For many people new to recovery they hear the term Happy, Joyous and Free used by many people with time in recovery which you can also find in the blue book. To the newcomer this sounds like babble, they are terrified and very uncertain. But what most newcomers find when they walk through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous are a lot of people talking about hope and for some that is all that they have. Hope is a belief that things can get better, that things can change. When I was first new and I heard members who had a lot of time tell their story I would think “My goodness they were in a worse situation than me, and look them now” that is when you first feel hope. Hope that maybe there is something better than this life of addiction. The connectedness of AA sharing is priceless in helping newcomers hear the stories of people who were just like them and are now in a very different place.
Many newcomers are afraid of what will happen when they don’t use what will they have to numb the pain, the feelings how will they cope?. What we do not realize is that the numbing of the pain and and feelings did not just numb the bad it also numbed the good. We are unable to feel joy all feelings are numbed out good and bad just like antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria. Joy, is different to happiness, joy is being at one with the universe being just fine and comfortable right here right now. We can only experience joy when we let go of our obsession with self and connect with the universe around us. We can all feel happiness, when good things happen, exciting things, new job, great food, but joy puts in a whole other place. Joy is not about events in our lives but a peace with the spirit of the universe. It takes much work and thorough working of the 12 steps to get there but when you do its very sweet and for most of us who suffer from addiction its a feeling we have never felt before. There was too much blocking it, shame, guilt, pain, anger, resentment and fear. When we work through those issues and connect with a power greater than ourselves true joy can be felt. You simply (and I saay simply because it is simple ) have to do the work of the magical 12 steps contained in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
You too can feel joy and peace…just work it. Find a sponsor as a guide you you will be amazed. I am amazed every day rather than frightened and confused which is what I used to be.