In general, giving up sounds like defeat. In sobriety, giving up is a gift. Think surrender, letting go. And in the process, finding every wonderful thing waiting on the other side. This week’s guest post from Laura McKowen’s wonderful blog speaks to this idea rather beautifully.
Getting sober is the greatest gift I ever gave myself. It’s my key to being able to enjoy all of the other many gifts of my life – those I have created, those I have attracted, those I have lucked into – and all combos of this interrelated energy. Being sober for me goes so far beyond The Rooms of AA – which I do consider sacred space. I have noticed though that many people seem to operate solely within the AA community . . . But it’s been very enriching and so much fun experimenting with other tribes for myself.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experiences can benefit others. The feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Getting and staying sober can seem like a lot to the newcomer, and sometimes we forget about all the joys that come with it. For example, being surrounded by a group of loving and compassionate people who have been through the same feelings and experiences that we have. We are told from the very beginning of our journey to “stick with the winners” and this is what that means and why you should do it.
Enabling in many ways looks like supporting, but it differs in one main aspect. To enable someone is to protect them from experiencing the full weight of the consequences for their actions. This may sound like what we should do for our loved ones, protect them from the possibility of pain, but when it comes to addiction, this proves to be more hurtful than helpful.
When I hear someone say something like “keep trudging” or use some form of that word, I pretty much know that person is one of us. Based on the often-read and repeated passage from the Big Book “… and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” I feel a kindred connection when I hear it, and if possible I like to make eye contact – wink, nod.
Exhaustion is a state of being that most moms understand all too well, even if they are not dealing with addiction or recovery therefrom. We have been conditioned to believe that we need to be able to be and do everything…work, raise children, keep a neat and tidy house, be involved in the children’s schoolwork and extracurricular activities and be a seductress in the bedroom. Wonder Woman incarnate. We get tired just thinking about it. Exhaustion affects us physically, mentally and emotionally. And we always seem to put ourselves last.
I know better than to judge others. But I often feel those of us working a program in recovery are higher up the food chain than others who stay asleep to the wonder of it all. I do think we are certainly more evolved – a better way to put it… I am thankful for the dark depths of addiction that made the light of sobriety so much brighter.