Claire Lavergne, Hannah’s House Alumni Care Coordinator
For the longest time, I felt like I was running up a hill because I kept fighting everything and everybody. I was full of fear; my family completely cut me off and did not want to participate in my life anymore. I was on my own in Dallas, TX at three months sober coming out of treatment and got kicked out of sober living because of my continued calamity with everybody and everything.
As soon as I stopped fighting, and grabbed hold of this “flimsy reed” (BB Pg. 28), miraculous things in my life took place.
I started to have a glimpse of this spiritual realm of existence while I was homeless in downtown Dallas taking the bus and train to work, meetings, service commitments, and my sponsor’s house to do step work. I developed a God-Consciousness that I’d never known before. My family started to call me again, and I began to understand the term “God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him.” I began to have a “profound alteration in my reaction to life.” (BB Appendix Spiritual Experience) I admitted complete defeat, and with it took direction in finding this great source of Power I call God.
All it took, in the beginning, to find that connection was a little bit of willingness and direction.
My first sober holiday experience with my family was a spiritual experience in itself. My dad and step-mom got extremely drunk and pretty belligerent. I rode with my sister, and she was becoming visibly upset. She and I used to take care of my dad when we were kids when he’d get too drunk. I used to resent my dad for this and create a scene and negatively react.
In that moment, a shift in perspective occurred.
I was able to “match calamity with serenity.” (BB Pg. 68). Like the book talked about, for the first time, I was able to see my father as a sick man, and without any effort on my part (all God), my attention was directed to how I can be useful and helpful to this man. Inadvertently I was able to be helpful to my sister too. These were not normal Claire thoughts and actions. The holidays have become a different experience for me over the years.
Today I get to participate in giving rather than taking, and it has become the guiding principle in my life.
Today I have a wonderful relationship with my family, and we participate in each other’s lives. I seek guidance from God to be of maximum service to them and others. The holidays are not much different. I get to do the same thing during the holidays, and apart from being just another day of the 365 days a year, I don’t take days off around this daily reprieve. This program affords me a life worth living regardless of the day, state of the world, circumstances, problems, people or no people, and keeps me connected to God. I truly am grateful to have been afforded this new life and the ability to live it fully! Happy Holidays Everyone!