I’ve not written in some time. I can’t believe I actually thought my life would be boring without drinking and using! That being said, I’ve been soaking up the sun, finally, here in Wyoming. I’ve been busy enjoying life, trying to go to more meetings, loving my 2-year-old son, loving my husband, working with sponsees, calling my sponsor, and trying to balance it all!
Feeling as if I’ve unwillingly put my blog on hold I thought, “Why not include some different perspectives on life in recovery?”
So…I did one of the things I’ve learned to do in recovery… I ASKED FOR HELP!
I am truly blessed in so many ways. The following is written by one of these blessings, a friend, and partner in recovery, Ashley Bell.
I love you Ashley. Thank you for your willingness to write a blog for us & not only talking the talk… but walking, hiking, singing, and living it as well.You have what I want….. ” The third step prayer has much meaning to me. It was the first thing I ever read out of the big book. I had booked myself into a treatment center when I was 17. I had lived in the same small town and rarely left town unless there was a reliable supply of booze around. After a few times when people would ask me to share or things would go wrong with the people I was with I decided that staying home in my parent’s basement was the safest most reliable choice to make. Beside I could stop carrying around the paper with my contact info in case someone found me dead, I was a bit dramatic but practical. So I checked myself into a treatment center in the big city. Alone, surrounded by kids as crazy as me, and I had no idea how to be there. I was crying in my room one night about 2 nights in to my 35 day stay and a counselor came in. He showed me the third step prayer. I read it. For the first time I tapped into a power greater than me. I did not know what to do with it other than show up. What I know now and did not at the time was… it set in motion a pattern of living for my life, to which I have clung to through many, many hardships and blessings.
When I first arrived they had me under watch because they were afraid I would ‘off’ myself in the shower. By the end they were putting bad kids in my room because I caught the buzz, to be had here in the rooms, as a result of the steps. Result of the prayer I prayed at the beginning, I think so. Fast forward, many 4th steps, step 9’s and endless hours on the phone with my people and I’m in the car in Yellowstone National park and from the back seat comes my 4 year olds voice, “pray about difficulties”. My husband, who is also sober, and I start deciphering what that means. Asking many questions my husband realizes he’s talking about the 3rd step prayer. “Take away my difficulties”. You see my husband and I had been praying that prayer every morning in the car on our way to the adventure of the day all week we were on vacation and many times before that. We had no idea he was listening. Raising kids sober is about as real as it gets. This is the time in my life I have had to work the hardest on my program out side of meetings. I don’t get to as many as I want to, I don’t go to as many functions as I used to and I don’t remember to do my daily inventory as much as I could. What do I get in exchange? I get the spiritual assignment of raising another human being while I stay clean and sober. My victories over my difficulties are shown every day when I make a mistake. I get to own up to them in front of these little people who watch my every move and demonstrate what true humility is. And also what true happiness is. I don’t have to pretend things are not happening.I don’t have lie to them. I answer their questions honestly and treat them with the respect they deserve. The third step prayer started me off to a pretty good start, kept me sober from that day to this, connected my husband and I on more than one occasion, and has now brought our son into the realm of a solution greater than himself. He has asked us to pray for him many times over the last 4 years, at least since he’s been able to talk. This was the first time he’s used our tools directly. What a gift to raise a family in a home based on the 12 steps and 12 traditions. That day I prayed this prayer for the first time all I wanted was the pain to stop. I had no idea what was waiting for me down the road. If I got what I deserve I would be dead. If I got what I wanted I would have sold myself short. Today I have a life that is filled with relentless service, but as they say you have to give it away to keep it right? I’ve been sober 13 years. Haven’t drank since my first meeting. People say to me all the time I wish I would have gotten sober as young as you. What I know is that idea keeps me separate from my fellows today, I’m grateful to be sober at all.” Ashley Bell
God, I offer myself to Thee, to
Build with me and to do with my as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
That I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
That victory over them may bear witness to
Those I would help of Thy power,
Thy love, and Thy way of life.
May I do thy will always!”
(BB page 63)