A Power Greater Than Yourself
“I began to trust people who had more experience in recovery than I, and I began to trust my own intuition that I could go within and get a spiritual connection and discern what was right for me,” Dwyer says. “It was important to get feedback from my sponsor, from mentors, and from other people whose recovery and experience I respected so that I didn’t just think I was being spoken to and that I knew God’s way for everyone.”
She continues, “As we progress in recovery, I think it is important to reach out and be of service, starting with the recovery community and the spiritual community, and expand beyond that.” She believes being of service is important in anyone’s spiritual life, especially for those in recovery. It could be a small gesture, such as making coffee at a meeting or cleaning up after a meeting; it could be being there and listening to someone who has asked for help; or it could be providing transportation to a meeting or a treatment center.
Dwyer says her recovery hasn’t been perfect, but she did it and continues to do it. “I knew I didn’t have to be perfect to stay sober,” she says. “I couldn’t drink or use recreational drugs and stay clean and sober. The only way I had to be perfect was to be absolutely sober. I was moving forward even though I would make mistakes.”
Another important component was the concept of surrender, recognizing there is a power in the universe greater than your own ego, and that that power transcends your ego. It is important to set aside, at least sometimes, your immediate wants for a greater purpose or cause. “To not act impulsively but to seek guidance through meditation, through prayer, through sharing,” Dwyer says. “Because impulsivity can often lead to relapse.”
Keep the Faith
What takeaways would Dwyer offer in regard to overcoming things that get in the way of sobriety? What are ways to break patterns? “Reach out,” she says. “Talk to someone whose opinion you respect and who understands recovery, be it a friend in recovery or a professional. That is the most important thing —because of impulsivity — it is about checking our immediate feelings with someone else we respect. By reaching out and sharing, we find others have had similar experiences, and we can be guided to make better choices and avoid relapse.”
Sharon Dwyer of Lawrence, Kansas, is 32 years sober. Among the many amazing and uplifting experiences on her road to recovery she became a licensed teacher of Unity. Teachers are equipped to serve and support a Unity minister and ministry, and are a valuable asset to their church communities.