by Marcello C-B
Following through with Step 5 meant letting my sponsor know about my past. I put my trust in another human being and God to be absolutely truthful not only with him but with myself. Only then was I able to start with Step Six. I took a good look at my past, unhealthy lifestyle and its many defects of character.
I didn’t realize how defects of character damaged relationships
Before I drank and used daily without a care in the world. I didn’t realize how my defects of character damaged relationships with friends, girlfriends and family. It had become a normal thing for me. I had to take a hard look at my actions toward other people.
I started to realize I had a lot of work to do. I didn’t know until I had become “entirely ready” like it says in the Twelve and Twelve (Page 64). I continued looking at certain behaviors I personally wanted to change within myself. Almost like putting a car into reverse. I then started to practice letting go and working on myself, which it has not been an easy task. It’s a formidable challenge.
As I started to look at myself more, I started to practice more positive behaviors on the street. It has not been easy. Some of the things I used to want to do in my past life still baffle me to this day. One behavior I’ve been trying to get under control is keeping my eyes down when a beautiful woman walks by. I do look, but not for an extended time (which can feel like self-sabotage). That’s how my mind works—like it’s done on purpose. But that’s just me and I want to respect the person I’m talking to. So I continue to try harder. Some days are easier than others.
I had to change the goals I had once aspired to since that lifestyle became self-destructive. It was time to open a new chapter of life and vigor. I started hanging out with people I would normally wouldn’t have in the past.
Like putting a car into reverse
The result was a much different outlook. I still have friends that have been down the same path as me. The difference is that today they also seek a better way of life. I’ve learned that not everything in the past has to be let go because it’s still useful in day-to-day functionality. It pays to keep one’s mind open. Most importantly, I changed my environment. Now I frequented places I used to think had no value.
A key point in my new way of thinking is: today I realize that if I hang out with good people, I receive good vibes back. I can see the differences my choices make. So even after all this time, I am looking forward to what else is in store for me.
Like a true alcoholic I longed for more. So much has changed in the past eight months. I didn’t want to change because I thought the thug mentality would keep me from getting into trouble. But today I can use my past experiences for a much better purpose: to help people like myself move forward with positive changes instead of staying stuck. I am glad that working these steps gave me a better way of looking at life today.
Ever since I fully committed to my recovery I have found a multitude of options. Change has helped regardless of whether I wanted it in the beginning or not. Today I continue to look for the right path. Today I feel like I am one step closer to the life I was meant to live. Thank God for the people in my life today.