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Fall-out at home

My husband is reacting to my sobriety in new ways.  I could focus on how I think his reaction is unfounded and “wrong” but who, really, am I to say how he should feel? 

This past week I had two one-year anniversary celebrations with my AA home groups. I returned home with cake, balloons, brass coins and cards.  Not to mention a smile on my face and a feeling of gratitude that I have people who love me.

My husband is sad and feels I’m leaving him out.  I can reassure him up the wazoo that I’m doing all of this to make me a better person so our marriage will be healthier.  But, none of that matters in this moment.  He is alone and feeling abandoned.  Last night he was tearful and expressive.  I tried to reassure him but a part of me also knows I can’t fix how he feels.  He must go through the emotions.

The fact is I am changing.  I’m finding my inner voice and a new found sense of love in the greater community.  For a long time it was just me and him, stuck in our dysfunctional ways.  Me with my isolated drinking and him with his hobbies.  We were at home but distant. The change is now, I’m out of the house and my husband is feeling more insecure about the distance.

There seems to be a lot of jealousy and insecurity coming from him. I’m sorry he feels a lack of trust for me and I accept some responsibility for that.  30 years ago when we first met, you could say, I was a “player.” I cast him aside for old boyfriends and even short flings.  He remembers everything as if it were yesterday.

Shit, I wish I never told him about all the relationships in my past.  It’s coming back to haunt me. I should have just kept my big mouth shut but I was needy and I wanted his love and forgiveness for the things I had done in the past. 

Unfortunately, damage was done to him during this selfish time in my life.  I told him I’ve been true and faithful for 30 years. All the things he is re-living were from back in college.  I’m not that person.

I don’t want to take on his problems with me when I’m flying high on my one-year-of-sobriety cloud.  But, I believe I have to deal with it.  My drinking for all these years kept this problem buried. My husband doesn’t trust me.  I’ve got to regain his trust.  I’ve read enough of AA’s Big Book to know that this is normal and will take time. I can’t dismiss his feelings. God knows I want to, though.  It would be much easier to be selfish and say, “Get over it!”

But…

Today I will try to be grateful that my husband expressed his feelings to me.  He is showing me his vulnerability and I can embrace the honesty and treat his fears with respect and kindness. He rightfully points out that I have acceptance for everyone in AA but he doesn’t feel he’s getting that at home. 

Hmmm? This sounds like it’s time for me to take personal responsibility.

That’s not easy for a selfish, willful, self-centered addictive alcoholic thinker.  But, times are changing…

♥ Fern ♥

 

Hard to accept my one year coin


Last night the members of my Wednesday night meeting celebrated my anniversary with 2 cakes, a congratulations balloon, a card and, of course a one-year medallion. One guy brought a carrot cake and plates and J showed up with a big Mylar balloon and a raspberry icing cake, he referred to as a “pink cloud” cake.

I didn’t want to make a big deal out of my one-year sobriety date. However, I don’t know how I feel well enough to know exactly why. I suggested J give me the one year coin in the parking lot and I was only half-joking! My intent was to minimize it because I didn’t want the attention. Man, that’s the truth. I didn’t know I would be so nervous. I very near had a panic attack in the room before the meeting began.

My anniversary date was 2 days ago so leading up to receiving the coin with my “home group” I did a lot of nice things for myself: haircut, nails, and a little shopping spree where I bought myself a couple of new shirts. These independent activities caused little stress so I thought I was going to be fine at the meeting. My day started out well and I was actually excited about seeing J at the meeting. I feel safe with him so I trusted that all of the attention paid to me would be fine. I also was grateful that I have someone who is so genuinely caring and nice. This night would be an opportunity to be happy and accept love from others. But, that’s not at all how it panned out.

My anxiety rose after I expressed my positivity to J in a text. I said, “I’m looking forward to tonight.” And he wrote back, “Cool, joyous and free!” Those words acknowledged my happiness and I tail-spun into a state of panic. My body had a visceral reaction that was out of my control. I felt fear and mistrust with the idea of exposing myself. I knew the group would want me to share my story at the beginning because it’s an open discussion format and the birthday person always shares. My stomach began to flip and my heart was beating hard in my chest. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to express myself. I considered not going to the meeting because I was fearful. This went on for so long that I really wondered if I was sick. My head told me to stay home but, if you know me at all, I am determined to follow through with commitments, especially if I know deep down the outcome will be a positive growth experience if I can push through it.

