Monday, November 19, 2007

Smugness

As I spent a few quiet moments with God this morning, I read from one of my books of daily inspiration and recovery. In this morning’s reading, the topic was smugness and self-righteousness and their effects on recovery. The woman said she used to pass the blame for her inappropriate responses to others and her behavior off, saying “I learned these things growing up with alcoholics.” She ended by saying that while she might have learned the wrong things from her parents, the behavior was now hers, and it was her responsibility to “unlearn” the things she had been taught by working her program of recovery. “My parents cannot do the recovering for me,” she wrote. “No more blaming. It’s time to get on with my life.”

How many people have I blamed for my behaviors? How many ways has this kept me stuck in my recovery? My family members focus their lives on food, so why shouldn’t I? My stepfather yelled and berated me, so I cringe every time I hear a harsh tone from my husband, blaming both of them for my insecurities. My stepfather sexually abused me and taught me that I wasn’t worth anything but sex, so that’s why I seek my “worth” in sexual liaisons. My husband is not meeting my needs … so I am justified in searching out men who can fill in the gaps. Every man I’ve ever known has abandoned me in one way or another … God knows how I use that one. The list of “blaming” could go on an on. But “when the roll is called up yonder,” I’ll be the one accountable.

Like I wrote yesterday, I can have a thought, without letting it overwhelm and take me in its grips, and direct my life. My thinker’s broken. But it is my responsibility to get it back on track. Like I heard recently in a meeting, “No one is coming” to fix it for me. And because I have no idea how to begin to fix all the mess that I’ve made of my life, the 12 Steps of recovery walk me through, and assure me right off the bat that I’m not alone, that God is with me.

Even in writing those words “the mess that I’ve made of my life,” I feel resistant … I want to whine, “I didn’t do it, someone else did.” No, it was me who ate myself to this weight, who lied about exercising, who didn’t exercise, who went on the Internet in search of men, who met them and had sex with them and repeated it over and over and over again. Further than that, it was me who quit the job I loved, it was me who was too “drunk” in my disease to help my husband make better decisions about our future, again, the list could go on.

I can wallow in self-pity and blame the reasons I act out in my food, sex, love, people pleasing, meddling addictions on anything I want, but if I don’t take responsibility for doing something about it, the fault is all mine. What I can do today is reach down in my core and pray, “God, I am powerless over the disease of addiction, but I have been given the tools to take back my life, to stop giving it away to others. Please help me today to begin to take responsibility for my life and my recovery and to dwell with you, so that I know I am not alone.”

4 comments:

An Anonymous Overeater said...

It's very hard not to blame others when you know they had a hand in getting you to the place you are. I stopped blaming about 7 years ago but unfortunately didn't stop eating. I recognized signs of compulsive overeating in myself about 3 years ago, even read a book on OA but was in denial that I wasn't "that bad." I found myself hiding what I'm eating lately and this cause me to finally make the call to someone in OA and find a meeting. I'm just starting out in OA...but had so many failures before. I look forward to more of your blogs and have put a link to yours on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

http://anonymousandtrying.blogspot.com/

bella said...

Choosing to stop being a victim, to take responsibility for my life, the choices I'd made, the wounded child, the healing, the growing up, was the truest freedom I've ever known.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

It was so hard for me -- still is so hard for me -- to focus on myself and my own issues. After all, my husband is the sex addict, not me -- my father is the alcoholic, not me -- why should I have to change. I don't have a problem, right? ;)

Kathy said...

I so love this topic, of choosing to take responsibility of where I am right here and now. I was abused for many years as a child, then raped as a teen. But those things don't happen any more and I get to deal with my life as a recovering person. Not living there, but living here. Thanks for that.