Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Getting back up

I had a little Eureka! this morning. In addition to realizing that I don't have the courage to change some of the things I can ... and need to pay a bit more attention to ALL of the Serenity Prayer, I was listening to a CD of a new country group, Halfway to Hazard, and found empowerment in the lyrics of a song called "Got Back Up." The lyrics to the chorus are:

Life's gonna hurt you but you brush it off
Well, naw you can't quit, you gotta fight back son
When you find yourself on the ground, you gotta get back up

Sounds pretty country doesn't it? :)

Music has always spoken to me, and at this time when I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me, I am feeling like I'm finding myself face down on the ground, struggling to get up. I have always been against fighting, war and agressive conflict of any kind. To some degree I have a pacificist mentality at levels that extend beyond the political definition. My style has always been to kill them with kindness. But as I feel my anger, I realize it is a valuable resource that fuels the fire in me to fight back, to take back my life, to tell my disease to go to hell and to find peace, balance and comfort in the care of my Higher Power. In an effort to control everything, especially anger, I have been fighting so hard against myself, that I have been denying myself my own God-given resources, and misdirecting my anger all over the place -- most often to myself and the things that I am powerless over. Depression -- which is anger turned inward -- has paralyzed me.

I truly appreciated a question from a member of my SLAA group this morning -- how have my patterns changed? I am giving that a lot of thought, as it is true that my patterns have changed and it is valuable to see what progress has been made and what difficult changes I have survived. I certainly have been in a far worse place than I am today. There were times that I constantly "stayed ready" to act out, even after coming into recovery. Today, if I were to decide to cross my bottom lines and act out I would have to "get ready" to act out ... and considering the effort that takes ... the pay off is no longer worth it. I can recognize those as changes to be thankful for right off the bat.

I just want to say that yesterday I really was on the verge of wanting to cross those lines and act out, but instead I did the next right thing all day long, still thinking all day that today would be the day that I would act out. I was cut off from my Higher Power because of all the fear of my anger, but I connected myself to others in program, talking at length with sponsees, with program friends, participating in a telemeeting, showing up at an SLAA meeting I started that rarely has attendees, writing to my support group, writing here, praying for the willingness to let go of that part of me that I was desparately holding on to and afraid to release to my Higher Power, and following the advice of so many people I heard from, including one friend who said "I honestly don't know what to do, so I just keep doing whatever other people tell me to do until it's time to go to bed." I went to bed early last night because my body was aching so badly from the anger and feelings I was holding inside. My husband rubbed my aches and pains as long as I needed him too. (Again, he is becoming important to me, enough for me, good to me. I am so grateful.) This morning, I had a dentist appointment at 7 a.m. and at noon I have a meeting, then a meeting with my sponsor. In between seemed like a great time to meet a qualifier. But after all the work I did yesterday, proving to myself that I do NOT want to act out, no matter what my disease tells me, the obsession that has plagued me for days has been lifted.

I hope that my own struggles serve as a testament to anyone who struggles with the disease of addiction that recovery is not a perfect process, and that this is a lifetime disease, but it is absolutely true what they say ... this program works if you work it. And I'm glad to be working it ... because I am worth it.


Anonymous said...

I can so relate to doing the next right thing!

The Traveler said...

Wow. Anger, emerging. Powerful stuff, maybe doesn't feel like improvement at all, but it is progress in the big picture. Might get a lot uglier before it gets prettier, but it's the path. Good job, on getting your focus onto the program, and working it, even if it feels against your natural inclinations. Your feel-o-meter is just starting the process of being recalibrated.