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Stepsherpa

Stepsherpa

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Step 12 : Having had a Spiritual Awakening we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs. In finding the AA Big Book suggested Spiritual Path? I am found. I've been reborn to a whole new attitude and outlook on life itself, not just me and mine. All of it. No longer a theory as it seemed in the earlier Steps, now I am convinced of my Spiritual daily reprieve offered.  My willingness to grow in understanding and effectiveness daily as I live the AA Big Book 12 Steps to the best of my ability. The thought of alcohol is rare, or running away to anything really. I have a new found courage and strength, a self reliance with seemingly infinite coping skills. The selfish need for others to provide emotional security is seen and accepted as a common form of trouble and addressed immediately for the most part. I have a life worth living. I have recovered for today. I pray to continue this way of life for my lifetime, to participate.   I will serve the Spirit of all things and with it's power see myself and the man who suffers in alcoholism. I will continue to watch for my selfishness and self-centeredness, I will not miss it and settle for less today. I will pray to be directed to what my God would have me be. I like this, this is a good way for me. I ask for Spiritual help, speak for myself and take responsibility for my conduct. I am accountable today. This is all I ever imagined. All I saw in others.

 

The Big Book 12 Steps worked! I awoke a new man. I had purpose. I had found validation in the realm of the Spirit. I had survived an adult dose of recovery. A moral detoxification of sorts. I had put down my obsessions with people by picking up the program of recovery suggested as a way out for the hopeless. Seemingly the first thing I had actually ever done right?

 

I was on fire now. Like the man who rises from his hell and is saved by Jesus? You can't tell him anything about anything else but Jesus. Jesus is in the house! It can be annoying. That whole my way or the hi-way thing. I was like this with Big Book 12 Steps initially. A new phase. I couldn't help it, my life had became so good so fast. Self will run riot yet believing with all the work I had done it was impossible to be so extreme again. I was bulletproof? Sure...Yes my first thought was all in AA should have this thing! My first lesson was? NO, the Big Book 12 Steps are not for everyone or not because "I say so" anyway.. Not everyone needs a Spiritual reprieve or even a total reconstruction.. Not everyone needs to root out the flaws in their make up right away in hopes of simply surviving one more day.. Not everyone is beyond human aid. There are many who are able to read or listen, retain and apply suggestion and or direction. Many who make good use of a helping hand in AA, the fellowship of experience strength and hope.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Step 8. More willingness. Not a problem. I'm all in.

 

I felt good by now. Maybe because the 4th was behind me? 5th Step was over? Maybe because I was actually changing. I had surrendered myself and there was one huge difference between this day and just a seemingly few days before. I was no longer obsessed! That was it! No more obsession! What a break! I was baffled really at the thought of it all.  Last week I pined for my ex-wife to come back so I could be a whole person believing my only option suicide if she refused and this week? I'm in a good mood and on my way to the Court House to file for divorce. I had seen myself and my conduct, this was so weird.

The day began as usual with asking for guidance from the Higher Power. Direct me to what you would have me be stuff. Then asking for the courage and strength to continue on with my Steps today. Not tomorrow, today. That wasn't even an issue really, the usual procrastination wasn't there. The usual making plans so I didn't have to do anything right now, me. So I could wallow in my delusion, find my security in the familiar. Nope. It was as if I had my whole life ahead of me. The selfishness and fear that had bound me my entire life was well, gone! Would it come back? Would I try to make it come back? I didn't know. I wasn't going to take any chances though, I got right into Step 8.The Big Book suggested we need more action, ok then, more action it is! It said we had a list of people we were willing to make amends to in out 4th Step. Ok, go back to the 4th. It was different now, going back and looking at myself. As if now I had the strength to see myself as I was and then come back where as before what I was like was all I knew. The bondage, the burden of self, the sick feeling of shame and guilt lingering everywhere always.. So I get out the 4th Step. It was still here on the table actually. I take a close look, a review of my 4th..

