I first entered recovery at the age of 22 or 23 at a rehab called ‘Serenity Lodge’ in Rockingham in Western Australia, where I spent my teenage years.

I learned the twelve steps. I say learned because I never applied any of them. I remember back then the Director of the rehab saying to me “I hope I am around when you finally get serious about recovery”

Anyway I learned the steps well, taught the steps to others in groups. Got well known in A.A. circles and began two A.A. groups in Rockingham. But I still didn’t find recovery.

Someone at an A.A. meeting suggested I needed to go to Adult Children of Alcoholics. Which I did and completed the twelve steps there. But I still didn’t get recovery.

I was put on the staff at Serenity Lodge as a volunteer and began teaching others about recovery. Even though I still didn’t have recovery.

I did abstain from drinking and taking drugs and people began to listen to me. But, I still didn’t have recovery.

I started up a relationship with a lady on the program at Serenity Lodge (bad move). Serenity Lodge arranged a unit for us on site to live together and eventually we moved away from Serenity Lodge into a house together.

For a few months things were good, meeting attendance was maintained, we both got jobs and were going quite well. Things then started to unravel. We began smoking marijuana regularly together and eventually drinking. Everything we had learned on the program went out the window and eventually we split up.

I went back to drinking regularly and still didn’t have recovery.

What did I learn from that experience.

1. Recovery is not found in a 12 Step
group alone.

2. Other people can often see what we
don’t.

3. Sick people can’t help sick people.

4. Recovery happens in God’s time, not
ours.

So when did I get recovery?

Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

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