I’ve been to countless meetings; AA, Al-anon, CA, NA, and Celebrate Recovery. I’ve tried 12 steps and church, church alone, therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and exercise. I’ve tried combinations of all the above. My home group is CA, I attend closed meetings of AA regularly, but what it takes for me to stay sober may not work for another. This I know from reading the book that the “bedevilments” can come and go in sobriety. The 9th step promises can, too. I heard the comparison drawn at a recent meeting, so I researched it and broke it down for me to see. I am a human searching for meaning and purpose. I used drugs and drank, and I’d become a monster with no real purpose or value. Lonely, afraid, angry, and indignant can even describe me sober if I become unwilling to maintain conscious contact with God thru others, the Spirit that resides within me, praying, and finding ways to stay close with my Creator like exercise and nature. Only 31 pages separate the bedevilments and the 9th step promises. Here is a breakdown of the two:
Bedevilments: We were having trouble with personal relationships.
9th Step Promises: We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away.
Bedevilments: We couldn’t control our emotional natures.
9th Step Promises: We will comprehend the word serenity and we know peace.
Bedevilments: We were a prey to misery and depression.
9th Step Promises: Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Bedevilments: We couldn’t make a living.
9th Step Promises: Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
Bedevilments: We had a feeling of uselessness.
9th Step Promises: That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
Bedevilments: We were full of fear.
9th Step Promises: We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
Bedevilments: We were unhappy.
9th Step Promises: We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
Bedevilments: We couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people.
9th Step Promises: No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
And, most of all,
9th Step Promises: We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
God’s speed as we all ” trudge the road of Happy Destiny.” …….b