image credit …. zach russo

“A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which,

if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink

and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”

1. Surrender. (Capitulation to hopelessness.)

2. Hope. (Step 2 is the mirror image or opposite of step 1. In step 1 we admit that alcohol is our higher power, and that our lives are unmanageable. In step 2, we find a different Higher Power who we hope will bring about a return to sanity in management of our lives.)

3. Commitment. (The key word in step 3 is decision.)

4. Honesty. (An inventory of self.)

5. Truth. (Candid confession to God and another human being.)

6. Willingness. (Choosing to abandon defects of character.)

7. Humility. (Standing naked before God, with nothing to hide, and asking that our flawsin His eyesbe removed.)

8. Reflection. (Who have we harmed? Are we ready to amend?)

9. Amendment. (Making direct amends/restitution/correction, etc..)

10. Vigilance. (Exercising self-discovery, honesty, abandonment, humility, reflection and amendment on a momentary, daily, and periodic basis.)

11. Attunement. (Becoming as one with our Father.)

12. Service. (Awakening into sober usefulness.)

another week has flown by and it seems fairly full. my friend lost her battle with parkinson’s on wednesday and made her transition. there is mostly relief in my heart. it has been an experience to really absorb that i am available to offer support to strangers every day, but i was not able to do the same thing for someone i cared for deeply. character defect? most definitely. and i have to find a way to make peace with it. i understand that there will be a service in late april sometime. the family and her direct caregivers must be exhausted.

the hep-c support group is finally approved by the powers that be at the hospital and the first monthly group will start on 2/14. a licensed social worker will be facilitating and this is sponsored and supported by the hep-c connection. since we have a methadone clinic and an hiv clinic on campus we already have about 1000 patients who are hep-c positive. this is probably a good idea.

i will be flying to chicago for a memorial service of a family friend. she passed over the holidays, but cremation allows a less hurried planning process and a more intentioned attendance. i will only be there for a couple of days. probably not long enough. along the same lines, i was considering going to london with a chicago friend in june, but am leaning away from that idea right now.

i have applied for a part time position at a small counseling agency to work with clients on parole. i think it might be great experience and add a niche on my resume. the owner of the agency has recently been diagnosed with 4th stage pancreatic cancer and his wife will need support. this is the best way i am able to offer it.

as i read over the principles of the 12 step program, i am reminded that there is a responsibility with the gift of sobriety. i am guaranteed a life without the plague of obsession and chaos, but this does have requirements to keep healthy. this is a good place for me to begin my weekend.

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