Let It Begin With Me : A Daily Journal
About The Book
Format: Paperback (8.5x11)
Those of us in Alcoholics Anonymous have begun an extraordinary, life-changing spiritual journey in sobriety, and it all begins with the 12 Steps. We can access their healing power by working the Steps on a daily basis. But sobriety doesn’t happen overnight, and many of us had arrived in AA long before we found sobriety. The steps need to be an on-going part of our journey in recovery, and they form the critical foundation for our new, sober life. They are the formula for introspection, transformation, change and healing, enabling us to experience life more fully. It has been my experience and belief that the steps are not worked or practiced as thoroughly as they could be. So many recovering alcoholics have shared with me that they relapsed because they had stopped working the Steps. I wrote this workbook entitled, “Let It Begin With Me”, hoping it would, in some small way, help others entering recovery to gain a better understanding of the Steps. I’ve devoted one chapter to each of the 12 Steps; each step is to be worked for a full month. Each chapter contains a compilation of relevant quotations - one for each day of the month, a descriptive paragraph relating to the quotation, and ends with a question for reflection and journaling. By focusing on one step for an entire month, we give ourselves time to digest them. It wasn’t until we could see this disease working in our own lives, that we could do something about it. Their effectiveness depends on them being regularly applied in our daily lives. This journal is for anyone seeking lasting change and healing from the effects of the disease of addiction. The good news is that we don’t have to stay stuck in our misery and our dysfunctional attempts at living any longer. The 12 Steps are our best hope for the future. By working the steps, we are shown a way out of our pain. But no one can do the Steps for you. The choice is yours alone. Let it begin with you.
About The Author
Sobriety is a precious gift that I have received from working the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous on a daily basis. My love for and belief in these steps have prompted me to write a workbook entitled, “Let It Begin With Me.” As a grateful recipient of all the wisdom, joy and freedom that I’ve received from working the steps, I’ve been given the opportunity to carry the message of AA to others who still suffer from this cunning, baffling and powerful disease. For the first time I feel that I have something valuable to contribute and give back to the program. The Steps are something that I will “live” for the rest of my life and are the guiding force in my life today. It took hard work to get to where I am in my sobriety. I went through a number of rehabs over the years, and in hindsight, I am so grateful that I kept coming back. But, it has taken me a long time to understand, forgive and feel good about myself again. Today, my disease no longer defines who I am. My on-going sobriety has returned me to myself, my humanity and my God-given potential. For the first time in years, I’ve found the desire to draw again, and I feel that there is no greater purpose in my life than for me to utilize my art as a tool to help others heal. All that I’ve been given in the program grows and grows the more it is shared. Recovery is not an end, but a bright new beginning of endless possibilities.
One of the reasons I drank was because I couldn’t handle life on life’s terms. Alcohol became my standard “solution” to every problem life threw my way. How many times have we thought, “If I just have one more drink, everything would be fine?” Over time, I drank more and more to cover-up all the problems that were caused by my drinking “solutions”. Before long, it became increasingly necessary to escape from myself and a lifetime of cover-ups and secrets. I’m told we’re only as sick as our secrets! And I was sick; I had ceased to function in any meaningful capacity. I felt like a complete failure in all areas of my life. The more I drank, the more ashamed I felt, with unbearable remorse and agonizing shame. Then there was the loneliness, the losses and the disappointments. I couldn’t look people in the eye; I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I was convinced that I brought nothing but pain and unhappiness to everyone I loved. After internalizing all these negative feelings for so long, I became convinced that nothing about me was OK. This was no way to live! I finally realized that my life simply wasn’t going to change until I did. But how? I needed to talk about these feelings. Growing up, I had no resources for dealing with my thoughts; I usually stuffed or suppressed these feelings. I never talked about my shame. In AA, I’ve learned that alcoholism is a disease, not a moral weakness. As human beings, we’re going to make mistakes, but, we’re supposed to take these life experiences and grow from them, moving beyond the shame. Accepting ourselves is the first step in recovery. I no longer want to run and hide; I no longer use alcohol to make my decisions. We’ve experienced so much inner pain as a result of this disease. How has this shame negatively affected your life?
"We were suffering from a soul-sickness, a revulsion
against ourselves and against our own way of living –
that awful ache so deep in the heart of every alcoholic.
Life had become impossible for us. We came to
experience that incomprehensible demoralization…"