Spiritual Program of Action
“It is easy to let up on the spiritual programme of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do for alcohol is a subtle foe”
My name is Andy. I am an alcoholic; the instructions above still apply today. I know I must maintain my spiritual condition or it will, like anything that’s not maintained whither and die.
I arrived at Alcoholics Anonymous terrified, suicidal, alone and very angry and arrogant! I was not interested in who I could help, of what kind of service I could be. My thoughts as I looked around the meeting were, “I wonder who likes me here?” And also “I wonder who would like to be in a relationship with me?” When asked to help pick up ashtrays I was horrified and was convinced there had been a mistake.
I came back to Alcoholics Anonymous, because at last after years of having to pretend I was enjoying life like other people, I began to see I wasn’t alone anymore. I think it was the first time I have felt truly grateful. Almost seven years have passed since I took action passed onto me by another alcoholic, my sponsor. Maintaining my spiritual condition involves action, “what we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition”.
My home group never stands still, always remembering, and living by the traditions which keep the fellowship alive. Our group is growing, because like my spiritual condition it gets regular maintenance. My sponsor says “we don’t need to learn by our mistakes”. Step ten tells me over and over I am not naturally incapable of being honest with myself. Sometimes at work my manager suggests I do something, and sometimes we discuss the things she wants me to do. Mt sponsor suggests things I should do, there is no discussion. I am an alcoholic, and will very quickly revert to my old thing if I don’t maintain my spiritual condition.
I have the kind of life today that just, would not have been possible when I was drinking. When one bottle meant one drink, when every waking thought as my sickness progressed was “Oh God, how am I going to get through this day”. If my sponsor says the grass is purple, then it’s purple.
Getting a home group, doing service, working with newcomers, all these things are suggested in the literature, but thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous, my sponsor had been maintaining his spiritual condition. And agreed to pass it on to me. I can work with hundreds of people, I can accepts criticism, I can stay happy contented and sober. By maintaining my spiritual condition, practising the twelve steps relying on the guidance of a good sponsor who is doing the same thing. My sponsor says “you must work for your sobriety”. And the Big Book says “Faith without works was dead and how appalling true for the Alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead if he did not work he would surely drink again and if he drank he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. What I say these days is not always the thing that comes into my head, Thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Andy B, Road to Recovery, Plymouth