I occupied myself by making a homemade card that I would give J at the meeting. My card was to be a tree. J suggests praying to trees or even hugging a tree as a good way of praying to something greater than ourselves. Trees don’t change or reflect anything back that could be misconstrued or deemed judgmental. I agree that a tree is grounded and strong and I relate to J’s idea. So, I cut different shades of green paper into triangles and made a pine tree that was intentionally irregular in form. After that, I glued the tree to a couple other pieces of paper and put them on a folded piece of paper. When it came time to write, my hands were jittery and my handwriting was shaky. I knew rewriting it wouldn’t be any better and I wished I’d made the card earlier. Oh well, the meeting was in an hour so, there was nothing I could do but accept the unsteady writing. I titled the card, “J’s Tree” and wrote my name and the year on the back. I also included a small coin, which had one side imprinted with the words, “The strength of a tree lies in its ability to bend.” The other side had a raised image of the “Tree Of Life.” I wrote a few kind words and an excerpt from my blog a year ago, when I posted about J reaching out to me for the first time.

August 17, 2013 Blog Entry (One Month Sober)

My consistently all-time favorite AA member walked over to me and gave me a hug. I honestly feel such warmth from this guy that I want to keep him with me forever, like a child clinging to the safety of their mother. I have started texting him (and others) in my Wednesday group. I hugged back fully accepting his support. He said, “I love you.” I paused an instant before responded, “I love you, too.” I wasn’t going to answer back but I do feel love for this guy. How incredibly amazing is that? My heart is opening. The one person who is the most giving, thoughtful, kind and knowledgeable person in the rooms reached out to me? … I love this man’s pure heart and giving spirit … Having a person say they like me, despite my problem with drinking, is an amazing experience. I hope he knows how deeply he touches people by being so kind when we are in the thick of struggling with our negative sense of self in early sobriety. The experience is restorative beyond what words can describe.

I called J to tell him I was nervous but I don’t think he knew how panicky I felt. I pushed on bravely. I got to the meeting and everyone was standing around outside. My hope was no one knew it was my anniversary but they all did. I got hugs and congrats and one cake arrived and then another with J and his balloon. My eyes were downcast and I tried to shrink from the room. I told one guy who is unemotional that I was nervous and since he didn’t know what to do with the information he alerted everyone. By this time, there were ten of us or so seated around a hard wood table in heavy wooden chairs. The girls sat on one side and I was with them. I said that I did not know what to do with all this attention on me and a long-time guy next to me said, “Just say thanks.” Everyone laughed that he was teaching me how to be grateful. It wasn’t really funny to me and I took his suggestion and basically responded with “Thanks, so-and-so” all night long.

Someone suggested the cake get cut before the meeting officially started so I cut the first piece with shaking hands. I asked the same guy who helped with the “thanks” to help me serve the cake. He agreeably took over and it reminded me of how I depend on my husband to handle a lot of situations that are emotionally overwhelming to me. I try to become as much as a wallflower as possible.

Last night I really wasn’t given a choice in sharing my story so I did. I started at age thirteen with my first drink and pot smoking experience and I described my journey into isolated drinking for the next 20 minutes. AA says you should share your experience, strength and hope with others. Well, I feel regretful that all I shared was my experience. I talked about difficult moments in my life and how I drank to get through them. My story was basically that I didn’t do anything outlandish I just hid from life and drank in the evenings to avoid the emotions that I felt during the day.

I’ve observed others tell their story and lose perspective, run off topic and end abruptly. That was pretty much me last night. Oh, how I wish I spoke eloquently, with a clear beginning, middle and end. I woke up 3 times last night with my heart pounding, reliving how I told my drinking story. It still has a lot of power to scare me because I haven’t learned to deal with my emotions very well.

I picked the topic of gratitude and others shared their thoughts. I think every single one of them spoke directly to me and said, “It was good to hear your story.” For which I said, “Thanks, so-and-so.” One woman said I was full of grace and she could not tell I was nervous, another woman shared she’s been inspired by my honesty. A guy said he wasn’t sure if I was going to make it in sobriety because some weeks I was really low. He made an analogy to my moods being like an airplane in an air show, taking nose dives and then flying back up again. I totally understood what he meant because that is how my one year of sobriety has felt to me. No surprise that it looks that way. Another guy shared that a change of thinking is critical. He tries to replace positive thoughts with negative ones and on bad days he and his wife have a joke, “It could be worse.” I smiled and understood it’s all about perspective.

