The two comments I hear most often from people who struggle with a sober life are, “the 12 steps don’t work”, and “I can’t just trust God, the world doesn’t work like that.” Those words ALWAYS come from the mouth of someone who has NEVER worked the 12 steps.
I relapsed after three years of sobriety, while living in the delusion that I had worked the 12 steps and was trusting God. My new sponsor asked me a very simple question, “Have you worked the 12 steps?” My reply was a definitive and arrogant, “of course I’ve worked the 12 steps.” This was the rest of that conversation.
Sponsor: When was the last time you wrote inventory?
Sponsor: You haven’t written inventory in over three years?
Sponsor: Did you make all your amends?
Me: No, I made a few, but…
Sponsor: Let me guess, you made a couple, felt better, and stopped?
Me: Yeah, that’s about what happened.
Sponsor: Do you pray and meditate every morning and every evening?
Me: No, I don’t really believe in meditation, but I do pray.
Sponsor: Do you write an evening review every night?
Me: No, I didn’t know I was supposed to.
Sponsor: But you’ve work the 12 steps?
Me: I guess I haven’t.
My life at 35 years old with three years of sobriety was a reflection of the work I had done, or not done. I was a grown man living with his mom and dad and behaving like a little boy. How can a person trust God, who has never done the work required to become disciplined and God reliant? The man who says the world doesn’t work like that is correct. The majority of people in the world do not operate like that, but we must, if we expect to be happy, joyous, and free.
Chad L – TX