This is a brief description of Stephanie W., written by Stephanie.
I am writing this biography to give you information in order for you to decide whether you would like to participate in one of my Big Book step study workshops. Right now, I offer All Addictions Big Book step study workshops Tuesdays 8 a.m., EST. No attendance or sobriety requirements to participate.
I have been attending recovery meetings since 1977, releasing the addiction to alcohol, food and co-dependency. I started working the steps out of the Big Book in 1998, with a step study sponsor and a supportive Big Book group. The format that was given to me is called the Hyannis method. This format came from a group of men, who could not get sober by just going to open AA meetings. They formed a small group and started reading the Big Book and working the steps. They met in a hall in Hyannis, MA, over twenty years ago. They found a solution for themselves and started sharing their method of working the steps.
I had been unable to have consistent, long term abstinence with the food and I was still struggling to maintain healthy relationships. I was not committed to working steps 10, 11, & 12 on a daily basis. I was living a life of selfishness and self-centeredness, and I did not have peace, serenity or joy in my life.
My Big Book step study sponsor came to an open, women’s 12/12 meeting and spoke on step three. I had never heard anyone share her experience, strength and hope like she did at that meeting. I went up to her after the meeting and started to ask her about herself. She told me that she was writing her fourth step by the Hyannis method, which was right out of the Big Book. She invited me to a meeting, and I have been going ever since.
I sat through a cycle of the steps 1-12 and then started reading, line by line, paragraph by paragraph with her. We discussed what each felt was important in each paragraph. I learned so much, that almost twenty years in three different recovery fellowships I had never learned about myself, about recovery, and the original fellowship. I learned that I had been trying to stay sober/abstinent on self-knowledge and self-will, and not by turning my life and will over to the God of my understanding. I learned that I never looked at myself as the source of my problems, but blamed everyone else. Wow, and I hadn’t even started my fourth step yet. What an awakening, this step study process was for me.
I wrote for fourteen months, five days a week, for a minimum of half an hour daily. I had so many spiritual experiences in reading the first three steps, in writing my fourth step, but nothing prepared me for the experience I would have when I read my fifth step to my God and with my sponsor as a witness. I felt like I now had a brand new chance in life to live it with integrity, and to live it with God walking beside me.
I have lived very differently ever since that day. I of course went home and took my hour of quiet with God, asking if I had left anything out. I then took the six and seventh step. I then made my list of amends and started making them. God made that process very smooth, and I then started to sponsor other women. I have taken my responsibility to sponsor very seriously, and believe it is one of the key’s so keeping this closeness with God I experienced ever since I did my third step prayer with my sponsor.
I now have added doing the workshops as a form of sponsoring others. It’s not as personal as the one on one sponsoring I still do, but it does help many women and men that would not get an opportunity to work these steps otherwise.
The back bone of my own recovery is the “quiet time” with my God. I do not allow myself to skip this precious time with Him, for without His help, I can not keep this way of life, of sobriety/abstinence and serenity. I also must live in steps 10,11, & 12. I must inventory myself all day, everyday, and do a nightly review. This I e-mail to my Big Book sponsor daily.
I must live this spiritual way of life outlined in the Big Book, minute to minute, which I strive to do. I am not perfect at it, I do fall into selfishness, but I have a built in alarm inside my head, which makes it uncomfortable to live in the selfishness. I will stop, inventory where I am being selfish, and amend my thinking, speaking, or actions. I live in spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection today.
I welcome you to come to one of my workshops, either live or on the website. If you feel the workshop could be helpful to your recovery, come join us, jump in and participate as much or as little as you want. This process has changed my life dramatically, and I pray that you have the same experience with it as I did.
I also facilitate RECOVERY BIBLE AND CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE BOOK STUDIES. If interested in knowing more about them, please go to my web site explaining them and giving you the day/times. bible4recovery.com.
If you want to get in touch with me, please leave me a message at this web site.
Yours in 12 step service,