All Aboard by Lyn P. (Sun City)

step 12 magazine recovery

I’m a retired firefighter/paramedic/RN. I’ve attempted to revive many people who have died via snap endings (read: sudden death, any number of ways). The best medicine for ailments which defy age, which discount community standing and which deny character (read: terminally ill) is compassion, gentle touch, soft talk and prayer—for both the patient and the caregiver(s).

When someone is diagnosed, say, with the common cold, a fractured arm or a respiratory malady, the afflicted immediately takes the first step; one of many suggested by a health care provider.

Heading, one step, one day at a time toward a full, even partial recovery involves numerous diagnostic tests (scans, blood work, x-rays); the trial and error treatment (surgery, scopes, biopsies); the physical and occupational therapy; the medication regimen and cost; the physician appointments and the corollary loss of work and play.

Assuredly, a sudden or long, drawn out illness seriously affects the crux of intimate, familial relationships, drains bank accounts, diminishes self-esteem and threatens job standing, to the core.

On the flip-side, in the course of challenging illnesses, miraculous recoveries frequently transpire. Some people endure life-threatening experience, coming out of it unscathed. They speak of being lovingly enveloped and temporarily bewildered by God’s grace and mercy. They also speak of being positively overwhelmed by the demonstration of love, of instilled hope and of the deep compassion shared by humankind—complete strangers.

Others carry the burden of disbelief and the unbearable discouragement of a dogged physical malady, a radical mental disorder, or both. The fear of the unknown, amid a deluge of unpredictable results, naturally imposes dependence on others, especially loved ones. Again, complete strangers may briefly cross our paths for such a distinct purpose.

On one end of distinct spectrum of life lay the ebb and flow of unexpected tumult. On the other end, welcomed peace and recovery. In between tumult and peace lay the hallmark of personal growth and spiritual care. Whether or not we believe in the One, True, Living God is impertinent. It’s written that He belives in, understands and loves each and every one us, no matter what: No contingencies; No contracts; No kidding. God is good, all of the time. All of the time, God is good, supplying infinite grace.

Grace abounds in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), too. The program is so far removed from dictates of the courts, of a spouse and of arduous penance, the AA program offers salvation. I attest, my seat in AA redeemed me, while the program saved the likes of this alcoholic.

Working the steps with my encouraging, long-sober sponsor has soothed an irritable and looming pain like a welcomed salve.

This AA salve is universally, globally and locally, freely given. The mercy of the twelve steps and the twelve traditions rises to meet and greet all alcoholics (drunk or sober) who take that discretionary first step toward recovery and found on the Road to Happy Destiny; no passport required. All aboard!

The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered…(pp.22, 12×12).

…But as time passed, we found that with the help of A.A.’s 12 steps, we could lose those fears… [Whatever they may be](pp. 121, 12×12).