Step 1 – 12 Step Recovery

“We admitted we were powerless over our addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Facing the first step in any recovery program can be a daunting task. Many people who find their way into recovery rooms for whatever addiction they face usually arrive because of great losses that have already happened. Most have found there was no where else to turn. And almost everyone in the beginning of any recovery program feels downtrodden, depressed, and hopeless. This can be a good thing though for someone beginning their journey of recovery.

During the good times of any of the addictions I have battled in this life, I generally felt upbeat and on top of the world. In the beginnings of each of them, the low times were greatly outweighed by the highs. There were moments in the low times when I was approached by those who had found recovery and I was extremely close-minded to listening to what they had to say.

Take my alcoholism for example. In my senior year of college, things got out of hand twice with my drinking. During both of those times, I blacked out and created some problems for myself and for others. For the first incident, I was only given a warning and simply laughed it off. For the second, I was put on a level of academic probation where I had to speak to a person from AA once a week for three sessions. I still remember sitting in my apartment on the couch half listening to a guy tell me about how I might have a problem with drinking and that maybe I should go to a meeting with him. I wasn’t open to hearing what he had to say because I wasn’t broken yet from my addiction. I wasn’t regularly feeling depressed. I hadn’t landed in jail. My grades were excellent and I was quite the overachiever in my fraternity. There had not been enough consequences yet in my life to see that alcohol was making my life unmanageable. That period actually came much later.

When I finally went to my first twelve step recovery meeting with an open mind and open heart, it was in September of 2007. By then, I really was broken and had hit rock bottom. I had quit drinking and drugs twelve years before but had decided back then I could recover on my own. After twelve long years of believing that and getting addicted to many other things, I had lost pretty much everything and my life felt completely out of control. Suddenly the first step in AA made sense to me and I was ready to listen to what that man had once said to me all those years back in my college apartment. I finally knew at that point I was powerless over my alcoholism and my addictive personality. As for my life being unmanageable, at that point, my business was in financial failure, my health was deteriorating rapidly, my seven year relationship was over, and I was forced to live in my sister’s guest room as I had no where else to go. So was my life truly unmanageable? Absolutely.

I don’t believe that there is any way the first step can be understood unless one is truly in a place of brokenness. Throughout the five years of active drinking and drugging that I did and the twelve years that followed after that where I found other substitute addictions, I never quite got to that place of feeling shattered on every level. Thank God that it came before I actually relapsed or before something even worse then that happened.

Step 1 could be compared to climbing Mount Everest. For a mountain that has the highest peak in the world, many try to tackle it, but few ever reach its top. Through my journey of finding a deeper connection to God and seeing how much destruction all of my addictions did to my life, I have been able to ascend that mountain that Step 1 was for me. While Mount Everest’s pinnacle has only been reached by a small number throughout history, there are many in the rooms of recovery who have been able to reach the summit of Step 1 and are now able to look back at how far God has taken them in the healing from their addictions.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Spiritually Growing Through Reciting And Repetition

Some time ago I wrote about part of my morning spiritual routine which includes reciting mantras. At first when I started this almost a year ago, my list of mantras was quite small. I kind of felt silly doing them too. My brain continuously told me, “Is this really doing anything?” But ironically it was.

Fighting against my brain’s natural recourse for wanting a quick fix with everything, I spend around 35 minutes every morning with my list of mantras these days. They have evolved over the past year since I started them. I originally started with approximately twelve or so and since then the list has grown to almost thirty now.

It has amazed me that many of the original mantras I started with have been rewritten several times. When I first began this, most of the mantras I recited came from a place of wanting things to release or change in my life. Today, all of them come from a place of believing I already have received them. I have found this to be more successful and more powerful in my using them.

I don’t believe that mantras are something I could have recited just once or twice and received benefit. The mind and body is like a computer which has a hard drive. Much of the programming has been in place on that hard drive for many years. I have come to accept that it takes time to rewire and reprogram all of those old tapes, messages, and programs that have kept me in much of my unhealthiness over the years.

Below is a list of just some of the mantras that I recite every day at least ten times. This list has been tooled by many of my holistic practitioners who know my history. I know that over time, it will continue to change and grow as I do with God.

