Sunny Side of the Road
As we drive along Santa Monica Boulevard enjoying ice cream, Gene Kelly's “Singing in the Rain“ quietly hums out of my sponsor’s old Buick Riviera. The magic hour has arrived the sun is setting and we are on our way to a meeting. Will I find compassion in his cold blue eyes, have I reached a stage where I don’t need to be told or would the grumpy old step-Nazi tell me the truth and help me with my humility yet again!!!
I am so grateful for the sponsor who got me into good habits early and whose conviction, love and example inspired me to do things I didn’t understand and often thought were wrong. He presented me the principles contained in the Big Book. It’s been obedience to those principles that has changed my life from suicidal despair and drunkenness, to one in which I became a human being trying to treat others with Love and respect.
As time goes by, I see more and more that my life depends not just upon having a sponsor, but also upon allowing myself to be sponsored. This happens by acting on the information received. When I follow the direction of that harsh, mean, controlling old duffer I experience a degree of humility which I seldom find left to my own devices. It helps to keep my feet on the ground and my relationship to AA in good order.
Why have I been able to take this so-called “crap“, and why should I continue to do so? The answer – I’ve conceded all inner resistance. I am an “extreme example of self will run riot”. Being a naturally aggressive person my headstrong ways need to be stopped. Failure to do so will, I am sure, lead me to say things like “I don’t need to read the Big Book, I don’t need to get to my Home Group, in fact I can do what ever I like so long as I feel okay.“ This self-centred attitude will lead me to search out an easier softer sponsor and an easier softer Home Group. Which would allow my selfish pursuit of what I thought was happiness. Death or insanity is the price of this false freedom, paid by installments with indifference as the opening balance.
I thank God for the sponsorship I have had over the years. The men who have truly learned “the full meaning of love thy neighbor as thyself.” They passed on to me what worked for them, and never tried to water things down to win approval or be popular with others. They have given, and continue to give me, something much more than emotional support and sympathy. I didn’t always understand that, it often came across like they didn’t care how I felt. In reality they care very much. But they are more concerned with what I am doing because what I do affects how I feel.
If I had never put in the action I would never have known the joy that comes from those wonderful words “I am proud of you kid“ or “Bless you Lad, I am on your side”. But much more importantly, I've been shown a way of living sober and enjoying sobriety – the very thing I couldn’t imagine fifteen years ago. No greater Love could they of shown me, thank you Alcoholics Anonymous.
WP – Road to Recovery, Plymouth. 11/11/03