Sunday, September 19, 2010

Perseverance

Today I got to go to a meeting to celebrate a friend's 25th AA anniversary. It was very nice. I just love the guy. We have known each other for 25 years, and have been through a lot in that time. And we love each other. Did I say that already?

When we got mad at each other, we didn't just write the other off and say "he's toxic" or "she's a hag," but we did something called "working the program" and worked our way through these things. We ended up with a deep relationship of friendship and love as a result.

Sometimes things are not pleasant and nice. We don't feel great every day. But we plug through these things, having faith that we will get to the other side.

If I thought I had to feel good every day, I would have despaired years ago, because that is not my lot in life. I am plagued by a negative mind and major depression (unmedicated). But by the Grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I get to live a good life in spite of these things... sometimes because of those things.

I knew a man in AA who was considered an AA saint by many. I was a little more reserved in my judgment. However, he said something that I have never forgotten, and that is:
The way I feel is not an accurate gauge of my spiritual condition.
Feeling good does not mean I am doing good. When I drank, I lived by my feelings. I wanted and needed to feel good all of the time. I did some of my worst damage when I was convinced that I was right because whatever I was doing felt good.

Getting sober and growing up means that I live through the times that are not so much fun, with as much grace as I can accept from God (he will give it, I just have to accept it).

Oh, maybe it sounds grim, but it is really a wonderful way to live. In reality. Real reality. Unaltered by chemicals.

I am so grateful for Alcoholics Anonymous and a loving God who put such wonderful teachers in my life. My way of figuring things out didn't work, but your way did. And I am grateful.

7 comments:

Syd said...

The way I feel often tricks me because I fall back on old feelings. If I believe in my Higher Power and that turning my life over to my HP will bring me peace and rid me of my crazy thoughts, then I not only feel better but I can live better.

marie said...

your photo is so beautiful. I used to be a runner (not in a good way like for exercise). I'm talking about a runner away from problems. Today, I am more likely to "plug through" because I have faith that everything will be ok. I draw most of my emotional security from this faith. It's been one of the best gifts of the program for me so far.

dAAve said...

Very good.

Carverlane said...

I copied down what you wrote about feelings...that was GREAT!

In church yesterday, our minister talked about "faithfulness in small things", and I smiled, thinking, "Hey, Mary just blogged about that!".

Good memorable posts. Thanks, and I hope your week ROCKS!

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I know this scares people who I say it to sometimes, but... You, Pammie, Anna, Steve, Dave, MrSponsorPants and so many of the bloggers... ya'll have become my AA saints (well you and my sponsors and some choice fellows in the program here and around the fellowship) even more saintly because you tell on yourselves, you're honest about your imperfections as you see them, (there's where the fear starts, if people begin to count on me and I fail or that small silent list of imperfections and secrets begin...) and you really do talk about depending on God and seeing that God is all powerful. Ya'll are there showing me that you continually walk through all of life's difficulties with dignity and love, always wanting to be better and though you don't feel your perfect, reflecting that knowledge that God is.

I'm still awfully long winded at saying thanks, I really do love you!

Thank you! Much love and many prayers of blessing and love being sent your way!

Scott said...

MC what a touching, honest post thank you! I to learned in AA that "feelings aren't facts." Little by little, I've learned to deal with my feelings better over time.

Thankfully, God has helped me persevere through tough relationships as well. The good times are more than worth it and today it's all real!

Willa said...

I needed to read this today. Thank you!