In recovery myself for several years, I am reminded of the often slippery paths trod by those "working the Program." Our addiction is truly "cunning, baffling, powerful" for it tells me I don’t have a disease… and, yes, I’m reminded…
…of its progressive nature for I personally felt its progression following a period of sobriety in a matter of days to even lower levels of self-hatred. Contrary to my expectations, I wasn't a recovered alcoholic; now I know that the strength of my recovery itself is also a matter of progression coming about only by my daily conscious contact with my Higher Power.
…that as a youth in the 1950s on the South Side of Chicago, I first read about the heroin addictions of many of the premier players of the modern jazz culture, never suspecting that alcohol, like heroin, was addictive.
…that many of us really enjoyed playing the game of "chicken" …seeing how far we could go before we plunged over that cliff. We also seem to enjoy manipulating family, friends, even the social workers, psychologists and clergy... all of whom were probably somewhat baffled by the continuation of our conduct.
…I am reminded of the aid provided by family and others, aid given out of loving concern for our well-being, often excusing my conduct as an unfortunate result of a stressful profession.
…it breaks my heart to watch someone trod addiction’s path… continuing onward in spite of addiction’s unavoidable consequences… when all the time, help was available… Grace was always there for us… a Grace supporting our working the Program and giving us a life truly "happy, joyous and free."
…finally, I am reminded of the Twelfth Step’s call to action of "carrying this message to alcoholics." We've seen progress but work is still needed.
Again, say that “help is available” to the suffering alcoholic. There’s an easier softer way to respond to life’s difficulties …that help was there for me and is also available to those who seek it today. I must continue to humbly carry that message, for truly, "There, but for the Grace of God, go I."