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I’ve been wanting to sit down and write a new blog for our website for days. I decided to sit down today, right now, and not just do it for myself, but as a service to others.
Christmas this year is different for many reasons. Covid, yes. And recovery, oh so very thankful for the ability to handle life differently. If not for recovery, where would we be? In a bucket, a bin, or a bag, and in utter insanity.
Covid has been hard. Covid has been scary for me, for at risk people and others in general. All of the lives lost and all of the families changed by the side effects from losing loved ones, jobs, less income, not being able to travel, etc. It’s been frustrating about why we all can’t get on board with wearing a mask and social distancing. I don’t get it. But because of a reliance on a higher power, I can let it go and not get stuck on trying to understand it. And because I rely on a higher power, I can keep social distancing, not matter how fed up I am about it.
Covid allowed me to get back into recovery and years from now, that is probably exactly how I will remember 2020. It’s had it’s downs, a lot, but it’s had it’s ups too right? Yes Christmas will be different this year because of Covid and also because of recovery. Thank God for zoom!
Because of recovery, I am so less sad and stressed. I feel joy and peace in abstinence and in love from our fellows. I’ve shared twice recently at meetings about how much I miss my family. It’s not Covid that’s changed our dynamics, but politics and difference in beliefs. Every time I’ve been able to share about Christmas and family, I just lose it. I bawl and my blood pressure just shoots way up. Thankfully, less and less. I look @ the zoom screen, see all the love, and my blood pressure begins to go down. I have many sisters in our program, some with the same beliefs as me, and some not. But they don’t discard me because they don’t agree with me. We are called to be kind and tolerant to all. And that is our code. No matter how much I love my family and respect our differences, I can’t make them be kind to me or tolerate our differences. My higher power, helps me to accept the things I can’t change. I have to ask him often during this season, sometimes 25 times each day, and I’m totally fine with that. Because every time I do, I find peace and love beyond my wildest dreams. Seriously. I will never get tired of this amazing help and relief.
I am able at times to focus on all the love I do have, and let go of the love that I want but don’t have. I have peace about my sister who was killed about 6 years ago. That is a gift from working the 12 steps to the best of my ability, working with a sponsor, and a conscious contact with my Higher Power. I have the love of my sister in Missouri, my kids, my grandkids, my sweetheart fiancé, all of my recovery sisters, and my logical (as opposed to biological) family members here in Billings.
Recovery this year is my biggest and best gift. I get to feel good about myself and be useful to others. It just doesn’t get any better than this, although we are lacking snow, lol. I love you guys. I hope this blog touches you, encourages you in some way, and maybe even inspires you to share your experience, strength and hope too.
I want to leave you with a note from my very first sponsor in Al-Anon I’m guessing 17 years ago now. I’ve gratefully stayed in touch with her. Pat N has always been a beautiful example of what a life in recovery can look like, service, freedom, and ever so positive uplifting and encouraging. With her permission:
Blessings to You at Christmas
2020: A year that many of us would swear we want to forget. But later, we may realize that this was the year we learned how resilient we could be. And how patient, how accepting, how hopeful.
Perhaps our too-confident selves will no longer presume that the plans we make can be easily achieved on our own schedule.
Perhaps 2020 was the year we learned to pray again, earnestly, for the health and safety of people, world-wide, those we knew and loved, and those we’d never met.
Perhaps our thoughts of gratitude flew to those workers and givers who selflessly served all in need. Perhaps we donated time or money to help in their causes.
Above all—2020 was the year we remained ALIVE despite Covid, when 300,000 of our American friends and neighbors—and millions of our worldwide fellow humans departed this life.
Resolution: We must live 2021 in a state of grateful wonder, full of energy to do good for people we love, and for people we’ve yet to meet.
That kind of enthusiasm and wisdom just fills me up. Recovery is life changing, so this Christmas is wonderfully different. Recovery offers hope and I’m going to choose to focus on that hope and to feel the love of our program and of our fellows. Thank you for being part of my journey in recovery and thank you for taking the time to read this. Take what you like and leave the rest. Laurie M.
Montana Overeaters Anonymous