Thursday, October 30, 2008

Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

" ... and when you pray, don't ask for anything" were the instructions from a military truck driver given to me while I was in treatment (full story in "Why the hands?"). I understand today, that turning my will and life over to God's care is not about what I want. I went to treatment to get my life back, to find some measure of sanity so I wouldn't have to drink or porn. I wanted to learn to live life. After I did my step 3 prayer at the treatment centre, something unfolded in my mind. As Bill W. puts it, I began to walk in the sunshine. Somehow I became more open, more receptive, to others. Less me, more of others, more room for my Higher Power.

In the context of today, what is going on in my life, it gets more confusing. In sobriety, I am going to meetings, working with a couple of sponsees, involved in a committee, have a service position in my home group and occasionally (not nearly enough) speak with my sponsor. When I see it written down, I wanna say "Wow, I'm doing all that through all the fears I carry? Way to go" But I also do it for selfish reasons, I know it will help keep me sober and clean. It is the right thing to do, I believe that is part of my Higher Power's will for my life. Just following direction.

On another level, I am really struggling with self-acceptance. I've been pissin' and moanin' for the past few weeks about me and who I am. Not liking me, not being the person I want to be. I don't exhude enought self-confidence. I am to fearful. I am to sad. All the stuff I've struggled with my whole life, the stuff that drinking and porning masked, the shitty parts.

I turn my will and life over to God's care. That would preclude grabbing wrenchs and hammers and getting into my mind, trying to change me. I can work a 12 step program as hard as I can but if I'm full of self-pity because I can't change my core, can't acknowledge my powerlessness over my characteristics, can't accept myself just as I am, then I well eventually relapse. The sense of self-pity will continue to drown me in ultimate selfishness.

Even this drive to perfectionism, which a few of you have mentioned, seems to be a part of my core. Something I can't find the switch to turn off.

I made a decision to turn my will and life over to God's care. When I work steps 6 and 7, I do the same thing with my character defects. They are in God's care. I believe that when it becomes painful enough, I'll start to change. In the mean time I am powerless and I need to accept that.

Photo Credit: photographer padawan


recoveryroad said...

The drive to perfection(ism) can be managed, IME. I know the frustration of it when it runs loose.

Wonderful pics below. Thanks for sharing them.

Have a good and sober day.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your unabashed transparency, Hank. You so often inspire me. Don't be so hard on yourself. You do the best that you can, just like the rest of us, and your best has to be good enough. {{{Hugs}}} From one perfectionist to another, it's just not worth the internal ass whipping!!

Shadow said...

yeah, for me i guess the hardest part is letting go and just accepting...

Fractalmom said...

hang in there bud. and don't be afraid of the hopelessness(that's not the right word. the fear to love). that's something we learn to adapt to. it's a survival mechanism, and quite necessary.

Anonymous said...

A couple of things:

Do you attend Alanon and AA? I know many people that do for this very reason.

Also cognitive therapy is very helpful with fears and sadness. This is something you can do yourself. Catch yourself having a fearful or sad thought and reverse it in your mind. Our thoughts create a pattern in our brain, like a path through the woods. This makes it easier for us to have the same negatives thoughts over and over again. Cognitive therapy can reverse that with practice. (A great book for this is Feeling Good by David Burns)