In my 25 year journey (which is ongoing) of awakening spiritually and becoming more stable, I have come a long way, by the grace of God and by my blood, sweat, and tears.

My starting point in 1993 was a life shattered by untreated Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism. The financial, emotional, and spiritual aspects of my life were decimated. As was my inner being. Getting by day to day was brutal, and I was holding on by my finger nails as a barely functioning member of society.

But slowly and gradually, over the course of the last 25 years, I discovered therapy, medication, CBT, community, a loving support network in AA, the amazing spiritual way of life of AA, and many more tools and modalities for staying spiritually fit and stable.

Finally, I was doing more than leading a miserable existence -mitigated only by the relief provided by my addictions and my manic highs. I was (am) thriving and living a life of relative peace and joy. One day at a time.

But initially, as I grew into being “happy, joyous, and free,” I did almost exactly what the AA Big Book describes in Chapter 9. I kept the fruits of my new way of living to myself. Until I learned the paradox that I had to give it away to keep it.

“We have indulged in spiritual intoxication. Like a gaunt prospector, belt drawn in over the ounce of food, our pick struck gold. Joy at our release from a lifetime of frustration knew no bounds. Father feels he has struck something better than gold. For a time he may try to hug the new treasure to himself. He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product.” (AA Big Book)

Dr Bob once remarked that, “Service is love in work clothes.” As I continued to grow spiritually and in my mental fitness, I came to realize that love was an essential component of my awakening and that I had to give it away to keep it.

“Happiness is a by-product of right living,” so if I want to be happy, I need to put love into action and “learn, love, and be of service.”

So that is what I strive to do. One day at a time.


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