A woman who eagerly and enthusiastically received her one year coin last month congratulated me and said she wasn’t sure why I felt my story was so different that I had to explain it or convince others that I belong in AA. I think I saw J nod at her observation and it made me nervous. I don’t do well with cross talk or anything that I perceive negatively. Her words threw me a bit. In fact, I believe her small comment is the reason that I’m second guessing my entire story. She also commented that she loved getting her one year coin; even after 7 others had said they were uncomfortable at the one year celebration.

The last guy told me he had a similar story to mine, as he drank at night and didn’t think he bothered anyone. Until his drinking started to effect the family because his drinking escalated. He was so kind when he told me he didn’t feel worthy at his one year mark. I appreciated his warm gaze on me and I should try to hold on to the kindness he was offering.

A favorite woman of mine joked that she wanted to drink on day 364 just so she could say “Fuck you” to AA because she didn’t want to be part of any group! She had us all laughing by her frankness.

Lastly, there’s J who presented me with my one year medallion. I wish I could remember all that he said. I tried to focus but my emotions were kind of shut down. I know he said he thinks he’s gotten to know me pretty well over the last year and he was happy to be a part of my journey since I am shy and bashful. Those words do have a negative connotation but when they came out of J’s mouth I felt like he was simply stating the obvious. I know he said other nice things but I can’t remember. He kissed and hugged me and handed me the card and coin. The coin was passed around so everyone could put their mojo on it.

I took one quick minute to look around the room at everyone and thank them for always being there. I smiled and said how they all know it hasn’t been easy for me to feel accepted and I have appreciated how they all loved me when I couldn’t love myself. That’s how the program works. The meeting ended with The Lord’s Prayer and I got a lot of congratulations and hugs.

I shouldn’t be second guessing what went on but it’s the nature of my thinking. I didn’t say anything specific about J and I felt bad for that. However, the truth is I don’t think I could have expressed any emotions. I was closed and not emotionally available. In hindsight, I think the only way I could manage such strong fears was to cut myself off from feelings. It’s okay because I still heard what everyone said to me. But it’s also not okay because I am disappointed that I couldn’t fully enjoy the occasion. My heart and soul wern’t there.

Damn me and fuck, fuck, fuck. I am angry with myself.

I know that’s not helping anyone. In fact, it’s the exact thinking that I must change in order to allow God into my life and begin to accept myself for who I am right now. Love cannot grow where there is hate. And I hate myself.

Today’s Daily Reflection reading, which I read at this very moment, speaks to me. It gives me an answer to my problem thinking and how to deal with emotional sobriety. I am not surprised that this message was in the book for me to see today. 

 

JULY 17 SURRENDER AND SELF-EXAMINATION

My stability came out of trying to give, not out of

demanding that I receive.

Thus I think it can work out with emotional sobriety. If

we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we

will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its

consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God’s help,

continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we

can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to

Twelfth Step ourselves and others into emotional sobriety.

THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 238

Years of dependency on alcohol as a chemical moodchanger

deprived me of the capability to interact emotionally with

my fellows. I  thought I had to be self-sufficient, self-reliant,

and self-motivated in a world of unreliable people. Finally

I lost my self-respect and was left with dependency,

lacking any ability to trust myself or to believe in anything.

Surrender and self-examination while sharing with

newcomers helped me to  ask humbly for help.

 Lastly, J is planning on presenting me with another coin at our Saturday morning group. Let’s just say, I’m anxious about that one, too; but, I will go, accept the coin, and show others that the AA program works.

 

♥ Fern ♥

 

 

Today is my one-year anniversary

It’s hard to believe a year has passed.

I have a vision of my future being brighter.

This image includes a life with Love in my heart.

A love that is stronger than all of my fears.


♥ Fern ♥

Surrendering after one year

What does surrender mean to me?

Stop overthinking everything because my thoughts do not effect the future.

Let the thoughts come in, as I cannot stop thinking; but I don’t need to dwell on them. 

I can only do that by letting go of the need to control my life.

That is the most difficult task I’ve ever faced because I am willful.  I really don’t know how to let go.

J tells me I don’t need to know.  Thinking about my thoughts and trying to control them continues the problem of imposing my will. It does me no good to worry so much about what I’m thinking or how to change my thinking.

Not knowing the future causes extreme anxiety. I cry at the idea of not knowing. What about my aging mom who has heart and lung disease?  What about that I’m unemployed? What about my young neice with cancer?  

This is where surrender comes in.

The program of AA says the 3rd step is where to begin.

