pennies from heaven

i just love that frank Sinatra song…but recovery is like walking around with our head under the clouds for so long…until we get sober and, wait for it…little gifts begin to rain down on us.  for me…a few months ago I really began working hard in my own recovery and “program”.  I know if I don’t call my sponsor, go to meetings, read from the book and practice the steps, I’m missing all the pennies I could be collecting in my piggy bank. This bank is stored for future times when I need to smash it open and find it flowing over with abundant goodness.  i asked my sponsor the other night “ok I’m praying the 7th step prayer each night now what?” because more SHOULD be happening.. like I’m supposed to be fixed. she’s so intuitive and answers me, “ya wanna know what’s the magic pill? there isn’t one. it’s working the steps every day. that’s it.” oh. is necessary to work hard for a healthy life.  maybe for anyone, but especially an alcoholic like me.  for life to be of interest to me, to enjoy other people, resemble normal people (nonalcoholic) I have to practice daily coping mechanisms like meditation, exercise, diet, fellowship, service all the stuff a self-actualized person finds herself doing naturally.  being in the moment is not natural to me.  being happy does not come easy for me.  being still and okay isn’t a skill I’ve mastered.  but through recovery from alcoholism I’m getting there. 

an example of my pennies already stored in the bank include meeting a newcomer, with only months sober. she’s very young and a long way from home. randomly at a bookstore yesterday we ran into one another.  she had called me the night she relapsed, a week ago, already half way through a fifth of jack.   she was crying and obviously defeated but she felt comfortable enough with me to call in her darkest moment.  it was a first for me in AA.  I was truly shocked but at the same time honored and grateful to be available to her.  usually I’m not available, with two young kids always nearby.  so we ran into each other after this phone call  and she was happy to see me.  I invited her to a meeting.  another example:  I lost my job over a month ago. because of AA and the steps and being a person in recovery, I didn’t immediately panic.  I don’t know if over the month I ever really reached a point of anxiety about “what will I do” , sure there were scary moments. but I kinda had this sense that all will be well.  and guess what?  it was.  amazingly so.  probably for the better.. and I would not have this capacity for “being in the moment” or “going with the flow” or “let’s wait and see”; unless I got sober almost two years ago.  the ability to realize I’m not in control of my life, that a Higher Power guides and directs this orchestra on earth, is another penny. before sobriety and recovery, I knew I was calling the shots.  everything was under my control .  so not.  far from it honestly.  alcoholics don’t get that knowledge until sober. 

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