Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I just finished my semi-weekly session with my therapist. I'm beginning to wonder if I should just call each session the great enlightment.

Today we talked about this troublesome feeling I'm having regarding my difficulty balancing my need to do recovery work and my need to live my life by way of keeping up with day to day chores and responsibilities.

I described to her a conflict I had with the hubby this morning in which he criticized me for doing so much work on myself, trying to help others, but not being able to get three simple "responsible" tasks finished yesterday.

She reiterated the story to me in her own words, and in a flash I could see that this conflict is a misperception rather than a reality, and that the misperception is coming from my addictive black and white thinking. I have some idea that I have to do EVERYTHING in recovery and do it perfectly in order to get it to "work," even if that means setting aside my whole life.

She explained that recovery is a place of gray, where I learn to integrate the black and the white and do the next right thing. Shifting my responsibilities as a member of the human race -- things like housework, paying the bills, walking and feeding my dog, taking care of myself, in order to try to do every single thing that has ever been written in a recovery book perfectly is not recovering, it's obsessing and it's not healthy. Neither is incessantly ill-planned use of my indiscriminate time a wise recovery choice. Doing the next "right" thing means spending set amounts of time nurturing my relationship with myself and my Higher Power, then setting about the progress oof meeting my assigned responsibilities first, followed by doing the things that are required, but without a designated time. This last category of time -- non-designated, is the area where I feel I most need to set boundaries.

I was really reminded in my discussions with my therapist of the value of practicing mindfulness. Things like planning my day by setting goals and boundaries (a to do list with time boundaries), focusing on my recovery program before I ever leave the driveway or sit down at the computer, are great tools for having a more productive, less compulsive day.

All that said, I'm off to pick up my dog from the groomer and get busy with a number of chores around the house. I owe my new sponsor some answers to some questions she asked, and I'll designate an hour this afternoon to answering those, and another hour to doing recovery work via sponsorship and service to my recovery program.

I'm thankful today to have began the day by turning my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand God, and for being willing to feel the feelings of frustration and disappointment with myself and my progress in recovery. It opened the door for some valuable lessons as I walked in to see my therapist this morning and as I take each step of this day.


Hope said...

This is a really helpful post for me today. Thank you for sharing your session. It made me realize how much black and white, all or nothing thinking has been taking up space in my head lately.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving

My name is Ken and I'm a sex addict. said...

I struggle with the same issue around my recovery. If I can't find time to work my recovery program perfectly, though, I won't work it at all. Those are usually the time when you see my blog go on hiatus!