From the July 2011 magazine.

July 2011: Gossip Girl

Her biggest struggle is avoiding the “Chatty Cathys” around the water cooler

"Gossip is a lifelong problem that I have been working on."

This September, God willing, I will celebrate three years of continuous sobriety and I am really starting to experience the benefits of the program. Along with working the Steps, I have also lost 30 pounds. I exercise regularly, quit smoking and eat healthier. I have more energy, sleep better and feel more centered than I have in the last 15 years. Which is not to say that I do not have moments where life goes off kilter, my mind exaggerating circumstances into a much bigger deal than they need to be. Thankfully, I have a sponsor and friends in the program who listen, support me and are able to help me “right size” the problems I am dealing with. Most of the time, they just point me in the right direction and, in time, I am able to float back down to reality.

My attitude change is a direct result of my newfound faith, with me finally starting to believe and trust that my Higher Power will carry me through any obstacles. In the past, I used to believe that God put unfortunate circumstances in my path to punish me or deliberately make me feel bad. I do not feel that way anymore. I feel that, no matter how good we have been, we will always come up against adversities, and the way we react to those adversities is a direct result of our relationship with a Higher Power. We can either choose to embrace life’s hardships and trust that God will not put anything into our lives that we cannot handle, or we can resist obstacles, blame and deny. None of those negative reactions ever makes anything go away, of course, the resistance just makes the burden heavier.

-- Janice H.

Oakland, California

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!