Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ridge Walking

Lately, I feel like I'm walking along a high ridge with steep banks falling away on either side of me. There are times I fall off that ridge and have to climb back up to my trail along the top of it. If I fall down one face, I find myself in a place where I am judging others, hard on people, blaming people, accusing them of being the source of my discomfort. I know I'm not to be there so I scramble out, throwing myself to the top and immediately fall down the other side. On that side, I'm busy judging myself, beating myself up for not conquering my own character defects. That I should be better than I am.

There is no serenity if I fall off the trail. If I'm down the bank, I can find no compassion, no acceptance, no hope, no caring, no patience. Judging by how bruised my soul feels these days, I'm spending a lot of time tumbling down either side of the ridge. I am tired of this constant battle with myself.

On this part of my journey, I need to use my walking sticks. Reminding myself that I live my life "one day at a time" takes away a lot of the darkness of the unknowable future. Sharing with others what my Higher Power has done, how my life has changed so much for the better than when I used to drown out all this pain in bottles of red wine. Being of service, having conversations around the sink after a meeting, spending time with sponsee's, speaking with new comers. Talking with my sponsor. Trying to change my "me" to "we."

Walks with my partner, playing with my grandsons, visiting with our children, being open to family are other great gifts that come my way when I stay on this journey of recovery.

I annoyed someone at a meeting a couple of days ago. After my share, on the topic of "what it's like now" where I was open and honest about what has been going on the last couple of months, the next person jumped in with lots of cross talk saying it just doesn't have to be that way. That I am choosing to be this way.

Perhaps he was right, I don't know. I know that it gave me lots of grist to keep the mill of self flagellation going. All I know today is that if I am not open and honest about what is going on in my life, I will eventually go back and drink. I want to live in the sunshine, where everything is exposed. No secrets.

This passage from Bill W's essay "Love, The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety" rings within me, gives me hope that others have traveled this path before me and made it through.

Since AA began, I've taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually. My God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover finally, that all along we have had the cart before the horse! Then comes the final agony of seeing how awfully wrong we have been, but still finding ourselves unable to get off the emotional merry-go-round.

In God's hands and in God's time.

Photo Credit: Dru


Lou said...

I love reading tidbits like "use my walking sticks" on a blog. Never would have thought of that on my own!
It's a great community of sharing/learning. As always, I enjoyed your well written post.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

So many things that I feel also, the judgmental issues, no compassion for myself, great honest writing. I guess for me as of late it has come down to staying in the absolute present moment as much as possible. When I catch myself being judgmental or hard on others or myself, I just bring myself right back to the very present, whether it be as simple as feeling the water on me as I take a shower, feeling the soap and just really being in the moment. It really works, when we catch ourselves that is. I hope you have a peaceful loving day, and thank you for sharing with such emotion.

Findon said...

It's sometimes a bumpy road for me. At the time I have no idea why it is like that, but the answer does come eventually and I always learn from it. Then the road becomes smooth again.