There are times when I think I hate the Twelve Steps. When I am angry, sad, tired, and deep in grief, I know I am trying to exercise control over something or someone other than myself. Sometimes it is all I can do to get out of bed and walk through the day without remembering which step I should apply to a difficult situation or how I might work a step to make me feel better. I know this is the time when I need the steps more than ever, but somehow, I am too intent on wearing my pain to think about them. I do not want to read a book or pamphlet, repeat a saying, call upon my Higher Power, or even contact my sponsor. I would rather fold into myself and just feel. I have spent so many years denying and blocking my emotions that to actually connect with what I am feeling seems more important to me than handing them over at this time.

Through my years in Nar-Anon, I have learned the signs that tell me when I am being the guest of honor at my own “pity party.” This feels different. It is not denial; it is not self-pity. It is recognizing and owning my feelings and emotions. I know I have the Twelve Steps to follow when I feel ready to work through these emotions. I know I have Nar-Anon family members to call upon who will listen with compassion when I need them. Then for a short time, I will let myself feel my feelings. Because of the work I have done and sharing at meetings, I am confident that I will know when it is time to snap out of it and pick up some literature and start Twelve Stepping once again.

The steps remind me of a dear friend of mine. We see each other far too seldom, but when we do, it is as if no time has passed at all. It seems neither time nor distance separates us for we are linked heart and soul. We would be there for one another in a heartbeat, with no questions asked. I feel the same way about the Twelve Steps.

Thought for Today: The Twelve Steps have become a part of me, heart and soul. They will always be there for me when I need them – no questions asked, with answers ready to be given.“Although the steps are simple in concept, living with them takes courage, honesty, humility, dedication and tears.” ~ The Nar-Anon Twelve Step Program