My trust in the program is just about complete and 100%. I admit I do hold out a tiny niggling of doubt that pictures me drunk somewhere, washed out or in the horrific accident I would deserve if I drank again. But mostly, just about completely, I trust that my end won’t be like that if I continue to work the program.
Trusting the program was integral to my getting sober. Some kinds of trust came immediately for me. Right away, lucky for me, I believed the good folks of AA when they told me they understood me and my problem. Though right up to that point I wouldn’t have believed anyone understood me. This is part of where paid professionals were bound to fail with me. They may have recognized me as a type they could identify and even, potentially, help and treat, but they couldn’t relate to me as an alcoholic. If any of the professionals who tried to help me were alcoholic, they didn’t share it with me, and so, in more than one way, I remained unreachable.
Finally I accepted, believed and trusted the AA program, the books, the experiences around me.
As for individuals, of course I’ve trusted them and I’ve had my trust betrayed. I’ve married twice within the program. I’ve asked people in AA to do something they said they would, and they didn’t. Outside of the program, I’ve trusted friends and family members, people I work with and also strangers. Most of the people I trust come through well. Some don’t. Most of the time when someone trusts me, I come through well, and sometimes I don’t.
I want to be trustworthy. Wanting that might help me follow through when I feel like bailing. But mostly it is working the program of AA and interacting with the people of AA that forms my basis of trust.
I know today that everyone, everyone single person, will let me down, probably more than once. I know that it’s worth trusting the people close to me. For example, trusting my kids with more the minute they show they can be trusted. I’m their mother. Of course they have willfully lied and manipulated me. Of course I wouldn’t blindly hope they’ve gotten over it and give them the keys to my car or put them in charge of my house. But as they grow and, hopefully, show themselves to be trustworthy, I will trust them more.
I watch my kittens, now four months old, learn trust. They allow themselves, even invite us to pick them up and hold their entire bodies in our hands. They chase the tail of the big black dog not considering that one snap of her jaws would end their lives. For the rare time when we inadvertently step on a tail or close a paw in the dishwasher, they seem to instantly forgive and forget and trust again immediately. I guess it would be different if most of their interactions with us were painful, but would it?
Some people who are a permanent part of my life cannot be trusted, probably ever. I understand that and I move on. In many, in all cases I wish it was different, but I am not in charge of them, and my best chance for changing them is by being a power of example.
All of this I learned through AA. Thinking about it that way, I hope I have taught my kids some of that without them going to AA. I guess only time may tell. But for all the years that I’ve been trusting the program of AA, I have never been let down, and I don’t think I ever will.