The step 12 that I am familiar with reads like this:
Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.
I am sure the one you have memorized is similar, give or take a few words or phrases.
Maybe you don’t work a 12-step recovery, and that’s okay. You can still read and relate to this.
Two important things about sharing your message:
1. ) In early recovery carrying your message will help other people
but it will probably benefit you more than you are anticipating.
Most of us go in early on with a simple goal of encouraging someone-
well… anyone, or at least ….one person who happens to be listening to us.
The process & preparation involved in sharing in early recovery
is something that contributes and promotes more personal healing for us than we can see at the time.
*First there is the reflecting and writing part.
There is something really powerful about writing your very personal experience down on screen or paper with the intent to share.
It can be an overwhelming process, but overwhelming in a really, really great way.
It is almost too much goodness. Like, is this even real life?
It is remarkable how much has changed and how much peace we have found.
*Then, there is the reading it out loud to a room full of strangers who may or may not be there by choice part, that brings another level of self-healing.
Deep breaths and tiny prayers whispered before beginning won’t help you hold back the gigantic alligator tears that are coming.
They’ll come anyway.Keep speaking. Everything is still so fresh, and raw.
It is likely that a mixture of gratitude and disbelief will take over your entire body and there won’t be much you can do to stop it all from happening.
You are glowing and the happy is just seeping out of your skin.
You might have a wet sloppy tear soaked face and a runny nose, but
you are alive and this experience is surreal.
What you are really hoping is that one human hearing your words needs to hear these words.
That one heart out there is feeling a little bit of relief hearing how much you have come back from, and how resilient our spirits really are. Someone is connecting with your message. They hear you telling them how accessible and free grace is. They can see that the hard work won’t have to be done alone. Someone out there just might keep trying because of something that you say.If you can stand up there all sober and grateful, then surely, anyone can.
2.) The ways that you carry your message won’t always look the same. (and that’s okay!)
Over time the way that you carry your message will shift according to where you are planted.
We all have a specific gift and different ways of connecting with people.
So of course how we connect with people will change and grow as we change and grow as people.
For me, as time has passed the focus of my story has shifted little by little.
It has become less about me and the details of my specific journey as an individual,
and has become more about helping other people to embrace whatever God has in store for their lives.
We are everywhere carrying our message.
Some of us are more boisterous than others, but we are out there.
We are living and sharing stuff.
We have worked hard and have learned the value of living well; we strive to lead healthy lives, living as the best versions of ourselves. We are everywhere. All twenty threeish million of us.
Living sober has offered us the opportunity to uncover our life’s true purpose,
and we are free to take our message of hope with us wherever we go.
So embrace your story.
Allow it to change and grow with you.
Don’t be afraid to own your experiences.
Do what you can with what you have from where you are.
Take your message to other people.
I know there is someone out there who needs to hear what you have to say.