By the grace of God, I have lived to the old age of sixty today and I feel better than I ever have. People have asked me what I want for my birthday, and I tell them that I do not need anything. I know the difference between “wants and needs” today. I am content with my life. God has supplied all my needs.
I thought that I was over the hill at thirty. But…God was not finished with me yet. No more trying to fit in or live up to others expectations. I am so grateful to have been born in America and in a Christian family. We have had our ups and downs, but we have always forgiven, because that is what family does.
I grew up in a large close-knit family in a small suburb of Houston, Texas. I was raised Christian, and I was taught to not be selfish, so I tried to help others until I had no more to give.
Then I decided at sixteen that there was no God or Santa Claus, etc…and that I was going to do it my way. I lived selfishly and began to think of what I wanted instead of others. I had been a people-pleaser.
Of course, I had to find out the hard way that I could not change anyone but myself. I had no identity, outside of being someones wife, someones mother, sister, etc…in my disease I bottomed out and became suicidal. I thought that I did not have anything to live for, because I thought I was a failure. I had no job, and I could not pay for my house, or car, and as a homemaker I had no job skills. I was getting divorced for the second time, and I could not have any children.
God judges us by our “insides” not our “outsides” like the world does. Thank God for my wonderful family, who loved me “no matter” what. And…that life was not all about money!! Godly homemakers work for God. I am not worthless if I do not have a job outside the home.
In my recovery I had to learn that I could think of me and my needs too, and that I did not have to be what you wanted me to be, or live the way you thought that I should. I did not have to give up me to be loved by you. I did not want to be self-centered and think that the world revolved around me. I still think about myself, but I think of myself less.
It took me years to realize that I needed Balance in my life, and that it was not selfish to think about my needs first. I learned that I had to put my health and needs first, and then others. If I did not put me first then I was no good for anyone else, because I would be unhappy, resentful, miserable, and maybe drunk. The program taught me to put God number one, myself second, and others third. God had to be number one, and I had to choose to live God’s will not mine.
My recovery is about complete abstinence, not just switching addictions. It is about no mood altering drugs, which includes marijuana! It is all or nothing! Sobriety is about much more than just not drinking. It taught me a new way to live life without having to drink or use to be happy.
I get really angry when others say that Christians are supposed to take care of everyone else, and give to others, without thinking of our needs too. Those “guilt trips” do not work on me anymore. And…we are supposed to call “evil” evil!
I have heard our program called a Selfish program, and I dispute that and do not like that. Our program is far from Selfish. It is about working the twelve steps, making amends, and changing our ways, but without sobriety we will have nothing. None of it would work without God as my “higher power”. I could not do it alone. I did not achieve twenty seven years by just not drinking!
Recovery is about a lot more than that. This is a God program, you just have the freedom to choose whatever “higher power” that you want for you, but doorknobs, people, places, or things did not work for me. It is about people helping people, but we have to work on us and getting healthier first; or else we spread the “disease” instead of “recovery”.
If we keep “blaming” others for all our problems, then we will not get better. No more “excuses”! I am in charge of me and my recovery, not anyone elses. No one can get me drunk but me. The Twelve Steps gave me a “New way of life”, and I would not trade it for anything. I am at peace and I no longer have to live in the “chaos”. Thank God today, I have a choice. I used to believe that I did not have a choice, but we all do. We can choose to live in the “insanity” or we can choose to get help and change. God gives us free will.
My God does not want me to be weak and allow others to use and abuse me. He wants me to be strong, and show others that you do not need to always think of others, and live for someone else and forget about our needs in the process. I am supposed to take care of myself and my own family, and then if there is anything left I am able to help others. So, for me it is about working on me, and if I don’t get better and grow up then I would not have anything to offer anyone else.