If nothing changes in Me, nothing's gonna change
I am continuing with SA meetings (trying to make 3 per week) and having daily contact with a sponsor who has been sober for 26 years. I have started to feel the relief and even happiness (if I know what that is) that comes with surrender to the will of a sponsor rather than my own will. I am starting to realize and learn the ways that I need to really protect myself from my disease.
One of our meetings is well attended. There is A LOT of long term sobriety in the room. It is so comforting to just sit and breath the same air as these guys who only could have made it this long through their relationships with Hashem. I am trying to learn from them how to get/let Hashem help me too. The experience of calling a sponsor daily and hearing his joy in hearing from me is also amazing. My sponsor has nothing material to gain from the hours of time he gives me on the phone and over Skype. That's what makes it a REAL CONNECTION. I am sure that Hashem speaks to me through him.
Hopefully I have had enough of trying to do this my way. The SA fellowship is truly giving me a happiness that I have never known.
When I started getting into stuff that was really destroying my life and I could not stop despite my best efforts, I started to realize that if nothing changes in me, nothing is going to change! I prayed to be connected to someone who could help me and I was eventually led to an SA sponsor with 26 years of sobriety from stuff that was even more far out that I had ever ventured into. I asked him what had enabled him to stay sober for 26 years while I kept falling (and his challenges were far greater than mine). He told me that the difference was that he believed that he had a disease, and that I didn't believe that I did. He said that his experience with thousands of guys like me has shown him that guys who believe they have a disease have much better long-term sobriety that guys that don't. (By the way, he is also a physician). Anyway, he has taught me that I am not a bad person (a sinner) trying to be a good person, but rather a sick person trying to become healthy one. So, B"H it's working for me. If I didn't accept that I have a disease (which could kill me, my wife and children, my career, my name, etc. ) then I wouldn't make it a big enough priority to stay sober.
My sponsor puts his sobriety before everything, even his family and career. I asked him how he could do this. He said, imagine that you have diabetes and you don't take your insulin, the consequence would be going into a diabetic coma and dying!
Looking back now, I think my problem in accepting the disease model was just that I had just not lost enough yet.
Good luck to you!