I’m not a bad person—anymore

ProtuberantSomehow, somewhere, someway, I have felt that Creator has forgotten about me. While I know (in the truest part of me) this is not possible, I have still fallen prey to this mindset on more than one occasion this past month. The culmination of an ant infestation, an unnerving IRS audit, and my daughter’s change of schools has me at the cliff of lucid truth:

I am not in charge of it all.

I command only my action and my response, nothing more, but certainly nothing less.

What triggered this helix was the audit. The discomfort of having your “accounting” finely examined by an Internal Revenue Service auditor has been nothing short of horrible. The time invested in collecting, organizing, recalculating, rechecking, and re-organizing is atrocious.

The extra hours of preparation was one aspect of the project. The unexpected piece was the emotional uprising. Preparing for the audit seemed to awaken all the places I had made mistakes or cut corners. It cracked open an inventory that I thought was healed—or at least more healed.

In my case, the auditor had questions about my book and my book expenses. How humbling to tell this woman that I am sober now, that I am honest now, that I no longer take self-seeking action at every turn. Trust me, my expenses are honest, but I used to be a drunk. Deep inside my head tells me I am a liar, a thief, and a cheater.  That I would do it until I got caught. I would do it even after I got caught. The ugliness of it all. The ugliness of how I behaved.

Back to the auditor: She wants to know why so many expenses for the book. The numbers don’t support the government stats.

The government sees my occupation, my book, my blog as a hobby. The government doesn’t want to pay for my hobby. I am floored. Maybe even beyond floored. I have devoted the last six years to addicts in recovery.  Recovery isn’t a hobby and it’s certainly not my hobby. It’s a lifelong practice of going within so I can go without alcohol. Yes, I have cheated and lied, but I don’t anymore, my recovery depends upon it.

If I choose sober, I choose living in alignment with principles. It is the only way I know how to stay sober. Define my principles and live within them. Done.

But that old programming kept rearing its ugly face. In the silence I got to a point where I wasn’t even sure I believed my own words. I began to question whether or not I was any different. Maybe I am the same girl? Maybe I’ve got everyone fooled? Maybe I’ve got me fooled?

What a head trip I’ve put myself through these past weeks. I’ve had to force myself back to center. I’ve had to force myself to sit quiet with Creator and hear the truth. I’ve had to recommit myself to the new and improved version of me that I have become. There can be no waxing or waning.

That was who I was. This is who I have become. I choose to forgive and move forward. I do not need to stay stuck in the past.

Suffice to say, it has been shattered sleep and kaleidoscope dreams. I can only hope that I am breaking through some new barrier in my belief about myself, my world.

Life on life’s terms … I always manage to get through it—sober and sane. No doubt this will not disappoint.

As for Creator, I know He is here and that in some strange way I have welcomed this forth, lest it wouldn’t be here. (But it still sucks to go through it.)

For today I am sober and strong. A gift many of us would gladly welcome even with the IRS in tow.

Whatever you are facing today. Face it without altering your mind. It might hurt more today, but it will hurt a lot less tomorrow.

16 Responses to “I’m not a bad person—anymore

  • Lisa-

    Unnerving, indeed! Being able to hang on to at least the *knowledge* of Step One, at a time when all your feelings are about “the awful thing happening and the awfuller things about to happen” is actually quite a lot of strength.

    I’ve had nothing as horrific in my life this past month, but several not-quite-so-awful things. What I’ve gotten out of it is the reminder to focus on *trust.* This is not a Power Greater promising nothing awful will happen to me (because it does) but always redeeming the promise that I’ll have the resources to survive and thrive, if I stop trying to wrench control away based on how I think it should work out.

    And next, redeeming the promise that the awful thing will eventually become a gift.

    How, how anyone would apply that thinking to an IRS audit boggles MY mind. But I think if anyone can manage it, you’re the one!

    • Thanks for the supportive words. I love the line you write, “stop trying to wrench control away based on how I think it should work out.” I am again seeing that I want it to go my way, because my way is best. Guess what, maybe my way isn’t best. Maybe, just maybe, there is a better way. For today, however, I have let it go. I am prepared to work on my patience and find my peace as the process unfolds. Thanks for being a nice bright spark in my sobriety. L.

