The Easier, Softer Way
Many AA meetings begin with a reading from Chapter 5, “How It Works”, of the AA Big Book. In the introduction to this chapter, before the steps are outlined, one of the warnings provided is, “At some of these [steps] we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.”
i didn’t understand this for the longest time. For me, AA was the easier, softer way because my drinking life was exhausting. The amount of time, energy, physical and psychological effort that went into setting up, surfing and surviving my binges was stupefying. Recovery removed a lot of the hard work that went into being me.
Then, during a Newcomers’ Meeting, the light bulb went on.
Following my suicide attempt and subsequent release from the hospital, one of the first things i did was to go to AA. One meeting a week. Didn’t care about a sponsor. But i didn’t drink. i was sober and in recovery so that was me sorted.
Only it wasn’t. That was the “easier, softer way”.
My real recovery began when someone asked me if i’d found a sponsor yet, knowing i hadn’t. It wasn’t easy, but i overcame my timidity, self reliance and pride issues and asked someone to help me.
Then my sponsor told me to hit 4 meetings a week. It wasn’t easy, but i explained to my wife, boss and children what i was doing and sacrificed some of my personal time to do it.
Then a coffee service position opened up in one of the meetings. It wasn’t easy, but i overcame my laziness and volunteered and now i go in earlier and leave later than everyone else and have taken it upon myself to pay for the coffee, tea, cookies and fruit out of my own pocket without being reimbursed.
Then the secretary of the meeting asked if i would co-chair. It wasn’t easy, but…
i wanted the easier, softer recovery but i know me and i know i would have stumbled if i’d stayed on that path. Unfortunately, sobriety is work and, like any other job, the payback is in direct relation to the time and effort you put into it.
Don’t take it “easy”.
Posted on August 18, 2012, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged AA, alcohol, Alcohol Recovery, alcoholic, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, Recovery, sobriety, What i learned in AA. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.