Anonymity. Quite the topic… I honor other people’s anonymity and guard it with my heart. I have made the conscious choice not be anonymous much of the time. I don’t consider my anonymity as sacred. My sobriety however, is. Recovery is my sacred focus. If someone doesn’t like the label of “alcoholic” and thinks less of me for being it, or for claiming it, it’s pretty much on them in my opinion. That is a bold statement from a reforming people pleaser like me.
People who carve out time in their day to honor themselves will experience many benefits. Some individuals will feel a lowered level of anxiety. Honoring oneself can help to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. It can help you be a better friend, in that it will increase your level of compassion and empathy. It can even help raise your immune system… If you honor yourself, and love yourself first, all of these fantastic benefits can follow.
My alcoholism took root in the 70s, even though I thought I was having the time of my life. My memory is spotty, though it’s returning more and more as I develop the capacity to view it from a distance––all part of the mosaic portrait I am learning to accept with compassion and even love. Something I do remember from the 70s is the iconic songbook of Paul Williams. Songs people of my generation can probably sing word for word, even if we haven’t sung them in years. Rainy Days & Mondays; Just An Old Fashioned Love Song; We’ve Only Just Begun… and the list goes on and on.
Never having been taught does not relieve our responsibility to learn effective communication skills. Good relationships are built on equality, and that’s built on clear, complete communication. There are no mind readers in healthy systems, whether family, with friends, in the rooms of recovery, or in business. Just as we need to know what is expected of us in order to fulfill others’ expectations (or not), they need to understand ours clearly and completely.
I once heard a woman who was leading the closing prayer at a meeting say these words as we joined hands: “I place my hand hand in yours because together we can do what I could never do alone.” We
I see triggers and forces all over the place. Or, if I am paying attention, I can choose to see them as reminders that when I’m aligned with my Higher Power, and the Divine Infinite, I am free. I can choose not to engage in that behavior, verbal exchange, sweet treat, cocktail, or even thought – I can do a contrary action or no action at all.
With almost two decades of experience with Step 3, I can say that my concept of a Higher Power has changed a million times. My willingness to turn things over perpetually waxes and wanes, but I have consistent proof that I have always been taken care of, that I always get what I need, and when I seek God’s will for my life and make my spiritual pursuits more important than my human desires, my life evolves in a way that is nothing short of miraculous.
In this month of April Fools, I can now look at my foolishness and not have it sting so much. I am an alcoholic. If I drink I am a fool. If I don’t I am powerful… When I was drinking, it was supremely important to me that people didn’t laugh at me, didn’t think I was foolish even though I consistently proved I was. It triggered in me my own belief that I was a damn fool. This is I guess why the 4th step and any shadow work we do is so helpful … to diffuse the hot button so that when a memory comes, it no longer stings, burns, or hurts.