Opening the Toolbox

tool set on plank
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I was handed a toolbox to build a new life

A gift freely given to alleviate strife,

It contained all I needed to repair and reclaim

A flickering spirit in search of a flame.


How many tools do you have in your toolbox?  Is it time to add a few more?                              

In the beginning, I depended on just three essentials to lay my foundation:

Meetings, sponsorship, and the twelve steps.

 The meetings were the brick and mortar that gave me a sure footing in order to navigate the peaks and valleys that stretched ahead.  They provided a temporary shelter that housed a support system, where my equilibrium could be restored.  Inside the rooms of AA, reconstruction was soon underway.  Old ideas and beliefs that tethered me to my distorted view about the disease of alcoholism were swiftly replaced by new concepts, ones that promised hope instead of damnation.  I learned that recovery, once I put the drink down, would be a choice available even to me.  All I had to do was keep coming back and listen to folks who shared with me, the heartache of their addiction, and more importantly, the miracle of their recovery.

 After several months of trying to determine whether or not I was indeed an alcoholic, I felt I was missing something. Even though I wasn’t drinking, I was becoming stagnant.  Time to pick up another tool.  I needed something, or someone, to erect the scaffolding so I wouldn’t slip.

And low and behold, I looked around the rooms and found a sponsor.  She became the cement that held me together during my transition.  And in my case, it was it was a slow one.

Some days she was a hammer driving it all home, and other days a screwdriver, either dismantling the rusty hinges of negativity or securing the positive nuts and bolts of the program.

 In order to get to the next level, every structure requires a staircase.  In recovery, that ascension is determined by working the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous.  Little did I realize that when I added them to my toolbox that they would be my forever go to in sobriety.  The steps were the key that unlocked the portal to a life that offered me peace, serenity, and above all the ability to face life on life’s terms without alcohol. 

 Now, I am neither a carpenter nor a builder, but somewhere along my thirty- one -year path to what I hope is quality sobriety,  I have managed to pack into that toolbox everything I need to construct a solid abode.  I’ve added daily meditations, The Big Book, service work, and an overstuffed portfolio of slogans.  My toolbox is bulging at the seams.

 What’s in your toolbox?




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