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

I am at this point in recovery.  It’s no longer about my drinking – I surrendered and gave that up a year ago – now I must work on my self-centered egotistical thinking. It begins by making a decision to turn my will over to God. That’s all I need to do right now. Decide it’s time to let God help me.

The Big Book of AA gives a daily affirmation prayer to go along with this decision. It’s found starting with the second line in the second paragraph on page 63:

…God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy Will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy Will always!

Here’s a version I like a bit more:

God, help me today to not put anything into my mind or body that you would not have there. Take all of my relationships in life and make of them what you will. Thy will only be done in their life as well as in mine. And let me know the Truth.

AA says that I must take action with this decision and steps 4-9 show me how to remove the blocks that keep me trapped in my own self will.  For now, I surrender to the Divine Creator, which I believe is Love, found in everyone including myself. 

♥ Fern ♥

 

I must stop playing the victim


I’ve been thinking a great deal about my addictive personality, lately, with reference to the repetitive thoughts that enter my head. These thoughts have the power to derail me for a couple days. I used to drink regularly to get through such times. Take away the alcohol and mix it with a healthy dose of reality and I realize something must be done. I can’t handle the down periods and stay sober. I’ve got to make changes.

Addicts are self-centered and think they are different. Drinking perpetuated my belief I was unlike anyone else and that belief furthered my descent into an isolated existence. Toward the end of my drinking days, I didn’t have an active social life because of the secrecy around my drinking. I timed most evenings for when I could start drinking, how much I could have and when to call it enough. I avoided picking up the phone after 7 pm. It was a lonely way to live. While I subsisted in seclusion my thoughts turned against me. I created a pattern of thinking that was extremely self-destructive.

I tell myself hurtful things that undermine my authentic self. I tried for years to not face this by drinking (or did the drinking come first and perpetuate the thinking?) I know this much, alcohol buried how I felt. I believed no one wanted to hear it and I certainly didn’t know how to deal with such feelings. This thinking has led to an inner belief that my feelings aren’t important.

I have an ability to step back and intellectualize my thoughts and behavior’s which has helped me from getting into big trouble; but the most damage has been to my own psyche. A positive effect of being sober for a year (on Tuesday) is my social world is less isolated; however the selfish negative thinking continues to keep me prisoner.

This pattern is especially noticeable with the relationship I’ve formed with J, my “sponsor.” We talk on the phone and see each other at 2 regular weekly meetings. I’ve expressed emotions that were buried during years of drinking and he has proven to be reliable and trustworthy. When we speak he listens and empathizes. J is not afraid to confront my feelings and to talk about them in a way that allows me to look outside myself. It’s been incredible to have someone meet me in the darkest place of loneliness and despair. The first few times J mirrored my feelings, it was an incredible sense of relief that I wasn’t such an anomaly. I felt a lifting of my spirit and a lighter sense of self.

My addictive personality, mostly, believes I’m unique and always a victim of circumstances. But, here’s J proving that much of that is in my head. I am beginning to see the negative thought patterns that hold me captive are my own doing. As such, they can also be undone by me. I can break the addictive cycle by recognizing the part I play in perpetuating my isolation.

This feels like the next logical step in recovery. My negative thinking is all part of my problem. Now I see my distorted thinking without the haze of an alcoholic mind. I’m coming to realize that taking away the alcohol did not remove the addictive personality. When I feel rejected, I isolate and become selfish. I’ve noticed that I truly believe my stories that no one really cares. I tell myself I am the problem and that I’ve been abandoned. I play the role of victim.

This most recently came up when a few days went by without talking to J. The initial reason was due to me having guests for the long weekend but, once the guests had left, I began obsessing about why J did not return a text. I convinced myself the relationship was one-sided and I was too reliant on him. From there my thinking spiraled into creating reasons to not call him, to not go to the same meetings and to stop sending such long texts because I was convinced none of it mattered to him. I didn’t want to feel dependent on someone that didn’t respond to my needs immediately. That’s my selfish, self-centered addict brain.

J disproved my belief that he didn’t care. He called and left me a friendly voicemail. Then I sent him a one sentence text asking about his weekend. I was convinced he wouldn’t respond with any depth but, again, he proved me wrong by writing a few sentences about his busy day on a boat. It was at this point my healthy mind recognized that J did not abandon me. I manufactured those warped thoughts and they became real to me, as real as when my mind was convinced I needed a glass of wine. It’s the same kind of addictive thinking.

Sobriety has given me the gift of clarity. I realize I’ve got a lot more to do in recovery than simply quit drinking. I’ve got to stop the negative thoughts that cause my own self-destruction.

