Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Passage into a new skin

Thought for today from A Woman's Spirit

We are not unlike a particularly hardy crustacean. ... With each passage from one stage of human growth to the next, we, too, must shed a protective structure.
--Gail Sheehy

Our passage into a new stage of development was initiated by our desire to stop using (sex and love). The values we lived by while using (sex and love) no longer fit us. We need to shed our old skin and grow a new one that reflects our current worldview.

We are now, and always will be, in the stage of becoming, of trying to fulfill our changing dreams and aspirations. What we can accomplish at one stage of life is different from what we can handle at another. And yet an overall design is being shaped by all our endeavors. The more willing we are to shed yet another skin, the more centered, stable, and spirit filled we'll become.

Do my actions fit my values? As I outgrow my values, I will release them. I will relish my growth today and celebrate my new skin.


Sobriety for most of my recovery from sex and love addiction and food addiction as well has been rather allusive for me, as many of you who have been around a while can attest. I know well that it is primarily because surrender, my ability to give up my own will has been the most difficult task of my life. I learned very early in life that trust of any sort was dangerous and could lead to extreme pain. Failure to trust that there is a power greater than myself who can, if I will get the hell OUT of the way, restore me to sanity ... only keeps me in a cycle of self-defeat, just the place my addict wants me to be.

No matter where I am in my recovery I always feel the growth, as well as the deterioration. Sometimes the deterioration -- the progress of the disease as it changes from one form to the next -- feels like it has all the power to win the race in my parallel lives. Above sea level, where I work my recovery, live my day to day life, and am seeing a lot of successes and reasons for hope these days ... I thrive. I have recently made the moves to start and SLAA meeting in my area and I feel so proud about that, so thankful to my Higher Power for the courage and for paving the way. I'm in the process of making positive changes in my career, and I feel so excited about that. But underneath it all, the person I feel I can't trust the most is me. I have felt so vulnerable lately, not trusting the good feelings and just waiting to f*ck them up. I always do. Because I never surrender ... and shed the old skin, as the thought for today above says.

I must maintain a very disciplined life in order to stay above sea level. I must pray, write, exercise, read, have a to do list and a gratitude list, a daily food list, go to meetings, make phone calls and stay very present. As an addict, I am very undisciplined and reject discipline on the principle that I "need" the freedom of my own actions.

It is so hard for me to simply realize that I am sick, that addiction is a disease, a state of constant "dis ease," where I crave the opportunity to feel "normal" yet constantly am aware that I am not. Addiction, for me, is a state of "not enough."

I pray today, just for today, that I am enough and even when I don't feel like I am enough ... that I will open myself to the truth that there is a power greater than myself who is enough.


jo said...

you are enough, rae, and so am i. we'll get through today.

Recovering Wino said...

Hang in there...

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. You cannot be acting out while at the same time recovering. I share so many experiences with you and your blog is clearly an act of dedication and courage but having started with the 2004 posts and the pain that you went through it is hard to understand why you are still acting out now...What happened?