In the past, I was always more concerned with what things seemed like on the outside. I had a glamorous job, an affluent boyfriend, a great body, the newest designer handbag, friends, status, education, health, family, opportunity, and potential. Success was my fuel, and it gave me a false bravado that everything was perfect. I always kept up with the Jones’, so it was hard to compare “normal” drinking to problematic.
The spiritual principle of Step 2 is Willingness. February, Month 2 of our calendar year, seems like a good time to re-up our willingness. Can you add more to this list? What are you willing to do?
We experience pain deeply, sometimes a backlog built up over a lifetime. If we’re lucky, we have a sponsor who advises us to bring that pain to god. But sometimes, our amygdalas decide god’s just not concrete enough. We need safety precautions, emotional helmets and hazmat suits! So we reduce our vulnerability by learning to edit and hide our true selves. We develop strategies like people pleasing: whatever we think will smooth our path, whatever others want or would approve, we try to appear. The goal is to be accepted. We need it because we so intensely fear rejection’s pain.
Going Forward In this unique and powerful moment, I know there is truly only one underlying, overriding intelligence, wisdom, power, and presence that is all around me. It is my Higher Power, the Highest Power. It penetrates, permeates, and courses
This week’s guest post is a bit of a departure for us, as we normally don’t focus on any celebrity goings-on. However, we were so inspired by Marlee Matlin’s candor about receiving her 30-year chip that we just had to share this… Matlin went to the Betty Ford Center in 1987 to receive treatment for her drug addiction.
To my former and un-recovering self, it was simply subtle semantics between non-attachment and detachment but I discovered a lot of hidden power lurking there once I realized the difference. Non-attachment is something I strive for. Detachment is not, according to my perception of their meanings. When I get attached to specific outcomes, aka have expectations, it’s very likely that disappointment and future resentments will follow. Expectations are resentments on deck, waiting to step up and hit.
I don’t know what it’s like for those who don’t suffer from anxiety and depression, but for me, mood and motivation remains a constant roller coaster. I swing high for a period of time, and then crash down into varying degrees of low. When you’re trying to stay sober, this adds an added layer to the challenges. A week or two ago, I felt like a different person. Now, as we round out the second week of the new year, I’m having to deal with old demons once again.
Seems like month 1 is the perfect time to take an honest re-view of where I am in my life. Can I recognize or redefine any newer and stronger truths for me now after the “I am?” In AA meetings, I say “I am Lena and I’m an alcoholic.” Though true, I like to add “I am a sober, thriving, creative, expanding, evolving woman.” (I say this in my head actually, as I don’t feel the liberty to go off script.) “I AM becoming bolder” though; maybe someday I’ll add that out loud.