My first few days into this journey I was at an AA meeting, maybe like the 3rd or 4th meeting I had every been to, and I heard a person who stated they had 5 years clean/sober say “I have to fight this thing everyday.” That floored me and stripped me of any shred of hope that I had of being able to get sober. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was NO FREAKIN’ WAY I could fight this thing every day and win! There I sat, dopesick, depressed, riddled with anxiety, fear, and my mind spinning like that top in the movie Inception (it never stopped spinning if you have not seen the movie). A day or two later, I was discussing it with one of the staff members and he told me that it did not have to be a battle, that if I would get willing to do what was suggested for me to do, it would actually be easy. Of course at the time I thought he was a lunatic, because there was no way anyone could get through what I was going through. I had decided it was impossible. The longer I hung around the more I realized that the people who didn’t seem to be struggling so much, and actually seemed to be happy about being sober, had some things in common. They had sponsors, talked a lot about spiritual principles and the steps, made meetings regularly, they rarely ever brought up all the horrible things going on in their lives because they were more focused on the solution to those problems, and they were willing to help other people in recovery (specifically newcomers). This spoke volumes to me, I wanted some of that. I wanted to be better. I wanted to quit being so selfish and self-centered. I wanted to be happy AND sober. I wanted to be able to help people. So, I started taking some suggestions and man did it pay off. I got willing to do the things that the people with the kind of sobriety I wanted were doing. A few months down the road I found myself in a situation that I had terrified me almost to the point I barely left the rehab unless it was to go to a meeting. I had started working at the rehab and one of the clients had some dope and some needles and when I saw those things I didn’t cripple with a unbeatable desire to use them. Instead, my heart broke for the guy I was looking at because I knew he had a lot more pain to go through and I did not know if he would survive. I have no clue where he is today. Hopefully he got some help but the point is, that getting willing to do what was suggested and getting connected on a spiritual level to something greater than me WAS how I would fight the battle. As long as I stay out of the way and let my higher power run the show, I don’t have to worry about uncontrollable situations. The big book talks about not having a defense against the first drink (or drug, whatever your preference), but it hit me in that moment that preparing for the battle was how I set up my defense; and we all know that defense wins championships! Today I feel like a champion. The innate desire to put certain chemicals into my body had been relieved, and I knew that it was not me who did that on my own. It is great to be in a place where I can reflect on things and use my prior experiences, and the experiences of others, to build a stronger defense but, above all, it is amazing to know that if I put the work in beforehand, I don’t have to battle because we have already won the fight! I wish everyone a glorious weekend, I hope you join again next time.