 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

They saved the sex conduct part of the 4th Step for last in the Big Book 12 Step format. Probably good reason for that. It said we probably all have sex problems? Go ahead and treat sex as we would any other problem. I couldn't have done this if it came before looking at myself in my resentments or the "fear" part of my 4th Step. I would have questioned what sex has to do with alcoholism? Or anything really?

I'm not going in there? I don't want to see anything buried in there? It doesn't haunt me if I can just stay distracted. Keep the focus on everybody else and their sexual flaws so I never have to see mine. It's just more "I'm bad". I'm bad so my sex conduct is bad. I had my ignorance covered in a thick coat of dysfunction. Self delusion. Everything I didn't know or understand about sex was kept under wraps. Secrets I kept from myself.  Strings attached to everything, I was always loosing control of it all, again mortified at the memory. It would come out in my self centered attitude, my effort to condemn in others what I hid from myself in hopes of overcoming it. This is where I first began to see myself wanting others to pay for how I felt about myself. I'd probably give this a 9 in the inner turmoil scale. It was pretty much always there lurking as a kind of unresolved issue to be kept under wraps. I justified myself with character assassination. Just look at all these moral lepers everywhere. I'm just a selfish alcoholic. I must surely be forgiven. It's everybody else.

 

It was all me now.. The constant fear and tension.  Keeping secrets from myself? Guilt and shame I would remember to forget over and over.. Yes, me. I kept it there, I could not let it go. Reminding myself I am nothing, I will never be anything. No one had to tell me anymore, I believed it. People could not convince me otherwise. Again I saw myself beyond human aid.

 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I had been reading my 4th Step for 3 days by now. Every night at 5:00 my Sponsor would roll up the driveway, plow frame clanging. It was winter and the snow was heavy, I'd hear him coming. We'd get down to it right away and wrap up around midnight. Same thing. Prayers, willingness, my 4th Step books open in front of me. And we begin. I read from one book to the other, back and forth. Resentments. Resentments and more resentments. I'm resentful at them usually for some petty reason and the resentment consumes me. I can think of nothing else while those who I am resentful  toward are not even aware of it. All in my head, my crazy head. Selfishness, dishonesty, self-seeking motives, control, over and over. I was making it all happen even though I was convinced the world wasn't treating me right. I believed I was the victim.  I was convinced they had done me wrong and my resentment was totally justified. Everything was an act of betrayal, everything was personal.

 

The self-pity was a huge revelation. The power of feeling sorry for myself. The "if only's". I actually believed I could insert a different outcome, a more suitable arrangement to any situation that wasn't going my way. Yeah well, if only I had money, if only I was better looking, went to better schools, lived a healthier lifestyle, if only I was somebody else? Poor me, show me some attention now as I am the fragile sparrow with the tattered wing. Come into my world and understand my plight so I can have control and feel better. Damn! Talk about an emotional vampire! Incapable of coping with reality I create my own and do my best to bring others into it, make them believers? Everything good is bad because I'm bad. Now that it's all about me? Everything bad is good. What a selfish manipulator. Pathetic really. Hey...when the worlds everything and you're nothing? Everybody's everything and you're not? This makes for a lot of self-pity, lots of self delusion. I was full of self-pity everyday! So, I had no idea what was really going on, full flight from reality as the Book said.

 

Now, there were some big fat justified resentments where I was hurt, blindsided by another who may have been as sick as myself so the resentment did seem justified and it may have been. Hey, life isn't fair right? But when I saw myself in it? How I handled it? It was as if yes they hurt me but then I went ahead and destroyed myself with the resentment. The truth was clear. I could not handle resentment big or small. Coping skills, yeah..I had no coping skills. When I was resentful?  I just came apart. I self destructed daily. It was clear by now I had no other options besides heavy alcohol use, I wasn't going to change. I just had to do my best to shut it all off! The resentments consumed me, bound me tight. I swear, I would make them up sometimes, not understanding how the Book referred to "trains of circumstance". I thought I was creating new resentment when really? I was reliving old hurt, old anger and selfish unresolved pain so I could feel the power, the anger, wallow in the self-pity. That's what resentment was. Re-living..

