I experienced a wonderful moment today in a meeting at noon...there were more women there than men!! LOL...and out of 6 women there, I sponsor 4 of them. It was one of those moments that happen to you that pull you back to the earth and ground you in gratitude. These women range in sobriety from 2 months to 15 years. They teach me so much on a daily basis and help me see the world around me with new eyes every moment. I could probably point out the time that each and every one of them came into my life on that Divine schedule.
I moved here 4 years ago and knew no one in the recovery world except my son. He introduced me to his sponsor. That was it. When we actually made the move here from Asheville, NC , I remember thinking that maybe I needed a break from AA. I wasn't going to stop going to meetings completely...I was just gonna slow down and take it easy. Not get so involved. Lay low. I lived (sober) in NC for 10 years. There towards the end, I was feeling nibbled to death by ducks. I sponsored a lot of women, did a lot of stuff. I was tired. I was burned out. I just wanted a little ME time. God had different plans for me, I guess. (What's that old saying?? "Man makes plans and God laughs." )
After the first few meetings I went to here, I kept hearing women say, oh-we don't have a lot of women here with any long term sobriety! Oh, we're so glad you're here! Oh,Oh,Oh!! I ducked my head and went home. Back out to the country, where it takes me a minimum of 25 minutes to get to a meeting. Seemed safe enough. LOL
Fast forward a year, and my phone rings constantly. I am the GSR for my new home group. I am involved in the new CSO that's being organized. I am speaking all over the place. And being the total and complete EGOMANIAC that I am, I am eating this stuff up. I am having luncheons for groups of women at my house. I am having dinners and game nights and just in general running right back into what I left behind when I moved. I only say all this to give you a snapshot of just how little I understand about boundaries and slowing down. lol
Fast forward another year. I am backing up a little and life is more balanced. I still do things, just not so much. It's enough though, to keep me connected and sober and relatively happy.
Now I'm looking back over this past year, and I can see the writing on the wall. We (the local recovery community) have had our share of tragedies this past year. We have gone through growing pains. In my own life, I can see mirrored the highs and lows and the growing and most especially the love. I can understand better than ever before that I have to take care of myself. I have to keep the quality of my sobriety and my spirituality and my physical being at peak levels. If I don't, I will not be useful to God or my fellows. So...sometimes I don't answer my phone, letting it go to voice mail. Sometimes I say No to requests. Sometimes I just go out and sit in the backyard and recharge my batteries. And I pray and I meditate and I care, care, care about the people in my life.
And I care about me, too. I am a gift, a tool. This is a quantum leap from the woman who walked through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1990. That woman was broken and hopeless and useless. The love in here brought me around again, gave me a second chance at life again. These 12 simple steps changed me forever. They changed the way I see myself, they changed the way I see you. You told me I had to give back what was so freely given to me. They changed the way I see the events in my life. And that is the biggest gift of all...I do not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it. I am who I am, and would not be if it weren't for all the amazing things that have come down the pike.
I am a survivor. I am a teacher. I am an artist. I am a cook. I am a sister. I am a mother. I am an aunt. I am a friend. I am a grandmother. I am a person who thinks before she speaks (mostly). I am you. And I am me.
And I am gloriously and unabashedly SOBER.
Wow. That's a lot of blessings and gratitude.