When we seek out the rooms of recovery, we usually have no greater wish than to free ourselves from the miserable bonds of alcoholism and addiction. We just desperately want to stop losing ourselves to the disease and ruining our lives. We find Jaywalker Lodge and join a tight-knit recovering community that understands us. We begin our journey of self-discovery and healing. How grateful we are to discover that the 12-Steps can finally break those bonds and set us free.
But after being sober for a short time, we see our initial desire was only the beginning. It can even be said that wishing only to get sober is selling ourselves short. Although at first it is everything – and it is indeed the most important step since. Without it, we cannot experience the true bounty of life in recovery. Sobriety must always be the first step into a new life. Yet there is so much more to come.
A Firm Foundation
It is important that we don’t get ahead of ourselves. We must find a sponsor and work the 12-Steps and make sure we have a secure footing in the program. This solid foundation is crucial. Not enough can be said about it. Once we find ourselves with a sponsor, attending regular meetings, and involved in fellowship and service, even after all this, there is still so much more.
When our disease was active, life was often intolerable. Our addiction was perhaps accompanied by mental health issues and a slew of other bad habits. Besides our alcoholism and addiction, there was likely trauma and pain. Simply put, life did not hold much joy or vibrancy for us before recovery. Now that we are in recovery, we should not expect more of the same. No, it would not be much of a new life if we settled for “mere sobriety,” and then continued on in our same old ways. We must embrace the new attitude towards life the program urges – but it may include some things we don’t expect.
We Deserve to Heal
Often we drank and used drugs under the banner of grief, trauma, and pain. Perhaps we suffered for so long with these things that we began to wrongly think we deserve to suffer. Our community at Jaywalker Lodge teaches us that anything is possible in recovery, and that each day is a promise of our future. Working the 12-Steps honestly and thoroughly will go a long way in helping us to heal from our emotional and mental wounds.
But as we do this work, we must also accept that it is okay for us to be healed. We must allow it in our minds and in our lives. We must do what we can with our higher power, sponsors, doctors, and therapists to create the footwork of healing. It might sound like a simple thing, but we must accept that we deserve healing.
It is truly okay for us to be healed and become healthy people. It may seem strange at first, but as it says in the Third Step Prayer, we are granted victory over our difficulties so that we may show others such things are possible.
We Are Allowed to Be Joyous
We are, in fact, encouraged to live “happy, joyous, and free!” Doesn’t that sound great? As wonderful as it sounds, many of us enter recovery believing such a life isn’t possible for us. The sober people around us, the staff at Jaywalker Lodge, and even the literature continue to tell us a joyous life can be ours, even as we may subconsciously disbelieve it. It might be hard work, but we must accept that we are allowed to be happy. It’s okay for us to feel joy.
It’s also important that we take the 12-Steps and seek our higher power to achieve freedom so that we can show the newcomer what kind of life awaits them in sobriety. It may be difficult for us to feel we deserve joy in our lives, but it is almost our duty in recovery. “We are not a glum lot,” the Big Book tells us. The desperate newcomer would not want to stick around if he found the same misery sober that he had while in his disease. Not only are we encouraged to find our joy, but we can also be of great service to others by doing so.
A Full Life is Waiting
The Big Book tells us that it can introduce us to a higher power which can solve all our problems. Sobriety is the beginning of our new lives. Yet with it comes so much more. The 12-Steps can work their wonders in every area of our life – and as is often said in meetings, the road of recovery can even increase the areas of life we have. Sobriety gives us a fuller life as it opens us to new perspectives, gives us a community of friends and confidants, and helps us heal and accept joy.
Somewhere along the road, though, it becomes our own opportunity to embrace the fullness of life. We can choose to let the 12-Steps turn us into a person who can live their life to the fullest. We can find ourselves capable of doing things we never thought possible before. What if we want to learn to climb mountains, get married, get a degree, or run a marathon? What if we always wanted to try our hand at snowboarding or stand-up comedy? What if we yearn to have a strong group of close friends and family, or maybe even start a family of our own? Not everything may be possible for everyone, but not everything is impossible for anyone. We can set our sights higher than we ever allowed ourselves to before, and allow the 12-Steps and our higher power to make our lives more full than we could have ever dreamed.
Are you ready to accept that you deserve to be healed? Are you ready to take the steps that will fill your life with happiness, joy, and peace? Jaywalker Lodge is ready to help you take those steps. We specialize in helping people recover and build the fulfilling lives they deserve. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.