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

My old friend DJ.

 

Step 5. Letting go. Surrendering my self. Was this really an option? I mean, could I actually be free? Well yeah..  I had proof sort of. I had seen the miracle of healing in others and I myself had stopped drinking. I drank to oblivion everyday and now? In AA? I had stopped.. I was touched by the hand of God? Everyone at meetings talked about a Spiritual Path, a Higher Power, talked about their God all the time. Or? maybe I just got beaned off the head with a Big Book. Maybe I was "so gone" I had nowhere to go , in my delusion joined a cult of alcoholics and mental defectives. Either way, I was different now, better because of it, all fixed? Compared to what I was just a few weeks before? Yeah. I was completely changed, a completely changed person. And that was enough for now. As close to being all fixed as I had ever been.. As if finally? The good part was here, the whole "new freedom and new happiness" thing.

 

Oh I was defiantly on to something now! Something big! I had stopped thinking about booze and drugs. That alone was remarkable. I didn't care what others thought about it all, I owed my new life to AA. The odd thing was? I didn't believe I was getting my old life back like many did. No, this was new. And besides, why in the world would I want any of my old life back? I knew one thing. My troubles were much bigger than alcohol. How much bigger I didn't know but the idea that I got screwed up solely from drinking was kind of silly to me. I had been damaged my whole life. I had been "damaged goods" since I was very young.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Letting go of what? Everything? Baggage? My drinking? Just my crazy thinking? My past? What? I didn't know. Nor could I read, retain, and apply my recovery as others seemed to do..I'm stuck with myself.

 

Big Book suggests selfishness self-centeredness, the suggested root cause of alcoholism. Fine. So what are they talking about "selfishness". Well? To get a good look at selfishness they suggest looking at resentment. Looking at resentment without the thought of others involved. Straight into the mirror. Resentment in me, mine, why the anger? I'm angry because I'm afraid of the outcome? Fear? Anger rises from fear? No coping skills? I lash out at fear in an effort to control it? I'm angry because I have lost the control over the situation? I'm what...emotionally threatened then afraid? What am I afraid of? Not being in control? Why the dire need to hang onto "control" for my emotional security. Eh.. selfishness, lack of control, ...Security affected, resentment? Why the need to jockey for position with every person place or thing I am threatened by? Don't I have any self reliance at all? Geeze ..Why am I always threatened? I am full of resentment so I'm what.."full" of fear first? Self-centered to the extreme? And why especially toward the end of my spiral into the depths of self am I threatened by all things and not just other people? I'm creating it. I am so self centered I can't get out of myself. As if I myself are the threat to my self, just being there in all thought creates an impending doom. No matter what I think or do it'll never work, I'll never succeed at anything. I'm failing before I begin. I hate myself yet put myself, my thoughts into everything? Holy extremist! How does somebody get this screwed up!

 

Or wait..I'm assuming this is new or maybe just developed since I began drinking alcoholically? This must be "why" I began drinking alcoholically!  Or has it been like this all along..This is self centeredness? Fear? Self centered fear? Me involved in everything, I must control  the world and everyone in it to create my self esteem? Well one big problem with this whole alcoholism thing is, I think I know what everyone thinks? ok...I'm a people worshipper, a survivor. I think, you think, therefore I am complete with your thinking and substitute it as my own. Why? Alone I am nothing. So? Everything is centered around me, has some effect on me. I am the wheel hub. But if I still have no direction or willingness to change, that doesn't really answer anything, it just gives me another word to work with, a tool in my AA recovery tool box. The philosophy of me..Just like my Higher Power, my access to the Spiritual realm. Something to talk about. Sure I talk about God with others as if myself a true believer. Yes, the talk option is in the box somewhere too..I had it this morning when I was talking to God. When I had God on line one..

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

 I'm in hospital and really paying attention this time. Is it cancer finally? That's it isn't it Doc, my days are numbered. The Doctor says it's time for a total lifestyle change, I take it serious enough to post it on the refrigerator under a "life is good" butterfly magnet which is front and center and a favorite. This holds a certain importance on the refrigerator. That's how serious I am. I mean, it's not the cancer so, whatever. I'll read it from a 3rd party perspective. Eventually it gets replaced with the MUST PAY TODAY cable bill.

