1. Steps 1, 2 &3 are key to abstinence. Without abstinence our mind can not clear to see the options before us. I have heard it said that we have given up our free agency when subject to addiction. I believe to be the case because as an addict I was unable to see any other option. In order to choose you must have options. I was blinded to the options and therefore was not able to make good choices. Once I “dried out” the options started to become visible.
2. I believe that abstinence is a temporary state that will always come to an end in one of two ways, sobriety or relapse.
3. Step 4 &5 are where my abstinence we most challenged. I believe this is because we are so close to transitioning from abstinence to sobriety. Step 4 &5 brought back all the hate, anger, resent, sadness, etc. that I was running from for nearly 3 decade. I spent so much time in my addiction of solitude hiding from all of this and now I had to walk out into the light and face it. My legs were weak and my knees wanted to buckle but the Lord held me up and after much prodding from a wise and caring sponsor I was able to get through it.
4. Step 6 & 7 are what I would call the steps of sobriety. I have come to believe that that this program is a program of change, like the gospel and doctoring of the church. I have come to understand that while at onetime abstinence was all I could hope for, and then in time sobriety was all I could hope for, but now see that without a change of heart and a complete reconstitution of ones self through the Lord and atonement sobriety is slippery and easily lost. But with the gospel and constant companionship of the God Head, sobriety is only the beginning of what you can hope for. You can become something new and clean and useful.
5. Steps 8 & 9 are step of character and commitment. These are not our opportunity to run around saying sorry. We need to amend and make restitution. This is not easily done. With the lord a Bishop and a wise sponsor you can experience the sweet taste of forgiveness in the way the Lord wishes us to experience it.
6. Step 10, 11 & 12 are some of my favorites. They are called the maintenance Steps. Though we must continue to work Steps 1 – 9 to continue to grow and experience change, steps 10, 11 &12 are the steps that keep us grounded daily. I have loved being a sponsor. I value my time with my sponsor and I only hope I can provide some of what he provided me. to listen to my Step 5 and still tell me I am a good man is amazing to me. I have enjoyed, after listening to several my “brother’s” step 5, telling them that I believed they were good men and knowing in my heart they are. What a sweet experience to be able to be the when someone truly knows they are not alone and they are not defined by what they have done. I am grateful to know what I have done is not who I am, just where I was at one point in my life.