My daily meditation in my Letting Go book this morning was about what else ... "letting go." But it gave a scenario that I thought made sense. Sometimes when we are in the water, swimming and we get out over our heads or feel overwhelmed by the water, we panic. But then suddenly we realize we don't need to do all this struggling to stay above water, just calm down, be still, doggie paddle a bit, or even just lie back ... and the water will carry us. Struggling and fighting against the water is counterproductive and could cost you your life. The same is true with our addictions and obsessions.
On Saturday morning , when I was hell bent on acting out again, I opted not to fight against anything ... I simply thought, if it's going to happen, it's going to happen. If it's not meant to happen, it won't. I just took it that simply. And, as it turned out, I got sick, and it didn't happen.
I remember a time in my active addiction when I was set to meet up with a guy that I saw pretty regularly, it turned out that he (in addition to being as big an addict as me) had a pretty bad cold. I struggled pretty seriously I remember, thinking "I'm going to get sick if I meet this guy and not only am I going to get sick, I'm going to take my sickness home. " I remember driving to meet the guy, yelling at myself, "What are you doing? Do you not have any more self control than this?" I remember that the struggle was intense in my mind, not only because the guy was sick, but because he had already proven himself to be a tremendous con artist and user. And I STILL acted out with the guy that day (and others to follow). My husband ended up being sick for close to a month ... not to mention me. It was miserable. I wonder what would have happened if I had just become calm and let go of the struggle?
During the times that I think of how powerful my addiction is, and especially how powerful it was when I let it run free, my mind always goes back to this incident. I can still feel the sickness. It was miserable, and miserable to see my husband suffering through it and to know that it came into our house because I was willing to use and be used by a man who didn't give a shit about either of us.
For those of you who have not subscribed to the Hazelden "Gift of the Day" list, this one was perfect for me. To read, "Would you put a friend through that?" That was perfect.
Today's thought is:
Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.--Eleanor Roosevelt
In recovery, perhaps first we make peace with ourselves, and not until later do we become our own friends. We have been at war with ourselves and in turmoil with our families, even while feeling like victims. This program lays out Twelve Steps we can follow to become friends with ourselves. In recovery we may still feel self-hate when we constantly monitor our every action, when we react to our mistakes by berating ourselves, and when we dwell on past offenses. Would we put a friend through that?
True friends will accept you as you are.They don't put you down or call you derogatory names. They'll give you honest feedback and won't put on a false front. They'll support you when you're in trouble. Being our own friend means doing these things for ourselves. Perhaps we can even embrace and be kind to the part of ourselves that is addicted and codependent.
Today, I will be a friend to my whole self -- even the parts of me I have rejected.
5 months ago