Recovery – The Trip Home…

I got out of Hazelden on 28 August 1994.  Felt real good.  When I got to the airport I passed by the usual “watering holes” I would have stopped by to kill the time.  Instead I opened “The Big Book,” and reviewed the 12 Steps.  I was determined to make this program work – I felt I didn’t have many other choices at that time.

While at Hazelden we were required to “take” the first 5 steps, and I felt real good about that.  So, I opened the book to Step 6, and began:

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

“Okay,” I thought to myself, “easy enough.”  I had been ‘beat up’ so bad this was easy.  “Go ahead God, take all my character defects from me – I don’t need them anymore.”  Now that wasn’t so hard, on to Step 7.

“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

So I look around and seeing I was somewhat alone, I closed my eyes, folded my hands and prayed, “God, please remove these shortcomings of mine – I’ve had enough of them…”  Great!  Now I am up to Step 8!

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”

“Well, lets see here – most of the folks I ‘harmed’ were in the Air Force,” I thought to myself, not even for a moment considering the hurt or harm I brought to my family, or my closest friends… And so, on to Step 9.

“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

“Well, hell, most these folks are in the Air Force, or ‘gone.’  So, what’s the point?” I wondered.   And now, on to Step 10.

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”

I was just ‘contemplating’ this when they called for boarding.  I don’t think I understood what they were saying anyway.  Saved!  Or, so I thought…

After I ‘made my nest’ on the airplane I managed to review and ‘complete’ Steps 11 and 12 on the flight from Minneapolis to Detroit.

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and he power to carry that out.”

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Got off the airplane feeling pretty good about myself!  Pink cloud.  Then I learned how much God does love drunks, and fools!  Got those both covered – but now, after 19 years, I am beginning to “see the light.”  And for that, I am grateful…

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