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Grapevine : January 2011
the care of another entity was difficult for a self-centered, judgmental, fear- ful, non-trusting control freak and perfectionist. However I made the intellectual decision and moved on to Step Four. As most of us were, I was told to get into service work and get out of myself. So I made coffee, became a general service rep, an alternate dis- trict committee member and then a district committee member for vari- ous committees. In spite of that, I be- came fearful of the person I thought I was and didn't know who I could be. My defects and problems with others were hanging on. I couldn't handle service work at the district or intergroup level. My sponsor said I was doing great and I thought it must have been true, as others began to ask me to sponsor them. I hung around on the edges, not really understanding how to live the program. After eight years I decided the meeting of the group I was in just wasn't doing it and I was going to drink if I didn't change something. I moved to a town where there was great AA and I got another sponsor. Much against my better judgment I decided to do the Steps again with her, because I was asked. I really needed something else, but what? While redoing the Third Step, I realized that just deciding that I made the decision was one thing, but actu- ally putting the Step into action and living it was quite another. This Step became the first of the action Steps. I began offering every day to my Higher Power and saying the Third Step Prayer. I went about doing things some- what differently, but I didn't really un- derstand that my instincts for doing the right thing needed to be worked on. I had lived over 50 years thinking and rationalizing like a drunk. All my crazy thoughts made perfect sense to me. At this point, having done the Third Step at least twice, I thought I was on the way. Oops. I said the prayer and pretty much forgot it throughout my day. So there I was---still restless, irritable and discontent ... and trying to make things better. That was the problem. I was try- ing to make things better. I, who had become an adult with all those de- fects of character, was trying to make myself better by praying for what I wanted. Is that insanity? No wonder my interior thoughts, actions and re- sponses weren't changing. I was try- ing to change myself. Suddenly I real- ized that what I had to do was bring my HP into my life as often as I could during the day and ask him to do for me what I could not do for myself. Slowly, by keeping my mouth shut and working on keeping my heart open, I have learned many things. I keep going back and read- ing the Big Book and the "Twelve and Twelve" and wondering how I could have missed it all for so long. Then 16 January 2011