I’ve spent years in the rooms and in therapy “working” through my life experiences. I’ve done several 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th steps, adding character defects to my 7th step list with each new 5th step, and on a daily basis asked for each individual defect to be removed. The 8th step list that grew out of my 4th and 5th steps is a living document and I have made all of the direct amends that were humanly possible, and taken other suggested actions regarding amends that could not be made directly. I lived steps 10 through 12. And I achieved many goals; became a productive member of society, a loving daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I did well for myself on the material plane.
But in all of the years doing the steps and working the program – living the program – I did not allow myself to sit with feelings related to the aftermath of traumatic events. I became aware of them, then spoke of them, cried a little about them, and then moved on. After all, what good would it do to REALLY cry – to sob until I couldn’t breathe? I didn’t allow myself to just BE – to truly process; to chew the food of my emotions until finely ground and easily digestible. I bit off chunks of my life, chewed hard and fast, swallowed, and moved on. I didn’t even wash them down with water because I was too busy achieving my goals, too busy making up for lost time.
Then I picked up again.
I am in a place now where the universe is forcing me to sit with myself and just BE. My initial reaction was that I had failed. And then I was paralyzed, moving neither forward or backward, living in a kind of twilight zone; not dead but certainly not alive. I hoped I would die but I didn’t. I wanted to, though I would not take an affirmative action to make it so. My heart kept beating and my brain sent signals to keep the rest of my body functioning. I existed in the most basic way. I ate, I slept, and I woke up each day to do it over. I silently choked on the past, didn’t care about the present, and saw no hope of a future that would be any different.
The universe eventually brought me to my knees and I had a moment of clarity. In a flash I remembered the epiphany I had 20 years ago in a NY subway station -- I knew that I didn't have to go where my addictions were taking me. I remembered I could go to a meeting. Thank G-d for sober reference, and for not allowing me to completely throw my life away.
Now I’m slowly coming alive again. Tingling toe by tingling toe I’m waking up. And like the proverbial rising Phoenix I’m experiencing exquisite pain – physical, mental and spiritual. But I know – not merely believe – I know that I will come out the other side and live the life I was brought here for, a life of meaning – whatever that means. (to be continued)