by Mike S. (Punanai 2008)
I recently visited Renascent Madison on a Monday night and participated in the Alumni meeting. I had not done this for about a year. Previous to this and for about three years it was unusual for me to miss even one.
I am coming up to the five year mark of continuous sobriety. Participating in a recent Alumni meeting with the in-mates (as we called ourselves when in the house) I realized how far I have come and relatively speaking how quickly I was restored to sanity.
Let’s look at the work.
I was told to go to meetings, get a sponsor, do the steps and help others:
- Trust God
- Clean House
- Help Others
I did this diligently; I went to meetings almost every day for three years. I did the 12 steps with my sponsor, spoke at meetings and at detox facilities. I made many friends and, most importantly, my relationship with my children was restored. My marriage ended in year three, maturely and with patience and tolerance, some like to say “amicable” ‒ this is something that would never have happened without God and the 12 steps. The words patience, tolerance and amicable were only words I had heard of; I knew nothing of their true meaning.
God had restored me to sanity. God had done for me what I was unable to do for myself.
I also started a new business in year four and rekindled a friendship that has turned into love and my future wife.
Year five, busy, busy, busy.
I have three sponsees. They are not much work, and all have completed their steps and are working the program. I don’t go to meetings very often and because I have been out of the loop, I don’t get asked to do service very often either, and because I am so busy I don’t go out of my way to do service. My relationship with God remains strong and I pray every day and thank him at the end of the day. Life is really good. I feel extremely blessed.
The reason I think that God asked me to write this is as follows.
When I went back to Renascent on that Monday night, I saw a few familiar faces ‒ except this time one alumnus was a client again: after several years he had relapsed, something that is oh so common with the disease of addiction.
I asked him what happened. He explained how at first he was so diligent at working the program and then after a few years things tapered off and slowly, cunningly and baffling to him he found himself drunk.
I have now returned to Renascent Alumni meetings and will be attending more meetings and offering myself to do service.
I want to thank firstly God for giving me the nudges that I needed to go and visit Renascent on that Monday night and secondly to thank my brother alumnus for his honesty and sharing his experience, strength and hope with me. God Bless You.