A wise man once pointed out “it's not what you are or have been that God looks at with his merciful eyes, but what you would be.” How fortunate for people like me.
The last seventeen years have seen wonderful events unfold in my life and the lives of those around me. I have found a degree of stability and consistency which seemed inconceivable before coming to AA. But for this to continue I am required to adopt and maintain a certain attitude towards Alcoholics Anonymous. The only way I know for a rationalising, justifying alcoholic like me to do this, is through sponsorship and a strong home group.
Sponsorship ensures my relationship with God “is not just wishful thinking” , and a disciplined home group ensures that I relate myself to Alcoholics Anonymous correctly. A headstrong loser like myself, can convince myself of anything. That’s why a sponsor alone is insufficient – I need to let myself be sponsored. I have never claimed to be humble nor perfect and I often fail in living up to the ideals that others seem to practice so well. But I have found a place in the world where I can be of use, where I can at least begin to be a little more considerate of others.
My Home group is full of imperfect people, once misfits and wasters, all Satan’s rejects, trying and often failing to place spiritual values first. They are AA fanatics, speaker after speaker all saying the same thing: “I was once consumed with emotional pain and turmoil, by following a simple series of suggestions my life has changed.” How true that is, until people stop practising the principles.
Doing things I know to be wrong, doing things that make me feel bad or just knowing I am not being honest with my sponsor can lead me off the Road. Those principles that changed my life for the better many years ago are still as important today. Extensive disobedience to them never achieves good results. Communication with a sponsor is often the difference between stepping off into the abyss or continuing a life in AA which has purpose and direction.
It’s a sobering thought that perhaps in every group all over the world there are people who suffer in silence. Often sat in the middle of their Home Group week in and week out. Secretly believing that they are not as good as all the others, quietly thinking they don’t make the grade and all the others are doing it perfectly. Sometimes slowly over years these secrets destroy us from within. The secrets themselves are often minor, just symptoms of an imperfect human being. It’s the ongoing dishonesty and desire to appear better than we are that slowly steers us back into that strange world of alcoholism .I hope i never forget that I am just an alcoholic trying to stay sober.
Residents of that distorted world, the overwhelming belief that our case really is different and that you don't understand consumes our being. Stripping us of all dignity – to run seems the appropriate solution. How often do we watch people slowly, quickly, quietly and loudly think their way out of AA. Some years ago I admitted to God, myself and another Human being the exact nature of my wrongs. Continuing to share honestly with my sponsor enables me to trust more easily in God. The world then becomes a better place to live sober.