A lesson I regularly visit in recovery

line in sandIt’s just not enough to “want to change.”

Want.

It’s a word that leaves me hanging for more. It’s a perpetual state of never having—just longing.

All my positive affirmations and wanting, as of late, have only produced more wanting and more longing.

On the tail end of all that effort I am left with the unfairness of it all, and then, anger at the unfairness.

It seems so stupid and (ultimately) so perfect because it looks ridiculous once I type it.

This is a lesson I regularly visit in recovery.

What lesson? The lesson of being a casualty to my circumstances and the inability to change because I say, “I want life to change.”

When I stopped drinking somehow it became clear that I didn’t know, that I didn’t know, that I didn’t know, that I didn’t know, that I didn’t know, that I didn’t know, how bad it had all become.

I really, really, really, really, really thought it was a little bad. Just a little. A little wine problem.

Geez.

Recovery has been infinitely more startling than the drinking years. Drinking amazement was always about “last night.” This amazement is about my ability to step into my life—or not.

I’m the CEO of my life. (Read that on FaceBook today.) I continue to forget this. Truly—On a regular basis.

I have been working on a “Sober Identity” project (“recovery—Simplifed” or “recovery—Seized” coaching video/workbook) for the full year and it still scares me to step into the fullness of my passion and purpose in recovery—in life.

Almost all who know me understand my compassion, not only for those in recovery, but humanity as a whole. I care, I really care, about others, but at times to my own detriment and theirs as well.

I want to say, “Take f**ing responsibility. Take the bull by the horns. Get it done. No excuses.” And all that great stuff. Now it’s time to heed my own words. It’s so hard to call myself on myself. I just don’t see, that I don’t see, that I don’t see.

It’s like I have to feel—deeply feel—the pain of my choices. And I don’t like what I am feeling. I have myself overly committed in every arena in my life. Seems when one thing feels semi-complete I grab hold of another project … All while staying small.

I stay small by not asking for help. I stay small by not expecting others to rise to their accountability.

There is, secretly, a part of me that has become complacent and content with smallness, all while complaining about the lack of bigness. I realized this week that I will be where I am, until I make a quantum move. I hate quantum moves.

I’m scared of failing. That’s the bottom line. And this is why I relate so much to my early sobriety with these thoughts. Why try again if I know I’m going to fail?

But you know what I’m recognizing while I type this? It’s not about the success or failure. It’s about my willingness to try again, in earnest, to achieve and mature from mistakes that show up.

Be willing to grow. Don’t quit on me.

How many times have I read this? How many times have I said this?

Stop wanting to change and make the change. Step into today and draw the line. Don’t cross it. Set the boundary for me.

Be willing to say that I see, that I see, that I see.

I don’t control it all. I control me.

Do I like how I’m being?

Up until a few seconds ago the answer was “no.”

Today I will be change.

Really, really, really. Be change.

13 Responses to “A lesson I regularly visit in recovery

  • One of our Wise Elders occasionally points out that the title of the Chapter in the Big Book is “Into Action,” not “Into Planning” or “Into Wishing” or “Into Contemplation.”

    What I’ve learned from learning is just this: Repeating a cycle may seem like a drag or a plateau or even a failure, but what it really is, is *integration.*

    First, we learn.

    Then, we integrate that learning. We integrate it by trying and failing. We integrate it by forgetting about it and then rediscovering it. By challenging it. By testing its boundaries. By seeing what happens the second, third, and forty-third times we learn it again.

    Without integration, learning is merely knowledge.

    It doesn’t become wisdom until it is integrated. A lifelong process.

    • Thanks darlin’ … It still amazes me how much there is to learn and learn and learn. I keep growing. The alternative looks rather false. xox

  • “I have myself overly committed in every arena in my life. Seems when one thing feels semi-complete I grab hold of another project …”

    And therein lies the problem.

  • “There is, secretly, a part of me that has become complacent and content with smallness, all while complaining about the lack of bigness.”

    Holy Crap, Lisa…reading my mind again?!! I can SO relate and you put it into words beautifully. Thank you for that. Ironically I just finished my post for the week and it has a similar theme.

    We are sisters.

    • I just read your post over at Catlin Wellness Yes, we are on the same page. After a long run last night, I woke up this morning wondering what life was all about. Really!!! We are heading for our annual Colorado River Camp Trip on Thursday and I think I am in need of super quiet time with God. Time to get my priorities organized. And by priorities, I am referring to my mind. Thanks, as always, for the love. Lisa

  • Wow..there you go again. Great stuff.

  • karenboddey
    4 years ago

    Great stuff. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Thanks for sharing that thought. It’s all we all want … to connect and feel the connection returned. Blessings, Lisa

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: