My life in recovery is full of miracles today—the biggest of them is that I am recovering from this disease, this enslavement to lust, for which there is no cure. And another huge miracle is that I am grateful today; I used to be never grateful.
My recovery in SA began with acceptance of the SA sobriety definition. For me, the definition is clear and unambiguous. It is like a mirror by which I see and gauge my spiritual progress. The work I needed to do to stay sober—Steps, meetings, service—has helped me figure out solutions in other problematic areas of my life, where medicine and religion have been powerless.
I have experienced many miracles in my life, but until recovery, I was blind to them all; blinded by lust, by shame, by anger towards God, by all sorts of negativity. The more I shared of my darkest past, the more the bondage of shame fell away, and my heart began to fill with happiness, joy and freedom, and a strong sense of gratitude for everything that has happened to me; gratitude for every single thing that contributed to my entering the door to my first SA meeting.
One often hears that the first three Steps are the most important; the arch through which we pass on our way to the rest of the Steps. But for me, Step 11 was, and still is, the most important. On the recommendation of my first sponsor, I started Step 11 at the same time as Step 1.
At first, my commitment to Step 11 was just to read the relevant pages in the Big Book of AA every day. Then I learned to practice taking a daily inventory before going to bed. At the time, I was not very enlightened and could not understand why I should ask God for forgiveness. Also around this time, I could not find a rabbi anywhere to help me with answers to the many questions I had about all of this; and then I asked myself if I needed a rabbi at all because, after all, I knew so much about everything.
It took me two years to work the Twelve Steps, going through them using the Step Into Action book. It was only after sharing my Step 12 with my sponsor that I felt a heart-felt connection with the Step 3 prayer, and see today how necessary that prayer is in my life. By the Grace of God, I am not motivated today by self-will; rather, I am motivated by a desire to know God’s will for me and for the power to carry it out. I pray each day too for the graces of humility and gratitude.
Today, I feel I am part of a big family where I am at home, loved, appreciated and supported; where I find solace and harmony.
The 12-Step program has helped me to find God and to talk to Him and hear Him. Importantly, the program helps me to keep out of God’s way as He helps me to be happy; as He helps me to see His blessings in all things, no matter what is going on in the outside world.
Today I see all the people in my life, past and present, as colors on God’s palette; and they make a beautiful rainbow in His divine hands.
Dear brothers and sisters of the SA community—each of you is an integral part of my change for the better. Thank you.
Olga S., Ukraine