Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas adventures.

"Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more. Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does, it will always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness". Twelve and Twelve, step 3

Yesterday, the day arrived. We (my spouse and I) were going to go purchase all our Christmas gifts. I didn't take me long to realize it wasn't going well. She had different plans than I did. Her methods of shopping are very different than my approach. I like to hit the store, direct line for the object of desire, to the check out line and back to the car to move on to the next store. I tried acceptance, I tried to "gently control". I thought I could just give it up and go with the day, knowing I had no control. Then I tried anger. Then that cold icy silence. New tools didn't work, lets try the old ones. (They never worked in the past but lets try one more time. Insanity.) By lunch time, my spouse had enough, and after having lunch with one of our children, we went home, half the shopping undone.

My spouse and I were no longer talking. I was in a cesspool of self-pity. When I got home, I thought the solution would be a nap. Woke up feeling worse. As it so happens, a small men's group that I belong to were going out for dinner to celebrate Christmas and I was to attend. Forcing my ass into gear, I went, and shared and listened. Afterwards, we went to a meeting where Step 3 was the topic. I shared some more and talked with my sponsor afterwards. He suggested going home and just start talking.

So I went home and clammed up. Taking my will back. (I guess I was/am an asshole and was/am suffering from emotional constipation!) Some sappy Christmas movie was on the TV and I sat to watch it. It was about some guy who was struggling to find the meaning of Christmas. (Must admit I could identify with the guy.)

We have come into the habit of praying together before we fall asleep. When my spouse asked if I would still like to pray, I was stuck. I agreed and half heartedly prayed. But during the praying, something broke and afterwards I was able to make amends and talk about what I had experienced during the day. I was able to do this without taking her inventory. Just being open and honest.

I lived most of yesterday in self-pity. I could see it building up, growing, and seemed unable to do anything about it. It's like it has to become a lot more painful before I am willing to do anything about it. Why couldn't I let it go at the first store we came to? Why this need for all the drama? All the self-pity is a nauseating feeling, but I chose to live in it. I have experienced much better, and still picked out the slop. I imagine this is just a day of living in the "ism".

I am grateful that I could still put the key of willingness back into the lock. Somehow, during the bedtime prayer, something shifted within me and I could you that key again. Nothing that I did, it happened. Thank you


YamadogGirl said...


Nothing like sitting in our own poop. Sometimes I like just to squish right down in it, thinking I'm safe and secure, when in all reality I'm miserable and stinky. It happens, it's life, we are not perfect and we don't have to be, all we can do is try our best.

I'm an alcoholic and I'm married to an alcoholic, and you know what we are like sometimes, selfish, cold, mean, controlling, full of self pity. Boy, some days it is no picnic here, but that's okay today. We are both learning that we have our own ideals, principles, our own God, and a different way of applying the 12 steps into our life. We are both learning not to work the others program, to actually hear each other, and to respect each other. It's tough, but it's also beautiful, and I thank God for it all.

I've made poor choices in the past, I will make poor choices probably today, and I will make poor choices most likely in the future, but the God I have in my life will do a couple of things:

1) Never leave me
2) Always forgive me
3) Fix it, by putting a person, an idea, or a particular place to remind me of what I need to do next in my mind (I call it the 2x4 to the head)
4) Always love me, even when I can't love myself or another

God doesn't make mistakes, He fixes the mess the devil creates, and He keeps me safe. I see shining examples of it sprinkled through my life. Thanks for posting this, it was very honest and you opened your heart up to us. Nobody promised us that life would be perfect and happy when we became sober, they just promised a new way of life.


~m2~ said...

hey, thank you for posting such a nice comment on my blog. being only in this thing for 18 days, i am so new at it i am practically green.

and struggling, but maintaining sobriety.

anyway, just thanks. i will visit you often, i think...

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I really struggle with staying present during holiday shopping. My husband and I had our own difficult incident out shopping this week and each had to spend some time working through it that day. Thanks for sharing.