Friday, May 23, 2008

Step 3 - turning over

My blog has been mostly about my struggles with fear. I've mentioned before how fear has been a constant companion since I was a young child. Several weeks ago I went on a personal development course hope to lessen the fear in my life. Discovered that fear was still going to be "joined at the hip" with me for a while yet. What I took away was some more tools and some wonderful new friends. Embarrassingly enough, I also had this awakening that it's not just alcoholics and addicts that have problems with life, everyone does.

One of the tools that I was taught was intimacy. The definition that was used was to be open, honest and vulnerable. To risk being hurt. I was taught a new way (for me) to communicate. An important element being to check in with the person I am being intimate with. I have discovered that I am a terrible mind reader, and that by asking the person if what I am perceiving is true, will yield in a much deeper understanding of each other.

I have gone through some difficult times at work and at home since returning from this course. My usual reaction to fear is to withdraw, move from a position of vulnerability to being closed and try to find some way of power. Either anger or control. This usually results in people getting hurt. Staying with the fear, being open and honest about it, sharing with my partner the fears I feel, has resulted in a growing relationship with my partner. The understanding we are developing of each other is strengthening our commitment to each other.

I've been asked several time to just trust the process. So far the process is changing me. So cool.

I noticed something at an AA meeting Wednesday night. We were opening by reading the first part of Chapter 5 in the big book. The chapter titled "How It Works" Here are some sentence fragments:

"... Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program ... "

" With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely."

"Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon."

"The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines."

"1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable."

"3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."
When I choose to stop trusting that only I had all the good ideas, my life started to change. Listening to the hope and experience of others is life changing. Working the steps of Alchoholics Anonymous has set me free from the chains of addiction. Continuing to work the steps, working with others, will keep me free and help set others free.

And as for fear, like my sponsor says, "Time takes time."


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

It's amazing how much it does for me and for my relationships when I'm able to admit that I'm scared. I'm not always able to do it -- it's hard sometimes to even recognize when I'm there, to separate fear from anger or stress or pain -- but when I can, it helps.

Bonnie said...

Thank you so much for this blog. It is always helpful every time I read it.

indistinct said...

Thank you, bonnie, for reading. Writing my stuff out helps, as well as reading what others hope and experience.