Joseph Gzepe

A Twelve Step gift wrapped with tinsel bound in a rainbow

December usually comes with Santa Clause and for folks in recovery the ghosts of loss, regret and rejection. As for me the season is a considered a success if there is no accidents, no incidents no recriminations and no allegations of wrong doing. It is a time for the fellowship of yuletide recovery and personal reflective contemplation.

Christmas morning 2013 a quiet and pleasant morning walk and upon return to my home my thoughts of a holiday piece the Twelve Steps of Christmas. I sat down and lickity split it came tumbling out I was quite pleased not only with the content but the ease at which it flowed. As it is my way the first draft was completed in about a half an hour it had the definite feel of channeling. I had the distinct impression that it was gift from God, my joy was made whole and my contentment was complete. I was more than pleased and with a little polishing it achieved the common heart felt atmosphere. I published it on the Face Book recovery world and it was received by the fellowship with notes of thanksgiving and appreciation for what is viewed by some as inspiring and for some even invigorating for a program gone stale.

One of the notes I had received suggested to change it up, but just a bit, so that it would be available for all seasons and for all times and not just a Christmas piece, so with smallest amount of editing it had gone from “The Twelve Steps of Christmas” and morphed into “The Twelve Steps to a life worth living”.

I hope you enjoy the piece as much as I enjoyed writing and I hope you see the value in the website, and use the tools laid at your feet and open your mouth and pass it on.

The Twelve Steps to a life worth living

On the First Step to a life worth living my Higher Power gave to me the gift of desperation and a life of unmanageability.

On the Second Step to a life worth living my Higher Power gave to me a belief that there was something much bigger than me and the hope of being set free.

On the Third Step to a life worth living my Higher Power gave to me, that the Bigger than me could set me free if I could and would agree wholeheartedly

On the Fourth Step to a life worth living my Higher power gave to me courage and a writing pen and spoke about notes and the loss of friends, family and morality, and this would  give me new eyes to see what was my part in a stock taking bottom line accountability

On the Fifth Step to a life worth living my Higher power gave to me a chance to speak of my worst and my best and get it off my chest with another caring being who could introduce me to God for the very first time.

On the Sixth Step to a life worth living my Higher Power gave to me the strength to let go of all things that were spiritually blocking me.

On the Seventh Step to a life worth living my Higher Power gave to me a sense of time that was no longer mine, and said to overcome I have to let go and learn about trust, and if I was to grow this was a must.

On the Eight Step to a life worth living my Higher Power gave to me a list of all those who had felt my sting and be willing to patch the scratch, fill the gouge and  cross the fiery bridge with humility and an olive branch.

On the Ninth Step to a life worth living my Higher Power gave to me seven league boots to travel to ends of all creation and a hat to hold when asking for the forgiveness of gold, and to make whole what once was  broken, to  give back what was stolen, recant the vicious lie whatever the cost, and do no further damage to another’s  man's heart..

On the Tenth Step to a life worth living my Higher Power gave to me the mirror of accountability, the task was to examine all my actions for it was journey with many distractions and when off course set it right  immediately  no how big the bite, and God would see to the rest, and it was after all for my very  best if done each and every night.

On the Eleventh Step to a life worth living my Higher Power  gave to me a personal conversation with God to speak the words of gratitude for the rescue from a  hopeless state, and listen for thoughtful instruction for course corrections to my spiritual compass and examine every mistake.

On the Twelfth Step to a life worth living my Higher Power gave to me, the spirit of the universe now alive and growing in me. With the agreement that if I stay the narrow way, I would find my greatest joy in work or at play, for when I am in the  service to my fellows beings  I am but in the service of my God. When sharing the living gift of recovery we fill the measure of our creation and find joy therein.  For love and tolerance is our code and service to our fellow beings we have found to be the lightest load.

Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.
Mahatma Gandhi

For when we are in the service of our fellow beings are we not in the service of out God, and in that service and in that moment are we not divorced from self-dilution, self-seeking, and self-pity and in the service and in that moment is that not when we make our conscious contact with our creator, who lives from moment to moment, eternity to eternity, life everlasting, the magic words in A.A. is Action and more Action for faith without works is dead.

About the Author

My name is Joseph Ganci Jr. and I am a person in long term recovery.  My sobriety date is Jan. 10, 1997.  I have had experience in several twelve step programs.  I was born in Brooklynn, NY and raised in Long Island, NY.  I was a drafted into the Vietnam war and am a combat veteran.  I have been a Banker, Entrepreneur and have made and lost several fortunes.  I am also the father of five children but lost two of my daughters to this deadly disease of addiction.  I have chosen to turn to helping my fellow man as a testament to my fallen daughters so that others may be spared this unmanageable tragedy.

My website is which is a radio show dedicated to sponsorship.  I believe the one immunity we have from alcohol and drugs is intensive work with addicts/alcoholics.  We hope the listeners use the tools that are laid at their feet and pass it onto others.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:16 )