Loving Life

By Jackie Monahan 04/23/21
Loving Life Experience Living Growth Sobriety

   When I first got sober people said I was on a pink cloud. My sponsor knew better. My sober sisters had come to her annoyed by how “happy” I was. They loved me but they weren’t as “excited” about the program as I was. My sponsor knew two things they didn’t. One, that I called her every other day crying like an animal in pain. Two, that I was comprehending the program and doing the work. I have never worked so hard on anything in my life.  I have a thirst for the relief this program talks about in the 12 promises.

The Twelve Promises

  1. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
  2. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
  3. We will comprehend the word serenity.
  4. We will know peace.
  5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
  7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
  8. Self-seeking will slip away.
  9. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.
  10. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
  11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

I wanted at the promises way more then I wanted a drink. The opposite of the promises was why I drank in the first place.  I was so cheerful most of the time because I had finally found a solution, not just for abstaining from alcohol, but also from the severe pain, my own head, put me through. The program provided a recipe for living. Exact directions on how to live a satisfying life. How to do the right thing and if I did not do the right thing how to fix it fast. It was the exact answer I had been looking for. The exact relief that alcohol had promised me but had never delivered. 

   The program, the big book, and my sponsor are all too good to be true. Yet are 100% true. I kept waiting for the shoe to drop on all of them. My sponsor, the program, and the book gave me coping skills to face all situations instead of numbing myself to them. I stopped avoiding feeling life fully. With every new day I was sober and working the program I gained more coping skills and more tools that lead to peace. 

   I am now 4 years and 2 months sober and still learning and growing every day. I shudder to think what 2020 would have looked like for me had I not had this program. My life is so different now. I had been a real social drinker and I could never be alone. Now I cherish being alone. I love being social too but I am now my own best friend. My alone time is sacred. The pandemic helped me know when I was putting other peoples needs before my own. With the pandemic I really learned how to put my needs first. I never want to go back to running around as much as I did before. This program loved me until I loved myself. If you had asked me if I loved myself before I got sober I would have said and believed I did. But the facts are that I put other people before myself all the time. It is a fine line in this program because most of us were selfish. If not all of us. I do plenty of service in this program being found out and not being found out as we learn in  Just for Today 


“ Just for today I will exercise my soul I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anyone knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do – just for exercise.”

I cannot be of any good to anyone if I do not cherish myself first. I have to have time alone. To read, meditate, write, and dance. I dance like my life depends on it. I now cherish every single one of my 37,000,000,000,000 cells and I want to celebrate and thank them all everyday.  I would be annoyed with me too but hear me out. As I mentioned before I experience pain. Way less then I did prior to the program. It is a part of being human. We experience happiness, sadness, pain and grief. With this program I can seperate an experience of life from life itself. Does life sometimes suck? Yes and no. The experience of life can definitely suck. It can bring me to my knees and I can get so sad and or angry that I loose my connection peace. I now have hundreds of tools and my coping muscles have been developed. One of the tools is separating the experience of life to life itself. I now experience more beauty. When my experiences are not the ‘ideal” way I want them to look I can remind myself that yes this experience is not my favorite but I can recognize that life is still and always will be amazing. No matter what the experience of it is in that moment. I couldnt recoginize that without the program. Life was good or bad dependoing on my circumstances. But now that my state of being is elevated I can  love life no mater what the experience or circumstances. I can whole heartedly scream sing I LOVE LIFE!




Join the conversation, become a Fix blogger. Share your experience, strength, and hope, or sound off on the issues affecting the addiction/recovery community. Create your account and start writing: https://www.thefix.com/add-community-content.