THE START

The very start of recovery is Socialization at 12 step meetings. The first part of that is finding a HOME group. In effect finding a section of people that will accept you, warts and all. That is they shake your hand and introduce themselves, I hated that part when they asked if I was a new comer. I wanted to be seen as an intelligent intellectual knowing everything. I was not aware of my ego until I got a sponsor who gently pointed this out. The first change was I stopped sitting at the back of the room. The second change I became aware of was; I am not superior to any one in this room just because I spent time in a Rehab center. Just then I got in touch with my humility “I am no better or worse than anybody else”. My sponsor gave me a 12 & 12 and I read the first step. I was familiar with the first four steps as I attempted them in treatment. The first step outside of Rehab was a much different reading. I found myself engrossed in it. The rehab had thought me to focus and concentrate the realization of this helped me to find gratitude. I have always been a good reader all my adult life but never appreciated the skill until sobriety. Since then I have carried a small 12 & 12 near at hand.

THE GROWTH

This stage of recovery in reality opened my mind to find awareness. I had got in touch with my feelings in Rehab but in the world I needed to be in touch with feelings when making decisions on all levels, for example finding a place to live. What to put into it apart from this human being, clothes, furniture, and towels sheets etc. Feelings mean my likes and dislikes, where in the city to live. My head was starting to hurt at this point and then the thought I could do with a drink came into my head. Phoned my sponsor he began to help with the living arrangements. Find a place near your favorite meeting. Setting me up for Accountability.   If you can live in an area where there are three support meetings in a triangle around you. (Setting me up for Support). Find a large apartment building with other individuals in recovery living there, then you will find examples of wellness in the recovering people, and you can make friends and copy effective behavior from them, setting me up with good examples. For now stay in the job that helped you into Rehab. Keeping me in a routine while the shifts changed every week the early one ended at 12.30 and the late shift started at 2.30pm allowing me to always attend the 1-2pm daily meeting. This I attended without fail for two years, strengthening the connections with well people. Then I read a book by Claudia Black about Adult Children of Alcoholics (A.C.O.A.) issues and realized I needed help with relationships and attended these meeting and reconciled my family of origin. Over a period of time I learned to love them and accept every part of them and me.

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