I was handed a toolbox to build a new life
A gift freely given to alleviate strife
It contained all I needed to repair and reclaim
A flickering spirit in search of a flame.
How many tools do you have in your toolbox? Is it time to add a few more?
In the beginning, I depended on just three essentials to lay my foundation: Meetings, sponsorship, and the twelve steps.
The meetings were the brick and mortar that gave me a sure footing in order to navigate the peaks and valleys that stretched ahead. They provided a temporary shelter that housed a support system, where my equilibrium could be restored. Inside the rooms of AA, reconstruction was soon underway. Old ideas and beliefs that tethered me to my distorted view about the disease of alcoholism were swiftly replaced by new concepts, ones that promised hope instead of damnation. I learned that recovery, once I had put the drink down would be a choice available even to me. All I had to do was keep coming back and listen to folks who shared with me, the heartache of their addiction, and more importantly the miracle of their recovery.
After several months of trying to determine whether or not I was indeed an alcoholic, I felt I was missing something. Even though I wasn’t drinking, I was becoming stagnant. Time to pick up another tool. I needed something, or someone, to erect the scaffolding so I wouldn’t slip.
And low and behold, I looked around the rooms and found a sponsor. She became the cement that held me together during my transition. And in my case, it was a slow one.
Some days she was a hammer driving it all home, and other days a screwdriver, either dismantling the rusty hinges of negativity or securing the positive nuts and bolts of the program.
In order to get to the next level, every structure requires a staircase. In recovery, that ascension is determined by working the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous. Little did I realize that when I added them to my toolbox that they would be my forever go to in sobriety. The steps were the key that unlocked the portal to a life that offered me peace, serenity, and above all the ability to face life on life’s terms without alcohol.
Now, I am neither a carpenter nor a builder, but somewhere along my thirty- one -year path to what I hope is quality sobriety, I have managed to pack into that toolbox everything I need to construct a solid abode. I’ve added daily meditations, The Big Book, service work, and an overstuffed portfolio of slogans. My toolbox is bulging at the seams.
What’s in your toolbox?
About the author Dallas Hembra in her own words:
I am a recovering alcoholic who will celebrate 33 years of continuous sobriety August of this year.
In support of my book Shaking the Family Tree, I decided to start a blog. By sharing my own experience, I hope to open the door of recovery for others affected by this disease. And that includes the loved ones of alcoholics who are also victims and who are hoping to gain a little insight into the mechanics of the disease and recovery.
Totally unrelated to the above, on March 31st my new publication Kaleidoscope was released. It is a poetry book of random meanderings intended to touch the heart tickle, tickle the funny-bone, awake the imagination, and in some cases, give pain a voice. Published under Dallas Hembra. Available for order now at Amazon, Books a Million, Barnes, and Noble, and Written Dreams Publishing.
My Recovery blog is authordallash.com Hope to see you there.