I've been struggling for the last few days. When I entered recovery, I naively thought that all mistakes that I made in the past would suddenly disappear. I forgot all about some of the things that I'd done and somewhere deep inside of me, I believed that others would, too. This week, I was reminded of one of the choices that I made while I was active in my addiction. It wasn't all that serious, but it had the possibility to have unpleasant consequences to it and I've been petrified by fear ever since it was brought to light.
When I did my second step, I was asked to make a list of twelve characteristics that my Higher Power embodied, write them on a small card and keep it in my wallet. When the going got to be tough, I was instructed to pull out the card and ask myself which of the characteristics would allow my HP to solve the problem. So, I got the card out and looked at it: all-loving, all-knowing, all-caring, all-powerful, always present, within everything, non-judgmental, merciful, understanding, empathetic, only good and infinite. Which one of these traits would help to get me past this obstacle to my serenity? It's pretty easy to pick out a few that would alleviate any problem, much less the one that I was facing now. But, I have a difficult time living on faith and just getting out of the way. I held on for dear life.
Turning it over takes practice to make it work. It's not a skill that I can perfect overnight, if at all. No less, I wasn't even willing to turn loose, so I suffered for it. I found myself not even wanting to get out of the bed in the morning. It was so easy to just sleep in, pulling the covers over my head just like an ostrich would when trouble came around. In my addiction, the best problems were the ones that I forgot about or just ignored. Eventually, they went away or became such a crisis that I had no choice but to face them. Here I was again, trying to use one of those old coping methods that I had before I was in recovery. Some habits die hard, I guess.
Only then, I asked for help and I was finally able to let go. It took me a few days to get over the fear that paralyzed me, but slowly, I began to get back into my daily routine. I shared my situation with my sponsor and support group, and I began to pray for more willingness. Suddenly, I started feeling better. While I'm not sure what will happen, I am now at peace with whatever the outcome may turn out to be, whether good or bad. I'm sure that my decision will be a little easier next time. I now realize the truth to the saying that pain is inevitable, but suffering is entirely optional. It's a choice, and next time, I hope that I'll move from the problem into the solution a little quicker. I am proof positive that pain is the touchstone of all of my progress and that it often takes a rude awakening to bring on a spiritual awakening.