Day 33. “Hold back nothing”

Today’s daily reflection.

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I was given this to read out loud at today’s meeting. It puts into words what I’m beginning to feel, so succinctly.

Witnessing others share their innermost thoughts and feelings, their bitter resentments and absolute joy is profoundly moving and I come out of every meeting so humbled whether I have shared or not.

I get it!

Hold back nothing! 

To be able to share your true feelings without reproach, in a room full of like-minded people, well, it feels like I’ve found the cure for my cancer. It’s not easy. My disease can create resentment out of anything so I often feel anger that I have to share but actually I don’t have to. I can go to a meeting and listen. Baring your soul every meeting is not a prerequisite.  I gain just as much from meetings where I don’t say a word.

I wish I could take notes!!  I really do because I struggle to remember all the connections my poor brain makes in the thick of it. I get such a rush hearing people say out loud the words that are often jumbled up in the back of my mind. When I first started attending AA, and previously NA, I would see other people nodding and agreeing with the person sharing and now I find myself doing the same. When I feel low – a meeting helps without fail.  When I feel positive – a meeting reinforces that positivity.

I get it!

I have made friends that could very well be life-long. I look forward to meetings and wish I could get to more. It’s beginning to dawn on me that I have a new addiction and this habit is one I can immerse myself in without it killing me.

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“It’s an inside job”.

This phrase came up a few times this afternoon from 2 different people. Meaning;  your emotional well-being is an inside job. *Taps side of head*

They spoke of fear, of anger and resentments. How getting dry/clean is not that difficult. Staying sober is the hard part. Life isn’t suddenly all rainbows and unicorns when you put down the bottle. We all still have the same shit going on – unpaid bills, clashes with loved ones, stress at work or home. Anxiety, depression. We still lose people we love. Hearing people share about these things and adding that they didn’t ‘pick up’ or even want to, hit me like a ton of bricks today. I see the proof right in front of my eyes that this program works. Here are these people, once hopeless drunks and drug addicts  – just like me – coping with their lives and emotions without their crutch. Without numbing themselves. They are feeling their feelings, and some of those feelings are bloody hard to feel. These people – WE – have often spend decades doing things a different way so of course breaking a habit of a lifetime doesn’t come easy. If it did, none of us would need to be there!

Step 2 – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

I had been stuck on this concept for months. My sponsor pointed out to me that it says ‘came to’ believe. That as long as I was open-minded and had a willingness to believe that that was the most important thing.  I’m letting go of my pre-conceived ideas about AA and religion and opening up my mind.

Every time I hear someone share in AA about how hard their week has been, or how down they have felt for whatever reason, and yet they got through their day or week without picking up a drink – I feel a higher-power.

When I see the tranquility of the ‘old-timers’ as they speak about 10/20/30 years of sobriety after a previous 10/20/30 years of drinking.  How they were so entrenched in their addiction they never believed recovery was possible for them but now they lead happy, fulfilled lives – I feel a higher-power.

These same people who haven’t consumed a drug or drink in decades, still enthusiastically attending AA several times a week. Giving people lifts, turning up early to help set up and staying behind at the end to give a few words of advice to the newer members of the fellowship – I FEEL IT.

Ok, enough about AA – for now.

It was Fable’s 2nd birthday on Wednesday. I love this little girl so much. I want her to grow up being able to depend on me. One of the hardest things for me to deal with right now are my emotions surrounding how I view myself as a mother.

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I’m visiting my other kids this coming weekend. I miss them so much.

There is more to tell you but I have to stop here for now. I wanted to write a positive blog entry because I’m feeling positive but there is some shitty stuff to share. I’ll try to catch you up later.

 

Edited to add. Great book to read – Mad Girl – Bryony Gordon. Check it out! She has also begun a new mental health podcast called Bryony Gordon’s Mad World which recently got a lot of press because her first guest was Prince Harry. I found episode episode 3 with Mandy Stevens really interesting.

One last thing – watch Mind over Marathon on BBC iplayer. It’s about 10 people with various mental health issues who take up the challenge to run the London Marathon. Compelling viewing!

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