Working a Program of Recovery
“If you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps.” For me, working a program of recovery means more than just the steps, tools and traditions. This January, I will have been working a program of recovery for 12 years. I cannot imagine my life without this program.
The last three weeks have been extremely challenging. My mom was hospitalized for “inappropriate behavior”. She has worsening dementia. Her usual behavior is spoiled and mean spirited. Now, she acts this way and five minutes later, repeats the same actions.
My sister and I have had to scramble to find, secure, and move her to a new residence. The hospital wouldn’t release her until we cold find her a “safe environment” to live in. We worked painstakingly and arduously to accomplish this task. On the morning of her release from the hospital, my sister picked her up. I went to the new facility to make her new bedroom look just like the one she just left.
My sister and I continue to empty her old apartment. It is painful to donate and throw away parts of her life.
I know my sister is as grateful to me as I am to her. We have worked together in all phases of the task. We speak several times a day. She has never needed a program of recovery and doesn’t understand why I do what I do. She respects me for doing it.
What I have NOT mentioned is that my mother and I have ALWAYS had an adversarial relationship. We just don’t get along. Everything I have done for the last three weeks has been because it has been the next right action to take.
I have learned from those who came before me that “half measures availed us nothing”. I still woke up, did my daily readings, prayed and spoke to my sponsee. I then packed my food for the day, as I wasn’t sure where the day would lead. When hitting my stress limit, I withdrew, prayed and made a phone call. I received many calls from my close friends. In the evening, I spoke to my sponsor who would just listen to my daily rant. I was never alone. I carried my Higher Power with me.
Working a program of recovery goes beyond the knowledge that there are steps, tools and traditions. I need to always take this knowledge and behavior into my daily life. I have learned that just because I am hurting doesn’t mean I have to hurt myself.
December 9, in “For Today” “To paraphrase a well-known saying, I met wisdom and I have met kindness; kindness is better.” My mother will always be who she is. I have changed my actions.
My primary purpose with my family and all other people is to be of maximum service to all those who need it. As our responsibility pledge states “Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this, I am responsible.”
Region 6 Chair