I’ve been asked to contribute an article on 12 Step Recovery for our monthly newsletter for the women of Grace Recovery ATX. There is so much I would like to share with you, it is difficult to know where to begin. It is my goal to provide information on 12 step recovery and share my experience on incorporating the 12 steps into my life, while maintaining anonymity which, according to the 12th Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous, “is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions”. (p. 562)
I choose to identify myself as a recovered alcoholic and recovered drug addict because I have experienced a “spiritual awakening” or if you will, a “psychic change” by working the 12 Steps out of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, with the spiritual guidance of a female sponsor. I will not identify myself publicly as a member of any particular fellowship,( i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous.)
We at Grace Recovery ATX would be delighted to give you information about meetings, sponsorship or literature, or if you are interested about anything else about these spiritual programs of recovery! The great thing about Austin is that on any given day, multiple times a day, there are drug addicts and alcoholics meeting to share hope and solution about a new way of living. The aforementioned 12 Step fellowships also have websites detailing meeting locations and times, with 24-hour hotline services if you need to speak to another addict. Links will be included in this article.
In my own personal recovery, I see the Power of “the program” come to life when one practices the spiritual principles outlined in our text, rather than recite passages or give a personal interpretation of the words that were precisely executed in the 1930’s. The amazing thing to me is that the words in Alcoholics Anonymous are still relevant to my life and those of hundreds of thousands of others; young and old, black and white, alcoholic or drug addicted, around the world today, in 2018.
The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous was written in 1939 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in 1939. It is believed Bill Wilson had his last drink on December 11, 1934 and the official founding date of Alcoholics Anonymous is June 10, 1935, the day of Dr. Bob’s last drink. It is important to note that AA identifies as a spiritual program, not a religious one, in case that deters anyone from participating. We will explore further in upcoming months exactly what that means. AA encourages and supports you to find a personal Higher Power through working the program as outlined in the text. We share our “experience, strength, and hope” and take other alcoholics and addicts through the work, as was done for us by those who came before us.
As I approach the anniversary of my 3rd “Birthday” in recovery this week, it is a natural time of reflection. It is a beautiful Fall Sunday evening. I’m sitting on the back porch at my home in Austin which I rent with two of my best women friends, who also work strong 12 step programs of their own. It has been a particularly chaotic week at work, followed by a high energy weekend with my nieces and nephews; full of kisses and questions, cupcakes and crocodile tears. The sun is setting over the hills. My roommate’s chihuahua, of whom I am particularly fond, is sniffing around the yard. A glass wind chime is delicately twinkling in the background. Sipping a steaming mug of ginger tea with honey, I am at peace. Grateful. This is heaven on Earth, in this moment. The 12 Steps have given me a life beyond my dreams. If you had known me 3 years ago, you would not doubt the presence of a Higher Power in my life today. If my life had continued the way it was headed, things were not going to end well. I was hopeless, a broken shell of the woman I was meant to be. Now, my life is full, and I have purpose and am surrounded by love, it is truly miraculous. I could not wish for anything more. I am truly grateful for the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I encourage you to be open minded as each month we explore different topics and relate them to 12 Step recovery. If you have questions or topic suggestions feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org See y’all next month! And don’t be afraid to reach out if you want a change! If it is possible for me, it is possible for anyone. Thank you for being a part of my journey!
Co-Founder Grace Recovery ATX
Sober since October 31, 2015
Fourth Edition, 2001. New York City,
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS WORLD SERVICES, INC.