Report cards came home today with mid-term grades for each of my children. It got me thinking about why once we are out of school, we don’t get mid-term grades in other areas of our life. Too often, that we find out that we have failed and there is no time to right the ship. Mid-term grades allow the teacher to let you know you are in trouble while you still have a change to do something about it.
With that in mind. I wanted to offer those of you in recovery the opportunity to give yourself a midterm grade. If you are really serious about this, you might offer your sponsor the opportunity to grade you and offer some “extra credit” that could bring you back up to speed. What follows are just four areas to consider when evaluating progress in twelve-step recovery.
Meeting Attendance: If you drank or drugged every day, the the suggestion is that you also go to a daily meeting. For many, this is not practical but long term growth is not likely to happen unless a person is attending about three meetings each week.
Reading: Twelve-step programs have a great deal of written material to outline and support the program of recovery. Whether it is the Big Book or even non-approved literature, daily readings have helped many people to both build, grow and sustain their recovery.
Working with Others: It is widely know that “To keep it, you have to give it away.”. Whether you are a sponsor, bringing a meeting to a shut-in or prison or just reading with a newcomer, working with others is a key component of working the steps.
Prayer and Meditation: While this necessarily looks different of every person, prayer and meditation is critical to those seeking to “grow along spiritual lines” or just stay sober, prayer and meditation are important.
Working the Steps: This is the heart of all 12-step programs. What step are you currently working? Did you do a 10th Step last night? Consistently working the steps to the best of our ability with another person is a vital part of recovery.
There is no grading the work that is done in our recovery program. We don’t get mid-terms. Neither is there any way to graduate. The goal is to stay clean and sober “One Day at a Time”. Yet settling for sober while not working on our defects only cheats ourselves and those who live and work around us.