My Problem Is Willingness
I’ve heard them referred to as “emotional binges.” I like that term much better than the one I normally use to describe the fresh hell I periodically allow my mind to put my heart and soul through. I’m currently recovering from one hell of a binge. I attended my regular 12 step meeting tonight. We read aloud from a book we commonly use, and the topic was getting rid of self-will and allowing God to take the wheel. I’ve probably read that passage ten times, but in the middle of that meeting, as those words were read aloud, my soul opened wide up and the message finally penetrated. In an instant, it became so clear.
Self-will has utterly failed me. I have zero self discipline. I’ve never worked for anything- my entire life, I’ve relied on others to take care of me. I am very good at playing victim – a master manipulator. In my teens and early 20’s, my trust fund was always there for me, Later, it was men, my sister, and even now – my husband. Why the hell would I be willing to put any work into anything when I know I’ll always be supported – when I’m fully aware that someone else can and will do it for me?
Willingness is my problem, and that’s a really shitty kind of problem for an alcoholic like me.
After I hit bottom a year ago, during nearly fatal withdrawals after a relapse, I finally found the desperation I needed to change my life. I thought I’d never forget that feeling. I was sick with determination; finally broken enough to rebuild. I took every suggestion offered by others in recovery that I trusted, and I began making changes. I started working steps with a sponsor, made better choices, did the next right thing, and life got pretty good.
I was happy. My recurring depression almost seemed to disappear.
Then, that feeling I mentioned earlier (desperation), I thought I’d never forget? I forgot it.
I started screening my sponsors calls, and stopped attending meetings. I went back to sleeping all day, and fell into a pit of depression. One day I felt miserable enough to pick up the phone and see if I still had a sponsor. I did. I began again, like before. Things got better again, like before. And, like before, when the misery ended, so did my willingness. That is my pattern. I’ve been like this all my life – always learning lessons “the hard way,” a hundred times before I “get it.”
It clicked for me tonight. I’m 34 years old and this is the first thing I’ve ever had to work for my life. Not only must I work, I must be consistent. No one can do it for me. No one can rescue, save, or fix me. Its up to me (oh and that God fella, but we’ll get to Him later). Support is wonderful, and I do believe my program may very well be the reason I’m still alive today, but consistent, daily action is crucial. It’s mandatory for my continued recovery.
It’s the work I put into staying sober today that will keep me alive.
Dying an alcoholic death for failure to work this thing may seem like a pretty drastic consequence, but it happens every day all over the world. Many others, who are willing to work for the rewards of recovery, don’t simply “keep breathing;” they live long, happy, peaceful lives with freedom from alcohol. While that might seem obvious, it wasn’t to me. I only hope this knowledge will make consistent willingness easier, so I don’t have to suffer through bouts of misery anymore.
This much I know is true: my own self will and my ungrateful over-dependence on others makes my life a crazy, unmanageable mess. Depending on God, putting my will and life in His hands, and aligning my will with His, has proven the solution to avoiding the chaotic, miserable life that my untreated alcoholism causes. God prefers that we keep our lives balanced, thoughtful, and humble so we may serve Him well and help others.
He’s on our side.
He’s the good guy.
He made that clear to me tonight.
This post was submitted by Anonymous.
photo credit: Cyberex via photopin cc
A Sober Mommies Contributor is most often a non-professional – in and out of recovery – with reality-based experience to share about motherhood & active addiction, the multiple pathways to recovery, or a family member’s perspective.