I just completed my annual 4th and 5th step. I’m lucky in a sense that I first got sober in spring. Spring cleaning in AA feels good, creates hope and as a life-long ‘avoider’ and procrastinator, it helps me to not let life build to the point of becoming an insurmountable mountain of lingering problems, most relatively small when they first began.
When I was first sober, I had two large black plastic garbage bags bursting with unopened mail (bills, IRS communications, collection notices, birthday and holiday cards, even some significant out of date refund and rebate checks)! I still get anxious when the mail carrier turns down our street, but I’ve no bags of unopened mail hidden in the back of closets.
This year, I did a 4th step that had two main columns (Things I do that Help and Things I do that Harm) subheadings for each were help/hurt me or others. It reminded of progress not perfection because bingeing on Netflix showed up in both and though I take fewer things personally, the slightest perception of personal criticism puts me in defensive posture for a time.
Another item that showed up for the first time and on the Help side was related to last weeks poem, Resilience. I am beginning to thrive even in the face of adversity rather than just survive from a never-ending series of crises that deplete body, mind and spirit.
The other thing that came through sharing my 5th step with my sponsor and a sponsee, is that life is mostly okay to pretty damn good. So often I focus on ‘faults’, ‘harms’, the ‘ugliness of all that is bad in the world’. My hope, my intention is to be consciously aware of the good, the wonder, the beauty in life. Thank goodness that is now easier to do in spring.
This little patch of earth
Beneath my feet
Mere inches across
I feel its hum and thrum
The beauty of light
Eclipsing the horizon
Giving long shadows
My life a wonder
Such joy to be alive
Life so very precious
The infinite Now
About the Author
Robert B. is sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.
The image used for this post was created by an unknown artist from Hilton Head, South Carolina. Her work can be found at Rate My Drawings.