One of the blessings of becoming more aware in my life is that I have the ability to recognize my growth through the behavior of others. I don’t have to judge their behavior, but rather be grateful that I have been able to identify it, and with the help of my sponsor and others, make a different choice.
The holidays now are a time that I enjoy, spending time with family, sharing the joy that is abundant in my life, and experiencing the peace and love that used to go unnoticed by me. Now don’t get me wrong, I still get locked into character defects, and being around family seems to add fuel to that fire, but I don’t have to settle into them and get mired down in them. I can choose to use the tools of the program and come from a spiritually centered place filled with love.
It is very refreshing to not have to shout from the rooftops how well I am doing in my sobriety, but rather allow my actions to speak for themselves. My family experienced some of the most challenging aspects of my addiction: the frustration over feeling helpless, the desire for me to find some peace and serenity in life rather than the bottle or a pipe, the despair of watching me waste away before their very eyes, having to shelter their kids from me for fear of what I might do or say. Today, they trust me, and are happy to have me as a full participating member of the family. I’m still the playful one that likes to stir up a little trouble, but today I have the ability to recognize where the ‘line’ is, and not have to cross it and make everyone feel uncomfortable.
Now that I am on the other side of addiction, keeping it at bay with regular meeting attendance (even while on vacation), working the steps and working with others, I can appreciate the pain that I my family experienced. I now understand the frustration they must have felt back then, as I watch sponsees struggle with their recovery. It isn’t to the same extent I’m sure, but the feelings are the same.
Today I am grateful for my growth and awareness.