By Delilah V

Every day for the past month and a bit I’ve been saying, writing, reading and repeating the 7th step prayer that begins with “My Creator”. I haven’t been perfect, some days I forgot, or actively rejected it, when this disease got the better of me. My sponsor had me do this and text her each day to say how my “character defaults” showed up that day and how I handled them. Did I succumb to “stinking thinking”? Did I reach out to a fellow when I was feeling antisocial? Did I isolate myself when I know that the antidote to this disease is connection?

Humility. That’s what this step is about.

“Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings” says Step Seven. Each text has been hard to write because I’m facing myself. When I say the 7th step prayer I’m humbly asking to not let my disease isolate me from the world. I want to be willing, which is why I try every day. I don’t want to give up because that would mean giving up on myself. My sponsor told me that she heard someone say, “character defaults” in place of “defects” and the reasoning was that it’s the behavior that often comes first. I like that. They are my knee-jerk reactions to life. 

What are my defaults? I asked myself, this second time around doing my list. I looked over my first list, which I made in 2018 – the year I got sober – and while I had made changes, I could see the same thing lingering around the page, around my heart: fear. Fear is what puts me in “reaction” mode instead of “response” mode. 

Each morning I ask my higher power to remove my fear. Remove it so that I can walk through the world with intention. When something is removed, there’s space for a new thing, and I pray I don’t forget that.

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