1. We admitted we were powerless– that our lives had become unmanageable.
The reason why the 12 steps are always the answer, is because there are layers and layers in each one. There is beauty in something that you can build upon forever.
“Little does the addict, or any of his or her critics, realize that when any of us face a problem of insurmountable proportions, we are actually facing the greatest truth we can ever know in mortality-the nature of our true relationship to God, that of ourselves we are “nothing” while in God all wisdom and power reside”
I remember one particular meeting I went to where we were on step 1. I brought my sister in law with me. My husband, is her brother. We had the same qualifier. At this point I was working on Step 3, and she didn’t see how recovery applied to her. How she started her share confirmed this: “Even though my life isn’t unmanageable….”
GUYS. BIG MOMENT FOR ME. That was the very moment I woke up. I realized what a blessing it was to know that my life was unmanageable. Regardless of the circumstances that got me here, it got me HERE. It showed me my nothingness. I became so thankful to be in a place where I knew that I couldn’t do it on my own. Anything powerless, needs power and because I knew I was powerless I could now look to the only one who is all powerful.
I used to fear that he wouldn’t choose Recovery, then once he did, I would already be living in fear of his next relapse. This cycle takes many different forms and really never leaves until I turn back to step 3, and turn it over to Papa.
With a little more practice, today, when I catch myself living in fear I can see how I’m consumed in SELF. Fear, comes from my lack of awareness that Papa is just as interested in his success as I am. Fear and wanting to fix creeps in when I forget that I am powerless over the outcome. Today, I can pause and choose to save my precious energy for something far better. Because what does fear do for us anyway? Who does it serve?
Right now I was supposed to be a mom. I was supposed to have 3 kids by now and my job was supposed to be taking care of the kids, not taking care of the bills. I was supposed to be worried if I’m doing a good enough job as a mom, not worried if my car would start. I was supposed to be stressed about whether my husband will like the dinner I made, not stressed about whether my husband will stay sober this time or not. While my best friend is in the hospital having a baby, I’m in the hospital because my husband overdosed.
Ultimately, my reality is that I am married to an addict, I have no kids, and I have to support myself. The life I was supposed to have… has died. So I guess now I am greiving. It’s funny because as I write that, I realize I’m kind of in denial. (The mere fact that I wrote ‘kind of’ confirms this) I don’t think I have been still enough realize that this life past away a long time ago. And if I keep living there, it will kill the life I ‘could’ have now.
In the middle of the messiest years of addiction, I truly thought that was my only problem. The chaos consumed just about all the energy I had, and I was living in a constant state of survival mode. When I was so hyper focused on my husband and his addiction, I fantasized about how great life would be IF ONLY he were sober. Surely all my problems would disappear and life would be perfect.
Well I’m here to let you in on a secret. That thinking was inaccurate on so many levels. First on my addicts side of the street, drugs were the solution not the problem. So when you take drugs out of the equation, you’re still left with the problem. Then on my side of the street, I was so busy blaming everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) on the addiction that sobriety became my teacher of reality.
My lessons continued as my addict was changing, and working on his problems. His slowly started to disappear, and behind them were MINE. All my crap was hiding behind all his. Or really I was so busy looking at his that I couldn’t see mine. It took time to see what I hadn’t for a long time. I realized that blaming the addiction for everything left me with no power to change. If I’m not the the problem there is no solution. Its hard, yes, but it’s also empowering to acknowledge responsibility because it means I can do something about it.
Long story short, I still have a lot of work to do, but my recovery began with working the 12 steps myself. Now that I see all my own character flaws, and can take responsibility, I can turn to those steps to live in a solution.
Because I am very progressive by nature, I often have moments of enlightenment. Usually is a concept derived from a truth I already know, sometimes it’s knowledge I already had. Yet it seems new because it just makes sense in a different light.
I had one of these moments yesterday.
I have this new understanding of the process that addiction is. For a long time now addiction was an old topic. Anything about or related to it felt redundant. But yesterday everything changed.
Mainly the realization of truly letting go. I don’t know how it didn’t occur to me until now. Truly giving up your life to God. Separately, but both for the Addict, and for loved ones. The words themselves register as simple basic knowledge, but when you put effort in applying them it is powerful and life changing.
Letting go of control happens when we strengthen our relationship with our creator. When we know who we are, and what our purpose is, it makes it so much easier to hand our lives over.
I wish we could all strip the paradigm we see through. We could be more authentic, and free, and trusting.
The reality is, it has been 9 years of loving my addict. 9 years longer than I ever would have imagined.
During these past 9 years, I have felt extremities of what it means to feel alone, terrified, hopeless, and broken. I have felt heartbroken. Real pain in my stomach through my heart and then to my throat and mind. How did I end up here? How did I end up alone? Why do I feel so disconnected?
I didn’t see rest or peace as a reality for me. Miserable with, OR without. I felt like I didn’t deserve to suffer this much, to believing its exactly what I deserve. I felt abandoned, not understanding how I could be married alone. I felt embarrassed, like somehow this made me a failure I always deep down knew I would be.
I felt today like I wanted to offer connection. Share your story with me. Let me share mine. Walk with me. Read and feel that you are not alone. Find empathy, acknowledgment, or hope. Whatever you need.
“Grace is that thing that whispers, its dark and hard in there. I cannot make it hurt any less, I cannot make it go any faster all I can do is remind you that you walked through this before.” -Glennon Doyle Melton
I feel significantly older than I am; measured in exhaustion. Living through these years have felt like I have lived a lifetime. It’s depressing to be so tired knowing you have a whole life ahead of you with no energy to live it. Dreams and hopes feel completely different with no motivation to tag along. I wish I could purchase motivation in the vitamin isle. THAT would be great right?! I guess that’s where the work is. That’s where my work is.