The Fifth Promise of AA says, "No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others."
Oh, what a statement. Oh, what a promise. As an alcoholic I've come to realize that we have all hits different lows before surrendering to our addiction. My low left me filled with shame and disgust. I was disgusted with the things I did and the lives I destroyed. And I was filled with shame because I believed that I would always be rotten.
But something kept me moving forward and part of the strength I gained was from people who had lower lows then me. And they were remaining sober. I fed off of them. They gave me courage to not only look in the mirror, but to feel good about myself.
And then a miracle took place. Not only was I feeling comfortable in my own skin but without trying or being grandiose I was living a life that said, "if I can do it so can you." Not once did I feel this way, but more then once it was said to me.
By talking at meetings and by sharing my past I found the hope for today. By not dwelling on it, but remembering it I began to realize how truly far I had come. And with this attitude I could look at tomorrow not with depression but rather excitement.
The experience of my past has put me on a journey which is limitless. The only thing stopping me is myself. The lows I have hit led to me to homelessness and eating out of garbage cans. The journey I was on at that time was to avoid withdrawals.
The journey I am on today is sharing, not only at meetings, but also with you, through this website and my books. But the most important part of this journey is discovering the gifts my Higher Power has given me.
I can use my hands to rewire a house or to undertake a major plumbing project. Yet these same hands can sit down and create poetic verses. I always had these gifts but when I drank I didn't recognize them because I didn't recognize my Higher Power.
I've been so low and then I began to climb the ladder only to stumble and fall again. Now I'm a little higher on that ladder. And everyday I climb another little baby step higher on that ladder. And I look up and see that the ladder disappears into the clouds.
Without fear I take another step creating new experiences, filled with new hopes and new dreams, and sadly at times some disappointments. I believe that this ladder and this journey were specifically created for me.
And everyday I thank my Higher Power for a journey built on experiences. Experiences that are both good and bad and that we are freely willing to share.