Now I know, “practicing these principles in all our affairs” is daunting and where I often fail. But it is not how many times you fail that counts, it is how many times you try that matters. Though I practice these 12 Steps in my daily life, I am by no means a saint by anyone’s standards. I am still trying to stay one step ahead of my addictions though I do work Step 1 in AA perfectly by abstaining from alcohol and addicting drugs, and in DA by abstaining from compulsive debting.
However, I am an example for other alcoholics and drug addicts who want to recover, and for professionals who want to help their patients and clients who suffer from addictive illnesses. I write articles and books to help physicians and others who care for patients and clients with addictions. I give talks and teach medical students, residents, doctors, and anyone who wants to know and listen. I am considered an expert in a field where expertise is lacking, and not highly valued, unfortunately.
Yet I am grateful. I am blessed. I have turned a life-threatening disease into an asset. I found a power greater than myself: to help others. I don’t always know where I am going, but I am not lost. I have good orderly direction. I can live more in the solution, less in the problem. I can help where sometimes no one else can. God is doing for me what I could not do for myself.
Keeping sober and abstinent are the most important things in my life. The most important decisions I ever made were my decisions to give up my addictions. I am convinced that my whole life depends on not taking that first drink, drug, or debt. Nothing is as important to me as my own sobriety and abstinence. Everything I have, my whole life, depend on those things. Can I afford to forget these, even for one minute?
—Chapter 21 “It Gets Better, It Works If You Work It,” Bohunk’s Redemption, From Blacking Out to Showing Up: A Doctor’s Adventures