 I am handsome and I am beautiful on every level and in every way.

  I am not a burden on any level and in any way to myself or anyone else.

I forgive myself on every level and in every way for all things I’ve done not of love and light.

I am free of all pain, negativity, toxicity, and self-pity in every area of my life.

 I am free of all addictions and obsessions in every area of my life.

 I am free all jealousy, judgments, envy, and lust in every area of my life.

 I am free of all greed, gluttony, false pride, and laziness in every area of my life.

I am free of all anger and resentments in every area of my life.

 I am free of all shame, guilt, doubt, worry, and fear in every area of my life.

I am free of all trapped emotions in every area of my life.

 I am free of all burdens from my past.

I love my mind, body, and soul unconditionally and trust all of their wisdom.

I walk forward in faith and trust, and have acceptance that all is in my greatest highest good.

I move into my greater good, which is everywhere. I am safe and secure in this greater good.

I love, embrace, and rejoice in all of my sexuality unconditionally.

I love and accept myself unconditionally. I deserve love and respect and accept nothing less.

In every single area of my life, I am serving my greatest highest good, which is God.

I feel fantastic right now in every area of my life.

I am healthy and well in every area of my life. I am fully healed.

I am filled with an abundance of God’s health, healing, and well being in every area of my life.

I am filled with an abundance of God’s peace, love, happiness, and joy in every area of my life.

 God, I am open to receiving all of Your love that You have for me.

God, I have complete faith, trust, and acceptance of You working within me in every area of my life. 

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Finding Faith Through Hope…

There are days that I really have to try hard to maintain hope through what I go through mentally, emotionally, and especially physically. I continue to hold the belief that the majority of the pain I feel on any level is coming from a toxic clearing process from the life that I once lived as well as an ascension process to become a higher and more enlightened spiritual being.

It isn’t easy.

After spending much of the better part of a year or more trying to find medical answers and relief and getting none, I came to the acceptance that the only thing that would get me through all of this is to maintain hope in God that what I have been feeling is just temporary. I also find that I have to remind myself quite often that for two decades or so, I lived toxically and only began healing from all of it about a year ago. I have to admit though, it’s tough not being on medications and drugs to numb much of what I feel every day. Many people who experience pain will do whatever they can to band-aid it until it goes away. Unfortunately, that path doesn’t work for me as I seem to be detrimentally sensitive and side effect prone to just about every prescription I’ve ever been on.

My path to healing has felt long and arduous because of this. The only thing that has kept me going is clinging to hope. Hope for me doesn’t come from taking a drug or a pill. It doesn’t come from drinking alcohol. It doesn’t come from smoking a cigarette. It doesn’t come from gambling. It doesn’t come from overeating. It doesn’t come from a sexual act. It doesn’t come from buying something.

So where does hope come from for me then?

It comes from an inner belief and from things truly unseen and unknown.

My hope comes from a belief that an unconditionally loving God exists. It comes from a belief that God sees how hard I am trying to cleanse and purify my life from the darkness that I once lived regularly in. It comes from a belief that God is already healing me and that the pain is the result of the removal of all the blockages and junk I put into myself for all those years. And it comes from a belief that God has a calling and a plan for me beyond this clearing phase of my life.

I know that many people might be more of a realist on healing then I. My roommate is one of them. He relies upon science and medicine and believes most often that all pain can be fixed through some avenue of it. While I respect how he feels, I haven’t experienced much hope on that path if any at all. Instead I have experienced more setbacks, greater pain, and a lot of false promises.

Through daily prayer, meditation, mantras, writing, speaking at recovery meetings, eating healthier, and light exercising, I continue to create a foundation for God to work within me. By creating a foundation for God to work within me, I believe I am going to heal holistically and be cleansed by God from all of the impurities I placed within me. By believing I am going to heal holistically and be cleansed by God from all the impurities I placed within me, I am living with hope in my Higher Power. By living with hope in my Higher Power, I have developed a level of faith in God that everything will work out as it’s meant to. By having developed a level of faith in God that everything will work out as it’s meant to, I have been able to keep going each and every day in all the pain with just my hope.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson