On Sunday, I will reach the 1,000-day mark of sobriety. Yeah! With the help of God! Unfortunately, there’s no coin for 1,000 days sober!!
But I’ve been feeling guilty about how I’ve been “doing” my program. I’ve talked to my sponsor only a handful of times in the past 3 months, and not in any kind of depth. I haven’t been attending meetings complaining, “I’m too busy!” When I need to drag myself out of the house after dinner for a night meeting, I find myself just not wanting to go out again. I want to be in my pj’s, have dinner and watch the end of the world (the news.)
So, guilt has been my main emotion when reflecting on my recovery. Yesterday my sponsor called me. I’m glad she did because as each day that went by without touching base felt a little more awkward knowing I wasn’t doing what I was “supposed to do.” So, I was relieved when she called me to check in. I immediately shared with her my guilt, and she responded in a way I didn’t expect. She said, “everyone has their own way of doing recovery. You need to find your way and if it works, GREAT. All I can do is tell you what has worked for me.” With that, relief washed over me. I was given permission, which surprisingly is what I was looking for, to do my program my way.
In reflection, it reminded me of church, yet again. People will come to me feeling guilty when they haven’t attended worship due to a variety of reasons. And I respond with the same answer to each person: “You’re on your own journey. You need to do what is right for you. We’re always here when you need us or want to join us on a regular basis, but remember, “no matter who you are or where you are on your faith journey, you are loved by God and welcome here.”
I feel the same way about my AA family, even though I don’t see them very often. I always feel that their message to me is, “No matter who you are or where you are in your recovery, you are loved by your Higher Power and welcome here.”
For me, this is just another way that AA is church.