Monday, January 28, 2008

spot check

I had a conversation with the addicted loved one yesterday. We shared about being afraid. We shared how our lives were both full of fears. We discovered similarities over many things. Of feeling panicky on Sunday nights, dreading school the next day. Of worrying about harm that might befall people we care for. Of obsessively going around and around, seeking out the thoughts that bring out the fear. Of discovering chemical means of getting relief from the fear. We spoke for a bit, myself getting a deeper understanding of his fears and my own fears. It was probably one of the most honest conversations I've had with with him for a while. After the conversation, understanding him better than before, understanding that his dis-ease is the same as mine, that we struggle with the same issues.

Something shifted in my understanding about him. I have to admit that I was still thinking that he wasn't using enough will power, wasn't trying hard enough to stop using drugs, that he could do much better in his recovery. My thinking was pretty twisted over this. That he would have to try harder to admit that he was powerless. I have been demanding. I have been full of bull shit.

He is just as powerless over his addictions as I have been. He is just as powerless over his fears as I am. His struggles are as deep or deeper than mine. The pain that he has felt in his life are just as difficult or more difficult than mine were. He is a human being, suffering from the dis-ease of addiction. He is just as deserving of compassion and grace as anyone else.

I have a deep hope that he will get into recovery, that he will have many daily reprieves.

I have a deep hope that fear won't take away these new realizations.

A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of such disturbance can be of very great help in quieting story emotions. Today's spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day's march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose. The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and temp us to make mistakes.
In all these situation we need self-restraint, hone analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when the fault is ours and an equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere. We need not be discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not for perfection. (Twelve and Twelve, page 90)

I've been trying the last few days, each time I feel fearful, to turn it over to God. To tell myself to stop. To get out of the negative thought stream. To think of the positive. To think and try to do what God wants me to do next. I get to do it over and over again. One can get a lot of spot checks into a day. Whooooo Hooooooo

Grateful for the fact that I'm powerless.

That in the power of sharing and writing, we change.

That I am clean and sober today.

That somehow, we change.


dAAve said...

It seems that we all experience our own path through life. For some of us, alcoholism/addiction is part of that path. No one can change that. But others can offer us suggestions about changing our lives, but in the end, we must take responsibility for our own path.
It can really be difficult watching someone else, but prayer and the spiritual priciples can get us through anything.

Anonymous said...

I think that it's awesome that you were able to share your experience,strength and hope with your son. You are both on the same journey, but in different places on that journey. The best thing we can do for someone else sometimes is to take the best care of ourselves that we can. I remember when I first got sober, all I wanted to do was focus on someone in my life that was not living-up to my expectations. Everyone kept telling "Be his Big Book, you may be the only one he ever sees", not what I wanted to hear. What they were saying is get out of his business and work your program. Be the example. I think that is what you are doing with your son. In wanting him to succeed, you are working your program more vigilantly than ever. Good post, keep up the good work, and God Bless

pat said...

I am happy for you and for your child.