This year? He says it again. I believe this is what normal people refer to as a sign post. Oh there's a sign on the post sure, but I don't see it. Only the post, it's an emotional obstacle or sorts, something to avoid in my path. As far as the sign itself? I want to read it, take heed, action, but no, I'm much too self centered to focus. Even though it is directed toward me, I can't seem to make it all about me, it's not meeting my needs. Others see the sign as a warning and an opportunity to start taking better care of myself but me? I see it as one more reason I'm screwing up, one more failure. Something I must adjust too or fix, more effort on my part. Why, I can't even quit the sugar, I have a membership at the Y and never even go. I'll still have a chilidog treat whenever I please. What am I rewarding myself for? It's like I treat myself like crap and then give myself a cookie for doing it. No, I make myself pay, I beat myself. In stead of a hairbrush to improve my appearance, I pick up a hammer and pummel myself for not having good enough hair. Why can't the world just revolve around me, cater to my every whim? Why am I always whirling around others to make them happy, when do I get my turn? Will anyone ever love me?

Now, if the health concern was directed toward my wife? I'd be all over it with support. Diet, exercise, tripping over myself with health and wellness suggestions. The caregiver. But me? I am still trying to care enough about myself to take proper care of myself. Honestly? Without people I have no use for myself. I literally have no self esteem whatsoever, zero. Unless I can somehow arrange people on my stage, set my approval rating high? there is no show, there is no me. I guess I really am the people worshipper they refer to in the Book. Creepy. That whole insecure MAMA save me fix me thing. She left me and took me with her..ugh. It sure would be nice to outgrow that emotional void of existence and move on.

You like me, I like me. I'm accepted, I'm good enough. But then? With the threat of others involvement fancied or real? I need to be your favorite, your everything. I want you to feel like I do as if you are the most important thing in the world to me. If you don't love me I'll kill myself. I am obsessed, there is no longer any me as I desperately scramble to fill myself with you.

 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I've joined AA. I put the drink down, so far so good but the lingering insanity concerns me. I drank for a reason, will I drink again..  Kind of out of sight out of mind now I guess so I go where everyone knows my story. Meetings, two a day, there is emotional comfort there, security. I will never be alone again? Where they cheer you on as you sing your song of gratitude from the podium, making way for shocking crowd pleasing glimpses of honesty you were never aware of until now.  I love the new found attention. The fellowship awaits my arrival each day. Meetings meetings meetings. Purpose, understanding, finally I am somebody. I fit.

 

Fresh faces new and old bring hope as I connect with my common bond, I'm a drunk too! I'm Alcoholic!  I stole my Grandmothers 400 dollar savings and ran away from home when I was 15,  nobody cares! Today I am solving the drink problem. Not picking up a drink for one day..One 24 hour period. No axes to grind, no people to please? I am Alcoholic because I say I am. I become We, We are AA. We will solve the drink problem together. We'll talk about it in depth. Dissect it, arrange it, deny it, shout it out!  I am hope also, I want to help and like others I am empowered by the fellowship of AA. I have been rescued. All ahead full!

 

But my ceiling is low,  I can't rise above my Alcoholism. I can't seem to outgrow it, it's like a voice inside me saying no, it'll never work.. This is as far as you go.. All I can do is stop drinking and go to meetings. I want what others have and as my first year unfolds as an AA wannabe therapist, I will abuse this power of hope, take credit for it. Hey! I've been sober a year! It becomes clear I know what's best for everyone else except me. "We" stops there, We won't go with me this time, I am on my own, stuck in this self imposed crisis I can never postpone or evade.. We will keep on giving after I stop and begin taking again, leaving me behind to focus on my subtle expectations, my rewards for a well done sober day in AA..I tell myself it's them, it couldn't be me?  I will inevitably need help that We cannot offer. As much as I try, AA will never be all about me. I feel myself falling away. The harsh reality comes, We of AA cannot save me. I must save myself. Same as it ever was, I guess AA doesn't work for people like me, whatever I am.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I apologize to anyone who follows my blogs. I sit down and write and then hit post. Maybe edit later if at all. I will do better.

