Monday, October 26, 2009

Just wondering

In the journey of my life, I had attempted to stop drinking, to stop porning, many times. Earnest prayer, vows to God, promises to loved ones, applying will power, powerful resolve, really wanting to, they all failed. I relapsed, over and over again. The periods of sobriety might have been 2 hours, it might have been two months, but I would fall into the ditch of shame again. Until I went to treatment and was introduced to the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. For some reason, at this time, the obsession to drink and to porn was lifted. Taking those steps saved my life, walking those steps keeps me alive. Step work, service work, and unity. Being united with you.

I had struggled all summer with self-pity and anger. I could not shake it, could not pretend it did not exist. Until that day when I was reading Best of Bill while sitting on a beach and saw all my emotional dependencies, saw how crippling they are, and prayed to be free of them. And I was, the burden of sadness was lifted. The sun was shining upon my path and I felt that glorious freedom. I thought I had found the answer.

And then last week happened. There I was, feeling like I was sitting in the pig pen, mud a foot thick, full of you know what, and pissing down rain. Feeling desperately hopeless. This business of trying to be free of emotions, of thinking that my life will be better when I am free of the messy emotions, emotions I don't want to share with anyone, wanting to keep them locked up and safe, the ones that keep breaking out of that box, the ones who's name tags keeping falling off. They just keep on coming back. Unwanted guests that keep showing up at the meeting.

Breaking the grip of the emotions by just talking about it. With my sponser, with my spouse, with my friends, with my group.

I keep looking for a member of AA who is going to tell me that, "Yes, damn it, it happened. Just like the obsession to drink was lifted, the emotional cycle was broken. I am serene, all the time." So far, nope. What I do hear is advice around using the steps to deal with the outfall of our emotions, that in time it does get better but never perfect, that it's in God's hands, that acceptance is key.

Time takes time.

A question for you. Is the desire for a career change something like wanting to do a geographical? If I force the issue, am I going to find myself with the same issues with a different employer? How do I trust my own motives when it comes to a career change that will affect my family? I guess what it really boils down to is how do I trust my own motives?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: AF Photography


An Irish Friend of Bill said...

re change of job. it depends
i can tell whats best for sponsees re jobs. some should stay in the same. some should move. it just depends.
you are welcome to skype me if u want some feedack. use my email address listed on profile..

Syd said...

I can only share what I once felt--that a change of employers would change me. But I found I took myself with me where ever I went. I came to terms with all of this through Al-Anon and working the steps. In Steps Four and Five, I got at the heart of what was eating me up with resentments, fear, and other issues. It's the inventory that I needed, not the change of scenery.

Lou said...

Hank, I like my job. I feel I contribute something worthwhile, I feel respected and reasonably compensated. I don't jump up every morning raring to go, but actually do most days.

If you don't feel any (or only negative) emotions, a career change is in order. I would hope your family understands and supports you if you are unhappy in a place where you spend so much of your life.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

hey hope alls well over in your neck of the woods :)
keep on keepin on..

thought you might like this :)

The best scholar is the one who realises the meaning of non-self
The best practitioner is one who has tamed their own mind
The best quality is a great desire to benefit others
The best instruction is to always watch the mind
The best remedy is to know that nothing has any inherent reality
The best way of life is one that does not fit with worldly ways
The best accomplishment is a steady lessening of negative emotions
The best sign is a steady decrease of desires
The best generosity is non-attachment
The best discipline is a peaceful mind
The best patience is to take the lowest place
The best diligence is to give up activities
The best concentration is to not alter the mind
The best wisdom is not to grasp at anything at all

Atisha – 982 – 1054 ce
The Indian scholar from the university of Vikramashila who spent the last ten years of his life in Tibet, where his teachings emphasized the basic practices of taking refuge and training the mind in love & compassion.