When I first went into rehab showing up was easy because I was desperate for a solution to my alcoholism. After completing my stay, I was on fire to do everything suggested to me as a program of recovery, however as days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months that fire began to die out and life became a grind. Early on, small accomplishments gave me great joy and happiness but in time I started taking them for granted and wanting positive outcomes. I rationalized that being sober was enough to get back all the things I’d lost without doing any of the work.
Eventually, this attitude of ingratitude developed resentments that the things I wanted weren’t happening fast enough. I believed the coincidences of good fortune were the doing of my Higher Power but said coincidences weren’t happening fast enough. When I’d talk about my frustrations to my friends, family and sponsor they dropped cliché after cliché on me… “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, “this ‘I want what I want and I want it now’ mindset is not a positive attitude of recovery”… “How long did you drink your way to rock bottom…” and so on. All those messages were telling me to slow down and appreciate where I am right now.
Begrudgingly, I kept showing up and was present in all my affairs. I attended all my regular meetings and participated to the best of my ability. I sought and fulfilled any service opportunities that came my way. I continued to work the steps and during my second 5th step my sponsor pointed out a very pronounced character defect pattern I was completely oblivious to, this character defect explained all the emotions I mentioned before. I prayed over this defect daily and give it to God to the best of my ability.
Within a matter of a few short weeks my outlook changed, my attitude must have changed and the positive outcomes I was praying for fell into my lap. I can’t say I did anything outwardly different but by simply showing up, doors opened up… when I least expected it.
The renewed outlook on my situation allowed me to appreciate the little things again. My new attitude of gratitude changed how I interact with those around me. Relationships are being further fortified and new opportunities in the workplace are available for me to take on.
Working the steps, being Honest, Open-minded and Willing along with a healthy dose of Humility revitalized my drive in sobriety to keep showing up and working it because it’s worth it!