And are willing to go to any length to get it - then you are ready to take certain steps. -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58
I am lately struck by the number of people who seem to "want what we have." But when pressed, they have absolutely no willingness to do anything to get it. They want to get recovery "from" someone, as if it were contagious. It is what I used to hear called "an inside job." It is a contract between you and God, and it requires your cooperation, participation, and a whole lot of action.
I am so fortunate that I got sober when and where I did. There were a bunch of rude bastards around who were pretty blunt about what a person needed to do. They would tell a new person to sit down and shut the f*** up. They told us to take the cotton out of our ears and put it in our mouths. They told us to show up at a meeting every single day - on time. And to sit through the meeting, listening intently, not getting up for coffee, or to go to the bathroom, or to talk to someone. It was not OK to have side conversations or cross talk. We were expected to stay until the meeting was over, and then stick around and talk with other alcoholics afterward. We were expected to go on 12 step calls, and did frequently. We were expected to start in service by cleaning ash trays and washing coffee cups. After a while, we could "graduate" to being part of the AA service structure.
This may sound like a bunch of control freaks and like it is too many "rules." But it saved my life, and the lives of many others. We alcoholics are undisciplined. We need to have discipline in our lives if we expect to stay sober. It starts with simple little things, like being somewhere every day, on time, and doing what we are told to do.
From this, we stay sober, one day at a time, and the days turn into months, years, and decades. We learn that we can show up for a job on time, and stay there all day, and not get into huge interpersonal difficulties while we are there! We learn that we can get along with our families, even when they are being difficult. We learn that we can love people, even when they are seemingly unlovable.
In other words, from a few simple actions, we learn how to live our lives in a way that is meaningful and rewarding. Those old, rude jerks taught me how to live in a way that has been profoundly wonderful!