When I was two years into my twelve step program I said to myself, “If I have made so much wonderful progress in just two years what will it be like when I have twenty years of recovery under my belt.” Now I do have more than twenty years in program.
Some things have stayed the same. I have never outgrown my need to work my program. I still go to lots of meetings. I still read the literature. I still regularly share at meetings. I still need to talk openly to my sponsor and to other people. I know I will never outgrow my need to work my program
I have never said to myself on a Monday that in a week or two I want to go back to the misery of twenty five years ago. I have learned painfully that if I ignore working my program my long enough sooner or later the old feelings of fear, isolation and inferiority will begin to surface again.
I am 79 now. The loss of memory the radically decreased physical endurance and and a unwelcome sense of confusion from time to time are very real and frightening.
However, there is a radical disparity between the hardships of my age and what I feel in my inner life.I now have serenity, I no longer feel like I don’t belong. I anticipate the years before me. My ability to share and relate to other people is full of wonder. I enjoy my life. I am able to enjoy being by myself and not feel lonely.
The truth is that I feel much younger today than I did at forty. I will always work my program. I have no intention of ever graduating.