I’m ready to take personal responsibility, to reach out to others in AA and get help from a power greater than myself. I want a better life than what I’ve created through alcoholic drinking and addictive thinking.  I am beginning to see that better life is a possibility…

♥ Fern ♥

Positive thinking this week

I’ve come to a spot in my recovery where the negative thinking has quieted down and I’ve had a few good days. The high point was smiling and laughing in AA meetings and experiencing the fellowship with a sense of belonging.

A synopsis of positive moments over the last week:

A woman new to AA told me after a beginner’s step meeting that she related to what I had to say. The discussion was around the 4th step. What’s nice about this is I spoke about my personal experience and fears and in so doing, helped another. That’s how the program works.

I volunteered to speak at the podium for the first time. I felt confident that my story would resonate with someone on some level rather than worried about standing alone. I looked around the room, feeling a connection with others.

After that meeting I asked an older woman I know if she would give me a one year coin in a couple weeks. She said yes. I talked to her on the phone the next day and she was pleased I called. We discussed how I could become a member of this speaker meeting and she pushed me into taking on the job of a “greeter.” She will be away and wants me to tell the anniversary person I need a coin. This causes anxiety and I’ve been thinking of ways to get out of that meeting. As much as I want to be positive in this post, a voice in my head is telling me not to go back to that meeting. “Fuck the coin and becoming a member.” Fears creep in but I will sit with them and not do anything. There’s really nothing to do except to stop worrying about it.

I asked J to give me a one year coin at the group we attend together. I was nervous upon asking and started trying to control the entire circumstance (no cakes, no big speeches, no flowers –which rumor has J gives to others). He told me, “Don’t worry about the details; I’ll take care of it.” Wow, did I appreciate that! I told him so and he said, “You don’t plan your own birthday party.”

I  regularly go to a woman’s step meeting and this last one was fun. We worked on the second half of Step 12 and the women were so light hearted and jovial. I laughed and enjoyed the discussion very much. When my turn came to share I was serious and talked about my fears manifesting themselves physically in the pit of my stomach. Other women shared their early stories of being up at the podium for the first time and I didn’t feel alone or as fearful.

People are sharing their experience and strength with me and I’m not shying away. Lately I can look into their eyes and accept the support. This sense of self-acceptance is a gift I’m enjoying while it lasts.

I ended up at a favorite meeting of mine last night and it just so happened that it was all guys and me. This has happened before at this particular meeting but I keep going because I like the no bullshit atmosphere. It’s a discussion meeting and the topics are focused on day to day sobriety. The chairperson for that night shared his story and he looked at me almost the whole time! I think it was because we spent 10 minutes before the meeting in the parking lot shooting the shit. He told me a lot of stuff, like he is married, has kids in their 20′s and is living with a partner. I asked if his partner was a guy and he nodded and said, “It’s complicated.” I laughed and said, “Life’s complicated. It’s taken me this long to realize I have a drinking problem so I’m not surprised by anything.” He smiled and I asked him questions about his partner. It was a good conversation in the parking lot. So, I heard him tell his story and for the first time he included the part about telling his wife he was gay. He also accepted a six month chip. I was very proud of him and, after the meeting, I told him so. He said, “I never would have imagined me telling people my private life. I haven’t said this much in years.” I laughed out loud and told him I can relate!

During the meeting, I spoke about how my thinking gets the best of me and how I’m trying to be open about how I feel. Vulnerability is not my strong suit and it’s much easier for me to say, “No, thanks.” Lately, though, I’ve been feeling anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, you name it and it’s all on the surface. After the meeting one guy said, “You sound like one raw nerve. I can hear it when you’re talking.” Another guy suggested, “Ease up on yourself. Go easy.” I had a long conversation with a guy who’s got long term sobriety and he expertly described what I’m going through. “You’re allowing yourself to feel for the first time.” I agreed and laughed, probably out of nerves but laughing is good anyway, and said, “Yeah, I just wish I experienced this stuff when I was 15 instead of 50!” He gave me a knowing and loving smile.

I left that meeting feeling tearful because I was deeply touched by the support. I texted J that I think I am healing old wounds from childhood, specifically never believing my dad cared about how I felt. That’s a big one for some women – “daddy issues.” Unfortunately, my alcoholic thinking turns that belief into the all-encompassing opinion that all men don’t care. But, last night my belief was challenged because I was in a room full of men who did seem to care about me. I allowed myself to feel it. May miracles never cease.