  • Well, as long as the ant problem is OK, that’s the main thing. 🙂

    • Ronnie, Have I told you lately that I love you. You couldn’t have said it any straighter. Thank goodness for friends like you. You keep me laughing and that keeps my head on straight. xox

  • Thank you for the reminder, Lisa. I really needed it today. xo

    • Thanks for the words of support. Feels good to be blogging again and not attached to other things I have no control over.

  • Oh Lisa I am sorry to hear about these things going on. I am also very glad to see you posting again.

    I haven’t gone through what you have with that audit and the almost Earth-shattering emotional reverberations that accompanied it, but I can identify with the idea that perhaps somehow I haven’t *changed* much. I know I do my best (and I know that I sometimes don’t do my best) in staying with spiritual principles, but old thoughts and habits being as persistent as they can be, I get those moments of “hell, am I just playing a character here once again?”. It’s unnerving when that happens, because it puts everything into doubt, even if it’s just for a few seconds, minutes or even longer.

    “As for Creator, I know He is here and that in some strange way I have welcomed this forth, lest it wouldn’t be here. (But it still sucks to go through it.)” – I love this, and it reminds me of a phrase “if it’s on my plate, I must have ordered it”. Not to say of course that we invite tumultuous things into our life, but there is a reason of sorts we get what we get, no matter how out-of-left field or random it may seem. Creator has it in our path for a reason. And as you say, it may suck having it, but we do get through it. And we get changed in some way.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing this honest and vulnerable piece, Lisa.

    I hope the tide has turned (and the ants are gone!) and things start to settle down.


    • Just love the thoughts in your head. I read this yesterday before my long hike with the pups and much came to my mind as I walked. I think for most of my life (sober time included) I have been asking/blaming/questioning “how” it got on my plate. This is a new concept for me to fully embrace. One I see that I have yet to grasp. I’ve spend so much time looking for the answers to my questions, so much time formulating the questions, so much time rethinking the past, that I have missed the opportunity right in front of me.

      The opportunity: Find the Peace. Find the Love. It’s the only thing that is real. I suppose I will spend my life learning and re-learning this lesson. Anyhow, deep thoughts for your very poignant words. You are a Light for my path. I thank you teacher.

      My blessings,

  • Hi Lisa,

    First, the joy I experienced in opening my email on Sunday and seeing some new wisdom from you was a wondrous thing. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, strength and hope with all of us.

    Second, I am sorry to hear of your recent struggles. This red-tape nonsense is just the kind of thing to throw an otherwise beautiful life completely off-track. I know it well, and have had more than one comparable event in my sobriety. Thank God for our program of recovery!

    Lastly, the timing of this post is, once again, serendipitous. I was out running various errands Sunday afternoon, and a feeling overtook me that brought me right back to active addiction. Even now it would be hard to describe, but I attributed it some kind of subconscious people, places, things trigger, I reminded myself that whatever is bothering me is in the past, and tried to move on. Came home, read this post, and it really resounded: whatever triggered it, I felt like I was the old me. It’s frustrating that I can’t put my finger on it, even now, but the feelings were just like the ones you so eloquently described above.

    Thank God for my program of recovery, and for friends like you who show me how to move past these teeny tiny blips in life!

    • Lovely to feel your love and support. I tell you … sometimes WP just feels like one big lonnnnnngggg meeting for me. I love and need this form of support more than I realize. I’m thinking of getting back to more posting on Sunday. I was doing better. Now I have let the busy-ness of work take me away from what is most needed—my refueling. I gain so much when I share deeply what I am feeling, especially in this forum of WP Recovery 🙂

      You are a teacher for me. You have, without doubt, shifted my perspective on trust. Thank you for always being on the other end of my thougths. Much love, love, love, Me

  • bill33034@gmail.com
    10 years ago

    I too am not in charge of anything in my life. Time to climb another mountain to get a clearer signal from my creator as to what he wants from me today

    Sent from my iPhone


  • I must not check my “other” email enough anymore. How did I almost miss this “The opportunity: Find the Peace. Find the Love. It’s the only thing that is real.”

    Lots of lugs

  • I almost used this pic for a post I wrote called “balance” you can always reconnect, we are good we often make mistakes in life, but we are good

  • Thanks for this Lisa. You last paragraph gives me hope.

    • I wish i had some great words to share. Hang in there and know you are loved avd loveable. Love is the only thing i can turn toward to carry me through. Sending love.

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