By Steven Long
My name is Steven Long, I am 38 years old, and have been in recovery for 9 years, my sobriety date is 1-21-11. Recovery is EVERYTHING in my life. I am a pretty hard core 12 step guy, and very invested in that process. I was taught to be of service, which has been my focus since getting sober.
My background is that of poverty and struggle. I grew up in a place of consistent dysfunction. Today I use this as an opportunity to see the beauty in the internal as well as external gifts God has provided me.
My adult life was engulfed in drug addiction and disconnection from anything beautiful and healthy, until my wife Carrie. When I met her, I did my best to stay clean and straighten up, and did okay for a while and we had two beautiful children – Devon Beth, and Steven Jr. But my addiction continued despite my best efforts and an absolute want to be a good husband and father. I finally found myself back in Austin State Hospital after a suicide attempt due to my inability to stop using. My wife helped get me into Mark Houston Recovery where I was presented with an accurate presentation of the 12-step process that opened my whole life and continues to do so today.
The process has been life changing. Central to my recovery has been learning to tell the truth. This was not how I operated before. I would tell you that ball is orange when I knew it was green…just out of habit. I was asked to talk about the fifth step which has opened me up to a whole new way of sharing and helping others.
Crucial aspects of Step 5:
-Openness and willingness to hear the truth
-Honesty. This portion of the work is vital and is pointless without an invest in honesty
-Thoroughness. Leave no stone unturned, we are painting a new life, it will never be a masterpiece if we are unwilling to spend time and effort to make it that way
My most moving experience with the fifth step was when I realized that if I didn’t get 100% honest in the confession portion, I was going to use again, and for me to use is to die. I saw that God used this process in my life to deliberately thrust me into an honest way of life. And for me that’s where the deconstruction of the self-built internal walls started to happen. That’s when I got to experience emotion and connection for the first time in a long time.