Day 90 – Step Work
Be prayerful as you consider ways to serve, seeking always to be led by the Holy Ghost. If you are willing, you will find many opportunities to share the spiritual principles you have learned. You will find ways to share your testimony with others and opportunities to serve them in many other ways. As you serve others, you will maintain humility by focusing on the gospel principles and practices you have learned. Only then can you be assured that your motives and inspiration are good. Be sure to give freely, not expecting a particular result. Respect the agency of others. Remember that most of us had to “hit bottom” before we were ready to study and apply these principles. The same will be true for most of those you desire to help.
How have the principles of the program provided you with guidelines for giving truly inspired and meaningful service?
I feel this already. On Sunday I taught the lesson in Deacons about choices and used things I’ve learned from the program in the lesson. I talked to them about how choices for them now only mostly affect them, but eventually the choices we make affect a lot more people and the consequences are much worse.
I also had opportunities yesterday and today to talk with Caleb about things that were hard for him – a friend being mean to him at basketball. Instead of getting angry or arguing, I asked him things like, “How could you have handled things differently?” or “What would you do different next time?”
Our talk was so good tonight. I told him anger is how I felt a lot when I was making bad choices, but today I’m trying to be better. I look forward to the inspiration that I hope will come as I’m willing to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences with others.
What challenges have you had with respecting the agency of others, especially loved ones?
I don’t know for sure. Probably the biggest thing I have to realize is that I’m not in control of others, I only have control of how I respond to others choices. I can’t control Caleb and the kids. I have to lead by example and then pray to not overreact when they make choices that I don’t agree with. I have to teach them with love, and not with anger, fear, or resentment.
That’s probably my biggest challenge – not overreacting at the choices my kids or people that are close to me make (ie. Mandy too)
Hitting bottom is a necessary part of getting ready and willing to abstain and seek recovery on the Lord’s terms. How was this true for you?
This was so true for me. I had to hit bottom before I could really see how much what I was doing was killing me and killing my family. I had to feel the pain, the anguish and the remorse to realize that what I was doing was leading me straight to hell.
My rock bottom was so awful. I never want to feel that pain and sorrow again, nor do I ever want to cause Becky to feel it either.
How will you know if a person has hit their bottom?
I’m not sure. My guess is that they will be so adamant about recovery and willing to do whatever they can to submit to God. I think this is one of those questions that I don’t know the answer to and will need to think about more.
What will you do if they have not hit their bottom?
I don’t know about this one either. Because part of me doesn’t want a person to have to hit “their bottom” in order to want to repent and change their life. But I agree that it is probably a necessary process in order to fully turn your life and will over to God.
I’m interested to learn more about this too.
How will you deal with those you are working with, who have not hit their bottom “yet?”
I don’t know. This is a hard question – one I hadn’t ever really thought about.
I would probably share with them how bad it feels to hit rock bottom, warn them of the potential consequences, and then encourage them to take their recovery serious, one day at a time.
When you become aware of others who deal with addiction in their lives or the lives of their loved ones, you may want to let them know about this guide and the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program. If they feel like talking, let them. Tell some of your story to let them know that you can relate. Don’t give advice or try to fix them in any way. Simply inform them of the program and the spiritual principles that have blessed your life.
You may discover that if an addict is not ready to embrace these spiritual principles, perhaps a family member or friend of the addict may be receptive. Virtually everyone living in these perilous times could benefit by learning and applying gospel principles. You may occasionally feel inspired to offer someone a copy of this guide along with a Book of Mormon. In doing so, you will actually share the tools that have helped you rebuild your life by coming to Christ.
Family and friends of addicts are hurting too. Will you be an advocate for their recovery by encouraging their participation in the program?
Yes, I’m thinking of a family member now that I know needs to get involved in this program. I just texted my cousin to ask for his phone number.
What challenges have you or others you know experienced when loved ones failed to participate in the program and seek their own recovery?
Well, my cousin either got a divorce or is in the process right now, either because they didn’t know about the program or they didn’t use it to help their marriage. I also feel it’s been so helpful for Becky to be going through the recovery program as well. Not that I need her to recover for me, but both of us have gone through pain and trial due to my addictions. As she recovers from her pain, she understands me more and we have been able to connect emotionally so much better.
I love her so much and am grateful we are in recovery together today.
I just got my cousins number and am going to reach out to him and invite him to the meeting with me tomorrow.
When you do something for someone else or share the message of hope and recovery, you must not allow another person to become too dependent on you. Your responsibility is to encourage others who struggle to turn to Heavenly Father and the Savior for guidance and power. In addition, you should not be reluctant to encourage them to turn to the Lord’s authorized servants as well. Great blessings can come from the Lord through those who hold priesthood keys.
Just as we are powerless over our own addiction, we are powerless over the addiction of those we serve. Although we, as recovered addicts, have a unique ability to be instruments in the hands of God, He and ONLY He, has power over addiction. Share your testimony of this fact.
I know this is true. No one can save me from the chains of addiction: not a counselor, not my wife, not my parents, not a recovering addict, not a program, not a book – no one. I can experience the freedom of recovery and healing as I submit my will to God and rely on the Savoir to heal me.
He knows the thoughts and intents of my heart. He is always there for me when I need His help. He knows how to help me and is there waiting at the door for me to let Him into my life.
I’m grateful for this knowledge and understanding today. I know that only through living in recovery (using the Atonement every moment of every day) it is possible that I stay clean from my addictions.
How will this influence your 12 step work with others?
I will want to help them learn how to submit their will to God, moment by moment. I will want to help them feel the hand of the Savior reaching out to them. I will want to remind them that’s it’s not me that can save them – only them making the choice to submit their will to God and live another moment, another day, in recovery.
I look forward to learning how to do this more.