Posted by: innerpilgrimage | December 17, 2010

I Think I Am Having a Pretty Good Day in Recovery

Holiday Eating Season Countdown: 16 Days
Countdown to Christmas: 8 days

      I am having a pretty good day in recovery so far. My cold is still hanging on (damn that freaking nico-ddiction!), but I hoe by this time next year I will have found a meeting which I can get to so I can deal with the trifecta.

      Even sitting in meeting at Nic-Anon would be Even sitting in meeting at Nic-Anon would be better than facing off with a potential bronchitis diagnosis in 2011. In my twenties, when I smoked all the time (a half-pack per day to a whole pack per day as opposed to 1/4 pack per day, which is what I do now), I had bronchitis or walking pneumonia yearly. Seriously. If I had not been born when I was, I would be dead by now of my stupid addictions. So I am very thankful to have had modern medicine so I could get to a place in my life when I can work my addictions out using a program that works for me. Personally, I am not worried that the founders of the program weren’t saints. They were experimenting with trying to find a cure for alcoholism. I’m not even sure they realized anything about cross-addiction, though three generations later, we are entirely aware of it. I mean, in the Big Book, they sort-of encourage food addiction to keep one out of alcoholic trouble (the candy by the bedside table).
      I think that by taking the core program and applying the most basic parts of it as it applies to me have made all the difference in the world. While I still bristle at the use of Him and He and the Thee/Thy/Thou stuff, that’s something I appreciate being able to work through program. After all, when G-d became The Father–a punitive and mean-spirited deity who would toss me into Hell if I made a mistake–It became just like the people in my life who had power over me. I was sorry for screwing up, but I could not stop. I didn’t fail G-d, nor did G-d fail me. The visions of other people got in the way because it was supposed to be G-d’s word. But it came down through imperfect people, just like the 12-Step program came down through addicts. People lay their human rules down to keep society as polite as possible then use G-d as the hammer. I mean, I never grokkked how the whole “Thou Shalt Not Kill” commandment worked with the times that G-d was on the side of the victors of wars. And how the beloved people of the texts had human failings yet were still beloved yet I could not be.
      This doesn’t mean religion cannot be the framework for a beautiful path of faith. I think religion works well for some, as long as they step outside the boundaries of the writers long enough to have a personal relationship with G-d. The message is good; the manifestation of the message just sometimes gets muddled by the messengers. Ugh, and don’t get me started on the whole Devil thing. If G-d is all powerful, all knowing, and all-loving, then how can the Devil even exist? I mean, that’s pretty freaking sadistic of G-d to choose to put a vicious manifestation in the path of people so we can prove ourselves worthy.
      That was my freaking childhood and most of my adulthood–the obsessive need to prove myself worthy so I get the cash-n-prizes of approval from G-d, itself. Or, if G-d decides to be vindictive, I get tossed in the Lake of Fire anyway. That version of G-d? Is a total douchebag which is not all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. I mean, causing people such amounts of pain to be tortured by a fallen angel is really a jerky thing to do, and it allows people to not take responsibility for themselves by excusing their behavior as being done by Lucifer.
      Now, some people take the beauty of faith and don’t worry about Lucifer because they’re enjoying their closeness with a loving, forgiving G-d–what I consider true faith. I can grok the free-will concept, where I can choose a peaceful life or I can choose a life of addict Hell on earth. I can even understand taking on the aspects of faith, hope, and charity and make them part of me because they align with my natural self. But being in a tug-of-war for my soul? That’s just . . . weird.
      Too human. My Higher Power isn’t even remotely human (it has no will for me, because will is a human condition). It is beyond comprehension (as an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving deity should be). And only I can know if what I am doing goes against my natural self because I feel out of alignment with reality. I feel like I am trying to escape or I am trying to control reality. Well, that ain’t happening while I am still getting up in the morning to tread the Earth yet one more day. And while I’m here, I might as well make the effort to stop making myself miserable by realigning my life to what brings me serenity and self-knowledge and a willpower I never thought I could possess. Wherever that “Deeper Love” (Thanks Aretha!) comes from? Should not matter to anyone else. I call it my Higher Power, and if it bothers people that I do, then it does.
      I can still smile at you in the grocery store, greet you politely and wish you a good day, hold doors, and offer help. Does it matter that I considered it sourced from the Universe? Does how I express the ability to eat sanely, act decently, and grow as a human being change as soon as I mention that I have a Higher Power? If so, why? I am serious. Why does it matter to anyone but me? I’m not trying to convert anyone into 12-Step programs. I’m just saying that I feel fortunate that I found something that seems to work for me, and–just like I have with religious texts–I have discarded many of the messengers’ ego-driven text in order to get to the core of the process. I have the program, even if I don’t follow the book slavishly and treat it like a religious text–the only path to salvation as long as I worship each word.
      Heh. So much for my day in recovery. But it’s okay. Judgmentalism and condemnation are character defects I get to work on this lifetime. Never said I was a saint as soon as I “found program”. I just found free will in the program–the ability to choose to grow as a human being or to avoid responsibility for my life. To face reality (good and bad) or to completely freak out because “li-i-i-ife isn’t fa-a-a-a-a-air!” (ie., not unfair to my benefit). Life isn’t supposed to be fair or unfair. Life is life. Fairness is a filter we apply on it in order to decide if the outcome is favorable for us. It is, in essence, a judgment and condemnation (since people rarely complain when the outcome is favorable to them). And deciding fairness is not only trying to take control of something I have no business trying to control (making me G-d in my own estimation), it also places restrictions on reality as it is. I can’t notice the small miracles in my life if I’m navel-gazing. Got to keep my eyes open and looking around, right? I’ve stared at my belly button long enough. I know what it looks like, already.
      Heh. Maybe that is recovery, after all. I am imperfect. I still judge people, places, and situations . . . but I am aware I am. That awareness that I don’t like that I do that because it keeps me in my head instead of in reality means that I will work it in recovery. I expect it will take time to untangle those knots in my psyche. I have hope, however, that some day I will be less judgmental over the day. Discerning of what I want to bring in my life and am ready to work toward, yes. Judgmentally condemning of reality, not so much.
     
      My name is Jess, I am a food, approval, and nicotine addict, and I realize I can’t get to my morning OA meeting because I’ve been journaling. I ought to call my sponsor right now, to let her know I will be missing it. I have other things to do today, which is okay, too. I enjoyed writing, and that was good. Responsibility for choices. That’s what it’s all about for me.

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