 

I'm speaking on Steps 6 and 7 tonight at a Men's Big Book 12 Step meeting. I should say lucky me! It is an honor! Odd that I can take it all for granted sometimes.. Still hang onto that subtle egoism. All this selfishness because I will see someone there I don't like. I'm not even sure he'll be there and still the fear comes, the low self esteem as I give everything I am away to him. I become self centered, I jockey for position. Comparing myself to others defects so I appear all fixed. Oh yeah, I no longer need the Higher Power as I can make recovery up as I go now with all my experience, all my years....Full of myself much? lol.. My own defects glaring as I alone deal with life's terms! I can have no idea what's going on around me and still need to be the center of it. That makes me the center of, I don't know?  Wow, I'm the king of I don't know!  I am ready to have my God remove these defects of character. This craziness, this Alcoholism with all it's selfishness and fear.

 

Well, that's why I need the suggested hour ( pg 75 we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour) of review between wrapping up my 5th Step and Step 6. Why I turn to the page that contains the first five proposals or Steps, (pg59) and ask myself honestly, is my work solid so far? Have I been thorough to this point? If I can answer to my satisfaction or to be blunt, can I honestly say that I have been honest with my Step work to this point? Step 1 through 5? If I can, then I look at Step 6.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Damn! Where's a Big Book when you need one? I think it's the last paragraph of the chapter "A vision for you" that reads. Give freely of what you find and join us? We shall be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you and keep you until then.   Well? I have to admit, I am meeting some of you right now. Right here, right now, as I sit at my computer early Christmas morning? I am willing to share my road of happy destiny. This is how I begin my day each day. Each day I choose the Spiritual Path suggested in AA. I thank my God for mercy on this hopeless drunkard. Thank you for the Big Book 12 Steps, thank you for Bill W and your simple language, offering me a way out.  I thank you for that moment of grace long ago when I  heard myself say yes, I can do this, I can not drink for one day. I thank you for watching over me as I  prayed for willingness to hold on to hours and then minutes of my new sober day.   Then with the willingness offered, the minutes passed and became hours and then one full day again. One day without one drink. It could be done. I could do this.

 

In return? I will give of myself freely to anyone anywhere on earth. I will not choose who I give to. It will be the Higher Powers will for me to carry out hopefully. I will simply give freely of myself that others may benefit. Not too complicated really. I will learn to take nothing in return, all glory be to  my God. Is this too much? Is this too good to be true? Can a man like myself live an unselfish existence before his God? I have to say no, it probably cannot be done, but can I be willing? Yes I can! I can be willing to carry the vision of the Spiritual path into all my activities each day no matter the circumstance. I have been offered courage and strength to face my life successfully. This is my Spiritual foundation, my anonymity. I offer myself freely, there is nothing to steal from me as I am not afraid, everything I am I will give to you.

 

Christmas is actually kind of selfish for me. I get to share how I want,  this is how I try to feel everyday. Being Spiritually fit. Even those like myself who pray for willingness are bombarded with selfishness and fear as we awaken to a new day and face life's sometimes overwhelming facts. I can become Spiritually weak. I seem to put my God down and pick up my mirror of life and death with everyone in it. I look and compare, measure myself up to others rather than stand before my God.. I hope for a self esteem boost as I search for equality at the very least. In most cases the mirror becomes one big selfie. It is me, where do I fit, what do others think about me, this becomes what I think about me! People become my God, I worship them, I seek their judgement and opinions of me. I place myself in all things in an effort to control my surrounding thoughts. I have lost my Spiritual willingness, my hope. I have no God, only people. But today is different! Today the Spiritual Path is everywhere! Christmas celebration is everywhere! It's like a day off. I can relax and listen, it's safe to relax and listen.

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