On our Facebook Page, we asked people, “What was the best gift you ever gave?” Although we meant it in a more material sense, one of our comments was, “the best thing I could give my mom is me clean—not dead or in jail.”
No human power can relieve us of our alcoholism and addiction, but that doesn’t mean that the people in our lives do not motivate us. Indeed, the best gift that anyone going through drug and alcohol treatment center can get is the Grace from our Higher Power—whomever or whatever that may be.
It can be easy to take that gift for granted. All too often we forget the harrowing ordeals we endured running only on our self-will—self-will that failed utterly.
So when we are able to give a gift, we rarely consider that the reason we are able to give that gift to someone else is because we were given an even greater one first!
It is one more reason why the Steps have proven so effective over the years. We do not live in morbid reflection of our pasts, but there is no escaping that the life we had been living back then has irrevocably shaped our lives today and makes thinking of others a possibility that we otherwise would not have had.
Someone once told me that I shouldn’t base who I am on what I did or who I was. She meant it from a place of love, but at the same time, she had never struggled with drugs or alcohol, and rarely partook in drinking ever. Seeing miracles of recovery happening day after day around you is a very hard thing to deny.
When you endure the struggles, the demoralization, and the daily misery that addicts and alcoholics deal with on a daily basis—without any sort of hope for the future—and are then suddenly lifted out of that morass is tantamount to saying, “Don’t let your education influence your knowledge.”
Once again, the addict or the alcoholic is both blessed and cursed; we have a fantastic gift that we can guide others towards. The catch, though, is that we have to survive the long, hard journey to get to that point first, and sadly, some of us do not survive that journey.
Today, the tables have turned, and we can move from the selfish, self-centered lives that we had been living into lives dedicated to thinking of others and service by helping others endure the same challenges we faced and the living amends that results.
So thank you, Dana, for answering our thinking of others question!