Step 2. This step blows my mind. I tried for years to stop drinking at least during Lent. I never made it. I wanted to desperately. It would have meant I had some control. But I didn’t. I didn’t make it or have control. And it’s not that I drank incessantly and got bombed. That rarely even happened. But the necessity for a drink every day? Yes. That happened. Thinking about it? That happened. Wondering if I drank too much? That totally happened. Wondering if I could stop if I wanted to? That happened. The sick mind and spirit that accompanies alcoholism? That happened. Still, somehow, I felt it was up to me; like I had the magic within me to stop. My belief in God and Jesus were fervent. Why wasn’t that enough? Why couldn’t I do it?
Regardless, I couldn’t. I just continued the ugly cycle. Thinking, wishing, failing, shaming internally…always stoking the secret that I had…the secret that guarded so many other secrets. The one thing I could do to help manage my pain from a screwed up life, screwed up choices, and the inability – seemingly – to do anything about it.
After coming to terms that I actually suffered from alcoholism and I had my sponsor, she helped me understand this step. She helped me to see that I needed COMPLETE RELIANCE upon God. My way – my running the show – had gotten me…nowhere. See above. I couldn’t just read the words in the Big Book like a magic spell. I had to do it. I had to have a true ‘come to Jesus’ moment…and a come to God moment. I had to have real conversations that involved my inability to handle drinking at all. I had to admit openly and freely to God, Jesus, and my sponsor how unable I was to manage this myself. Then the hardest part came. Trusting God. This continues to be my biggest struggle. I am coming to complete reliance upon God in all areas, but I am not in completely reliant upon him in all areas yet. I haven’t really given over my self-esteem issues to Him yet. My go-to thoughts are still that I will screw up and make a mess of my life. I don’t know how to offer what I have to give, even though I do believe I have a lot of wisdom and experience to share with people…there is still that crappy part of me that says, ‘who would listen? who cares?’ I’m working on that.
So, in the meantime, I keep doing the work. I know that continually saying what needs to be said and keeping the conversation open with God is a great starting point to get me to where God wants me. I truly want to serve Him however He wants.
I won’t spend much time on my marriage situation, but I will say, being home with my girls in the home that they know feels like the right thing. I struggle with it because my husband is still, like me, very emotionally sick – we are both so battle weary from the last year+ that we just avoid certain issues…guess what that leads to? Stuffing feelings. Lack of communication. Sigh. Well, it is a sickness, isn’t it?
Anywho. That’s what’s up with my Step 2. I am reading the 12&12, which is a great companion book to the Big Book. That is what has caused me to go back over my steps and re-visit them and blog about them.
Someone recently questioned the anonymity part of my transparency in all this. This is my choice. I’m tired of being anonymous. I spent my whole life feeling like an outsider. I also recognize that for myself, the real sickness lies in my thinking. Like, where did that go wrong? I think the foundation is laid by our caregivers when we are tiny. I think we absorb what they give off – if they give off the feeling that we are a burden, we grow up feeling that we are simply a burden. That sucks. It hurts and we don’t know why. How do we stop the pain? By not feeling. How do we not feel? By drinking. By taking a pill. By doing anything we can figure out to do to stop feeling like we are unwanted. Decades pass. We realize what we are doing. We stop the flow of our ‘solution’ whatever it may be…our ‘drug of choice’ as it were…then what are we left with? The same pain that we began with. But then it is time to deal with it in a healthier way. That’s where the belief in a Power greater than ourselves comes into play. That’s what I deal with every day.
P.S. Happy 16 months sobriety to me! 🙂