Happy, Joyous, and Free
BY: TAMI HARPER WINN
So, there’s this book – it happens to be my one of my very favorites. In fact, its in my top three. Its pretty well-known. I have reread that book more than any other book in my life. Each time I read it I get something new. It saved my life. It continues to offer hope to people everyday who suffer needlessly. But this story isn’t about that book. However, there is a part in the book that comes to mind as I write this.
It goes, “If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life”. It goes on to say, “So we think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness…But why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others”. (Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Pg. 132)
I tear up today when I read that part. That is my life. That is who I am today. I am recovered. I am happily recovered with the power to help others. Why the hell shouldn’t I be ecstatic about my life today? What a gift God gave me. My higher power loved me enough to get me sober so I could be of use to others, so that I could enjoy this amazing life he made for me and show others how to as well. He apparently thought that what I had, someone else needed. I was needed on the battle lines of life. I was a chosen warrior.
I gladly wear my armor and shield today. I get to be a living example to others who are suffering in recovery, both newcomers and old timers. I get to live the principles I’ve learned in my daily life and others are affected by who I am today – in a positive way. They get to see that life without alcohol and drugs is possible. Its not only possible, but its worth it. They get to see that life will not always have to be pain-filled and agonizing. But most importantly, they get to see what it looks like to be happy, joyous, and free.
That’s right. My ultimate #AbsoluteYes today is that I continue to live in a state of bliss and grace – that I am absolutely happy, joyous, and free. This was a gift given to me as a direct result of getting sober and working an active program of recovery, so its only right for me to actively appreciate it and share it with others. Wouldn’t you agree?
I know what it took to get sober and I’m more than willing to share that with others. It was freely given to me, so I give it back so I can keep it. I am humbled to say that I have survived some of my darkest spots while in recovery. I have hit some of my hardest times that I always believed would be the things that would take me out for sure.
However, they didn’t. I’m proof that God exists. I stayed sober through it all. I don’t mess around when it comes to respecting the one in charge of me today. I don’t mess around when it comes to my recovery. It absolutely must come first coupled with my continuing relationship with my higher power. I can guarantee that if I forget where I came from, who got me sober, or who is the one responsible for all these wonderful treasures I have, I will lose them faster than I got them.
My life is too good to let it go without a fight. So, I do what has always worked and it continues to produce phenomenal results for me. I couldn’t manufacture my life if I tried. I couldn’t have designed my story any grander. My higher power is a rock star and he loves me like nobody’s business. With him, all things are possible.
Recently I experienced a kind of spiritual phenomenon that has propelled me into a fifth dimension. I have heard of the fourth dimension in recovery, and I’ve experienced that. But, I think I outshot it. I aimed straight for the stars in heaven and I don’t think I’m ever coming back.
My time abroad gave me newfound wings that have enabled me to be able to view my life from another perspective. I am amazed. My friends joke with me. They ask me questions like, “So is it safe to say you have arrived”? Or they make statements like, “So, this is what it looks like when you’ve arrived”. I mean, I’ve heard that said before in my recovery meetings, but I couldn’t tell you what it meant. I still don’t know and it doesn’t really matter to me.
I don’t think I have arrived at all. In fact, I hope I never arrive. To me that sounds like the journey is over, that you have reached the furthest point you can go. I don’t ever want this to end so I guess I’m taking the scenic route, taking my foot off the pedal of my life, and stopping to make sure I enjoy everything a long the way. I don’t ever want to arrive. Its more fun getting there.
~ Tami Harper Winn ~
The story written here is solely the work of the author’s. Any use or reproduction of this article is prohibited without written consent of the author or credit to the author through works cited.