guide. It was an Alpha resource tool that I used throughout the course that went along with the videos. I put it in my purse and I plan on taking it with me when I go to visit my parents. I figure that introducing them to Alpha the way I was introduced to it will help me to explain how my faith has grown to be such an important part of my daily life.
The next two days are going to be extremely challenging. I’m going to be surrounded by several alcoholics in social settings where I would normally be drinking alongside them. This will be a true test of my faith and strength. I know that I will be able to face whatever lies ahead of me because God will not allow me to fail. Most importantly, I know that if I need to make an escape that other recovering alcoholics are just a phone call away and there are meetings everywhere on Friday nights.
Our Father, who art in Heaven…
I’m very blessed to be here with all of you on this 25th day of sobriety, and I look forward to many more.
Speaking of many more, I would like to congratulate my dear friend on her 75th day of sobriety. Despite the temptations and challenges that have stood in her way, she has overcome them all to make it to this day. Her strength and commitment and faith in God encourages and inspires me each and everyday. Our God is great and He will continue to provide each of us with the tools we need to make it through the rest of our days, sober. Sending lots of love and prayers and positive thoughts your way today, my friend.