Jack Flynn has been working on his personal recovery for the last 37 years. He is active in 12 step programs and a participant in Kundalini Yoga for Addiction led by Della McGee. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thirty-seven years ago, my life was upended with the loss of our twin babies, and shortly after, my four-year-old was severely injured in a daycare car accident where there was loss of life. She was in a wheelchair for 18 months with her jaws wired closed.
I spiraled into a deep sea of drugs and alcohol. My relationship with my wife and was in despair. We did what we could to survive that awful year, but she went her way in the end, and I went mine.
All I could feel was darkness; the” bottoming out” seemed endless. Each week a new low. My addiction took over my life, and there was no end in sight.
I went to a therapist, and he encouraged me to stop living this way. I tried to end my addictive ways on my own for over a year. Finally, I had to admit my powerlessness and joined Alcoholics Anonymous.
My first few meetings were painful and scary. I was filled with shame, but I had nowhere else to turn. A little voice in my head told me not to give up. I forced myself to attend AA meetings until “I wanted to go.”
I was always greeted warmly and never judged. I had difficulty comprehending a higher power, and a wise individual told me to look at the group as a higher power. This helped me become grounded. I found new friends within AA who embraced my new sober lifestyle. My life was changing for the good!
One evening I was reading the Big Book when I found The Promises. (pg. 83-84). Even though we read them out loud at every AA meeting, I never really heard them. The first promise reads. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. I pondered this statement for a few minutes and realized the page was talking to me.
My life had started to change. I was a better person, I was honest, I was humble, I was ready to make amends to the people I had hurt, I was more confident. My life was changing before my eyes.
Now here I am today. Thirty-seven years later of imperfect sobriety and daily living. I have accepted the fact I continue to make mistakes every day. But now, I embrace myself and make amends quickly. I am empathic to all living things. I attend my Kundalini yoga twice weekly and incorporate the yoga teachings into my life. I take care of myself every day. I pray every day to my Higher Power and ask for strength to be a conduit for the greater good and betterment of the whole.
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If you are interested in a really cool yoga mat with Della’s original artwork or photography on it. You can look at them here.