Guest Post: The Promises

Jack Flynn has been working on his personal recovery for the last 37 years. He is active in 12 step programs and a participant in Kundalini Yoga for Addiction led by Della McGee. He can be reached at

Thirty-seven years ago, my life was upended with the loss of our twin babies, and shortly after, my four-year-old was severely injured in a daycare car accident where there was loss of life. She was in a wheelchair for 18 months with her jaws wired closed.

I spiraled into a deep sea of drugs and alcohol. My relationship with my wife and was in despair. We did what we could to survive that awful year, but she went her way in the end, and I went mine.

All I could feel was darkness; the” bottoming out” seemed endless. Each week a new low. My addiction took over my life, and there was no end in sight.
I went to a therapist, and he encouraged me to stop living this way. I tried to end my addictive ways on my own for over a year. Finally, I had to admit my powerlessness and joined Alcoholics Anonymous.

My first few meetings were painful and scary. I was filled with shame, but I had nowhere else to turn. A little voice in my head told me not to give up. I forced myself to attend AA meetings until “I wanted to go.”

I was always greeted warmly and never judged. I had difficulty comprehending a higher power, and a wise individual told me to look at the group as a higher power. This helped me become grounded. I found new friends within AA who embraced my new sober lifestyle. My life was changing for the good!

One evening I was reading the Big Book when I found The Promises. (pg. 83-84). Even though we read them out loud at every AA meeting, I never really heard them. The first promise reads. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. I pondered this statement for a few minutes and realized the page was talking to me.

My life had started to change. I was a better person, I was honest, I was humble, I was ready to make amends to the people I had hurt, I was more confident. My life was changing before my eyes.

Now here I am today. Thirty-seven years later of imperfect sobriety and daily living. I have accepted the fact I continue to make mistakes every day. But now, I embrace myself and make amends quickly. I am empathic to all living things. I attend my Kundalini yoga twice weekly and incorporate the yoga teachings into my life. I take care of myself every day. I pray every day to my Higher Power and ask for strength to be a conduit for the greater good and betterment of the whole.

To learn more about me and zoom yoga classes, intuitive readings and spiritual workshops click here.

If you are interested in a really cool yoga mat with Della’s original artwork or photography on it. You can look at them here.


Are you a perfectionist? How has that been working out for you? I ask this because I know that my need for perfection has caused me much heartache in the past. According to, the word means a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less. In my case, when I am actively pursuing perfectionism, I am rejecting myself. Perfectionism is just one more characteristic of Not Good Enough Syndrome.

This is from the Online Etymology Dictionary.

perfectionist (n.)

1650s, from perfection + -ist. Originally theological, “one who believes moral perfection may be attained in earthly existence, one who believes a sinless life is obtainable.”

In both Hebrew and Greek, sin is an archery term meaning to miss the mark. We all miss the mark from time to time. The point is that we continue to pick up the bow and take aim. To become good at archery, you need to practice. The A.A. Big Book tells us that our recovery journey is progress and not perfection. Here is a quote from page 60.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Where are you today in your recovery journey? Are you able to pick up the bow and take aim? Are you ready to drop the need for perfectionism when you do?

To learn more about me and zoom yoga classes, intuitive readings and spiritual workshops click here.

Are you interested in a really cool yoga mat with my original artwork or photography on it. You can look at them here.