I turned against myself, though, because I don’t do positive feelings very well. As I was falling to sleep I went right back to my old ways and allowed myself to get in touch with old childhood feelings. Not just allowed but wallowed in a state of self-pity and isolation. My dad died 30 years ago and I recognize that the feelings I carry are of being an unloved disappointment to him.

I must change that story NOW! I can’t get out of my alcoholic thinking until I stop making shit up.

My dad loved me as much as my 3 brothers. He supported us financially and intellectually but he wasn’t an emotional man. That doesn’t mean he didn’t love me. Perhaps I told myself that as a child because I wanted an intimate and physical attachment to my father. It doesn’t help that my mom, who divorced my dad 40 years ago, tells me he never held me on his lap or was affectionate. She points out there are no pictures of us touching. Actually, there aren’t any pictures of him touching anyone. I also remember he wasn’t publicly affectionate with his second wife either. The guy was a member of MENSA with super intelligence. Emotions were not his thing. It wasn’t just me that he lacked overt offerings of love for. My brothers didn’t miss it as much because my dad bonded with them through sports, such as catch, Frisbee, hiking, camping, running, boating, cycling, etc.

It’s time I let go of my longing for what could have been. My dad and I had a relationship based on what he was capable of. My mother is also not affectionate and I’ve learned to accept our relationship as it is; however, with my dad dying when I was so young, I didn’t have the opportunity to develop a close adult relationship. With my mom I have come to accept her limitations and I love her as she is today. But, I’m certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my father loved me no less than a father that showers his daughter with affection. He just didn’t know how to show it.

Breathe in, breathe out — now let it go…

♥ Fern 

What’s on the inside?

My struggles in sobriety are mostly inside my head, where my thinking gets crazy. I’ve included photos I took yesterday in my yard of the beautiful things that surround me. Yet, somehow I awake each morning with anxiety and fears, not able to see any good in my life.

My backyard pool

Today is a good day. I was synchronized with body and mind and that allowed me to feel balanced and less inside my own head. I attended two meetings where I was keenly tuned into the words of others and I heard some good stuff. One honest guy talked about his pain and then his buddy followed by saying all alcoholics have one thing in common, we are self-centered. The discussion was about having a higher power that takes us outside our own thinking. This topic resonated with me because I have been extremely wrapped up in my own misery. Today is better and hindsight is 20/20. I credit AA with giving me the vision to label what’s going on (even if this vision doesn’t appear until I get past my pain).

Climbing roses

Staying sober through a rough patch, calling J, my sponsor, and going to meetings is causing a shift in my awareness. I can see my issues more clearly.

When I’m in one of my negative thinking patterns, I am isolated and ego-driven. My ego puts me down. Tells me I’m not worth the trouble of asking for help from others. My ego makes up grandiose negative stories of why I should suffer alone. It tells me the best thing I can do is not seek help.

Flowering dogwood tree

Right about now I hear J saying, “Who is this me?”

J is trying to help me see that “me” is not my thinking. Those negative thoughts don’t come from a place of love. The words do harm to someone – me!

If I can acknowledge this negative thinking I can begin to distance myself from it.

I’ve got to surrender and decide to stop allowing these thoughts to own me. Calling my sponsor and talking about the pain during the moments when my ego wants me to stay isolated is the answer.

My prayers to a higher power since the beginning have gone like this, “God, please help me remove the obsession to drink and replace it with a feeling of self-love. Thy will, not mine, be done.” That’s a tall order!

Within a couple months I lost the urge to drink but the second part of that prayer is going slowly. I believe God’s will is to experience love for others as well as myself. I’m good at putting others first but not as good at asking for help. This is where I think J comes in. God put someone in my path that I fully trust to help me see the light that shines in all of us. It really is the first time I’ve accepted emotional support for a long period of time without reverting back to my old isolation ways and drinking.

Climbing clematis

This is huge for me. I’ve got a lot of fears about people discovering how unworthy I feel inside. To surrender means to allow my sponsor to see these fears, to help me and ultimately to believe God’s will is to let the negative thinking go. My prayer for self-love may be slower to materialize than losing the urge to drink but I feel like I’m on the right path.

I hope this doesn’t come off as selfish and self-centered. I have this lingering doubt that what I’m saying is too self-seeking. I don’t know if that is true or my ego is trying to keep me from the love I deserve.

I have no idea if you followed all this and/or if it made any sense. I am writing from my heart with emotion so the intellect took a back seat on this post.

Love,

♥ Fern ♥

 

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