By Jamie Moon
The true indication that we have real sobriety, of the kind defined later as "a peaceful, calm, contented, serene and well-balanced life," is reflected in how we live our lives outside "the rooms." If we are demonstrating anger in or out of meetings we have not truly acquired the promises. The ability to practice The Program in meetings and with those in the fellowship is easier than in our other relationships like in our family and work lives. The Buddhists call this cloistered virtue. It does not create a "bridge to normal living."
The "bridge" is The Program. Our experience shows that, even when sober, without a strong, powerful Program we become as crazy as we ever were, if we don't relapse or take a sojourn into other addictions. The Twelve Steps have been used to deal with other personal demons, obsessions and addictions. Members have found that once one addiction was "handled" with the Steps, another would often rears its ugly head.
With all the other Twelve Step fellowships now, it is truly a wonderful thing. We no longer have to feel sorry for those we see suffering outside our specific program, thinking to ourselves, "You poor guy. I feel so sorry for you. You're not an alcoholic. You can never know the pure joy of recovering within the Fellowship." Today, there seems to be a "nut for every bolt," or maybe a program for every nut?
We must acquire honesty, humility, and service and all of the Principles we find in the Steps. We need also eliminate self-centeredness to keep our peace and sobriety. For those who are willing to accept the Twelve Step Program as a means of recovery from any addiction, I recommend a close study of any of the myriads of material written on the experience of the Twelve Steps. Don't just read them, study them repeatedly. These books were written by addicts for addicts and are based upon the trials and experiences of our members of many fellowships.
Yes. I dare to suggest that we look at the experience of those in many different Twelve Step Programs. Each edition of the Big Book includes updated experiences of current members with contemporary problems. Just maybe we can learn something from a broad range of experience.
The original text of any Twelve Step Program, the Big Book, suggests that, we know only a little. An open-mind is the only way to greater understanding and growth.