As a school-aged child I used to love the fall, because it meant a chance to start again and as an adult, I have always loved the new year, because I see it as a chance to renew my commitments. I'm not one for making "resolutions" anymore, but I do take advantage of a fresh calendar to set some goals for the upcoming 12 months.
For many years, on New Year's Day, I would take time to write in my journal about the past year and to write down my goals for the upcoming year. I always found it helpful in honoring the passage of time and the growth in life.
As I reflect on my recovery in 2008, I see more progress than any other year since entering the program four years ago. I broke through some barriers that kept me stuck in a constantly revolving, reworking, procrastinating Step 4. Essentially I had been stuck there for almost three years -- at least one of which I was in complete relapse. I chose someone I trusted with whom to share my Step 5 and I am now working on Step 6 with a new sponsor.
I am no longer beating myself up for being a slow learner in the program. I am accepting my journey as my unique path. Likewise, I released the unrealistic expectations that recovery meant that God would take care of everything and I just had to wait for my Higher Power to show up and erase all temptations to return to my old patterns of acting out with anonymous partners or seeking out a new extramarital "love." I accepted, as a gift of Step 4, that I do have a part in my recovery, that ours is a program of awareness, acceptance and ACTION. I also began to anticipate the temptations that arise when my emotional immaturity doesn't know how to handle what it's facing. Today, I expect addictive temptations to arise, just as a diabetic expects to crave sugar. I take responsibility for my actions, and recognize that giving into temptations has dire consequences. I have a choice -- the quick high or the enduring consequences. I see this as a major step in letting go of the role of victim and embracing an inner strength that is real.
In the past year, I have added to and began to use more fully my recovery toolbox, not just for dealing with temptations, but for improving my life one day at a time. Our program draws on five major resources (sobriety, sponorship/meetings, service, steps and spirituality). I'm learning to use all of them. Being fully involved in service has been a timely reward. I've really gained a lot from service to my home group, this group and to four wonderful sponsees.
Some general goals for the upcoming year include:
* taking a step back and seeking less to be understood and more to understand
* to experience humility and inclusion by being a part of fellowship rather than always a leader
* to work toward embracing outreach rather than hiding in isolation (specifically making more phone calls and pressing my comfort zone by expanding my circle of support)
* to continue to nurture and grow in my relationship with my Higher Power and my sponsor.
* to experience acceptance and detachment more fully.
5 months ago