Step 11

Step 11 – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

Recent events have made me realise 3 things about conscious contact.

(1) My experience is, improving the contact between myself and my higher power (being spiritually awake) definitely takes a conscious effort.

(2) Contacting my self-will takes no conscious effort at all. Its my default position. Its what I wake upto every morning. I’ve never once thought “Right! Come on! I need to contact my self-will!”

(3) Point (2) confirms how important point (1) is.

Step 7

Step 7 – Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

The Step 7 prayer in the Big Book suggests a willingness that my creator ‘should have all of me, good and bad’. The inclusion of the word ‘good’ has always had a profound effect on me.

My initial thoughts were that not only do I have to be willing to hand over what I believe to be my defects of character, but also the strengths of character I deem to possess too. Hand over ‘all of me’ and let my creator decide what my defects are. Fair enough, I’m not the best judge. I discovered this when I looked at the second half of step1. Step 10 reminds me on a daily basis.

In essence, I am handing over my shortcomings but only as a result of handing over my thinking, my perception, my justification, my rationalisation, my logic, my decision making.

Some shortcomings are clearly present and I can be specific with the wording of the prayer, others are less clear and a more open-minded approach is required.

Just my interpretation, but what an amazing step. What an amazing leap of faith. 🙏

Let’s stick together

My name is *** and I am an addict.

In my experience, when life has thrown a challenge my way, it has effected my motivation to do the next right thing. Suggestions can become lackadaisical, I can start to think about the steps rather than act upon them, meetings can become a chore and my priorities can get turned on their head.

But why? Surely in difficult times it is even more necessary to work a solid program? I know it works if I work it, so why in tough times can I take my foot off the pedal? Truly baffling I can be.

When I do not put in the daily diligent effort I can very easily become resentful and/or fearful. Selfish and dishonest behaviours aren’t far behind. A perilous way for an addict to live.

I am as much an addict as I ever was. This will never not be the case. NEVER. The 20 questions still apply to me now and always will. ALWAYS.

Why am I sharing this now? Because, we are all being challenged in one way or another right now and it appears to be set to last for a considerable amount of time.

It is my belief, that like it or not, us addicts find ourselves in a potentially vulnerable position. Vulnerable to relapse. Vulnerable to causing further harm and destruction to ourselves and our loved ones. BUT only if we allow it too. It DOES NOT have to be that way.

Please consider the following:

– Keep in constant contact with fellows. Reach out to someone who will appreciate your call. Be of service to the fellowships that have done so much for us.

– Attend (in person or online) as many meetings per week. Get things off your chest. Talk about your feelings. Give service by listening to and sharing the message of experience, strength and hope.

– SMASH the suggestions to pieces! Do two gratitude lists if you have to! Mediate three times a day if it helps! Call ten fellows and not just two! Smash them all.

– Pray, pray, pray, pray and pray again to your higher power. If you do not have your own concept of God, choose someone in your life you believe has faith and pray to theirs.

– Do not delay the steps. If it is impossible for you to physically meet with your sponsor, don’t waste any time. We are blessed with technology which allows calls and video calls. Use them.

– If you are interested in sponsorship and willing to go to any lengths then start now! Do not wait, sponsorship has proven it can work from country to country. We are blessed to have many available sponsors who can be (somewhat) flexible in their delivery.

– Be selfless. Think of others less fortunate than you, that includes the elderly, the homeless, our families and everyone not in a fellowship (in my opinion). Even if it’s to listen to them share their feelings and get things off there chest, let’s do what we can.

– Put the effort in on a daily basis. 6 days per week is not enough.

By keeping our foot flat out on the pedal we will improve our chances of being abstinent and reduce the chance of harming others and leaving destruction on our paths. Through God or the simple higher power of the fellowship, we can be the best version of ourselves and of best use to the people around us.

Grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courage to change the things we can and the Wisdom to know the difference.