Step by Step
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017
” …(T)he best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations. The higher my expectations …the lower is my serenity. I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations. But then my ‘rights’ try to move in, and they, too, can force my serenity level down. I have to discard my ‘rights,’ as well as my expectations, by asking myself, ‘How important is it, really? How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety?’ And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level – at least for the time being.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Stopped in Time,” Ch 17 (“Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict”), p 452.
Today, sobriety with respect as a gift instead of a “right” that is no more a right than the ability to drink responsibly, a privilege I have lost. By thinking of sobriety as a gift, may other of my expectations of recovery be realistically framed: that I not expect the daily challenges or problems that non-alcoholics have, that I not feel entitled to a “free ride” without bumps, turmoils, even tragedies. Sobriety must be respected as a gift and not a right, a gift that requires development, nurturing and the constant reminder that it can be taken away – if I neglect it. Today, sobriety is a gift, sometimes fragile. I will handle it with care and respect. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2017