The world is a very scary place right now. This Covid-19 pandemic is absolutely scary and making life very difficult. It’s been a while since I used this as a tool in my recovery arsenal and boy have I noticed it. All of our meeting places are shut down so there are no in person AA meetings occurring right now. This is very scary for someone like me. Even when I travel I make sure that I can locate meetings. So for me to not be able to get to one when I want to, never mind when I might NEED to get there….holy SHIT! Scary stuff. But I feel that more than ever I need to remember that I have been given the gift of a set of tools and strategies to get me through difficult times. I can call my sponsor, I can call friends in the program; they are always willing to talk and help if needed. We have moved to doing some meetings online through a program/service called Zoom. It’s really a life saver right now. We can get up to 80 people into a meeting and have everyone share how they are doing. It’s certainly doing the job in a pinch.
Author: Brendan L
It seems that everyone right now is on edge with the holiday season. I know that I am not alone in having a difficult time regulating my inner monologue and emotions during this season. But I am certainly not alone with that problem. I am fortunate that I have a program of recovery that allows me to recognize this problem thinking and to get it out of my system before it causes me to spiral. I have a friend right now that is on this downward spiral and it is really super frustrating to watch. Less than one week ago she was riding on top of the great pink cloud and was very optimistic that she was starting to see some of the benefits of recovery. She is now starting to isolate and head down the same road I have seen her go own for a while now. She has this habit of letting something disrupt her serenity and then it starts to build and left unchecked it causes the spiral. Once she shuts down it usually ends with her going out. I know exactly how to help her, but the problem is that she has to want the help. I cannot and will not go and beat anyone over the head with the recovery stick. That does neither of us any good.
I am feeling a little restless lately. I don’t know if it’s because I am getting over a cold and I feel rundown. Or because I was so busy at work over the last two weeks and i am feeling rundown. But it’s been a frustrating time at home. And all of this is sort of piling on and I’m not sure what I am feeling about it. Restless might best define it. My wife has been bringing up the subject of kids again. She seems to suddenly think that now is a good time to have the discussion about family. Even though she still maintains an attitude that she doesn’t trust me, that she is angry with me, and that we still don’t have a physical relationship. She tells me that she is afraid to “get hurt” again and I have no clue how to navigate this. I can’t really turn to the people that i know in recovery because not everyone has been through this. I don’t know who to begin asking these questions. How long do I endure this state of limbo in our marriage? If we are done, how do I make that separation? What’s my motivation for staying?
Holy fuck I am shook! I had a terrible string of dreams that I was back into drinking and hiding it from everyone. In this particular dream I was at the Men’s Meeting in Barrie and then I went down to the local LCBO to “pick up something for my wife”. While I was in the store I kept seeing friends from the rooms of AA in there. There was a strong feeling of guilt washing over me, which is normal for this guy in the few times that these dreams have happened. I remember buying the biggest bottle of vodka that I could find and trying to hide it. At some point in the dream I lost track of the 40 of vodka that I had purchased. Now the funny thing about this is that this scenario played out in real life once. I lost a bottle in the house and could not find it for the life of me. But my wife found it, and put it at the foot of the bed for me to see when I woke up. One of the things I recall in the dream that is making me pause is that my Mom was involved. She could see what was going on and was crying and upset, and this bothered me more than I thought it would. So long story short this day is not starting off on the best footing. Thank God I have a program that I can use to unload these feelings. Give it away and let my higher power take over.
So I am slowly working my way through these steps. I am have done a first pass through my 4th and 5th steps. I believe that I have done them to the best of my ability. I sat with my sponsor on a few occasions and went through the stuff that I wrote down. It did not go exactly like I thought that it would. I expected to have to go through the thing line by line and have a long discussion about it all. It was more of a discussion about the “nature” of my wrongs. I guess this is not necessarily a confession of my crimes as much as it’s a sharing a list of the ways in which I think. It’s an interesting way of looking at it.
When I was in treatment I shared something with my roommate that I had never told anyone. It was something that was eating my up for a very long time. The relief that I felt from getting that out was fucking incredible. I attribute my success in staying sober to that moment. I also realize that over time I have begun sharing the greasier parts of myself with my sponsor. So some of my shit isn’t really a surprise to him. I always forget that He is in the rooms for the same reason as I am and in all likelihood he has done most of the same shit that I have.
So moving forward my next job is to begin to unpack my laundry list of defects and begin to process how I developed them. I have to learn how these things are making be behave. Often times my actions, thoughts and words are a direct result of these defects. (who am I kidding, it’s all the time) The goal is to be able to understand my emotions before I react to something in an inappropriate manner. I have to remember intelect over emotions. So I think that I am going to be getting back to writing here as I work my way through this stuff.
I am capable, worthwhile and loveable.
axx been on vacation for a week now. I’m very ready to get back to reality.
I am finally getting into some step work. I sat with Keith last week and we went through a little bit of a 5th step. I have had stuff written out for almost a year now. I don’t quite know why I am sitting on it but it’s time for me to progress through some more steps. A few of the tings I have learned about myself are quite shocking. Number one is that I am a really angry person. WTF?
I had no idea and if you had asked me about it I would have said that anger is not someting I have ever had in my heart. But after reading a book called “Enemies of the Heart” I have come to realize that I have a serious problem with anger.
I also have learned that I am a very dishonest person and that I have a tendency to tell a lie when the truth would serve me better. I used to think that I consistently lived on the moral high ground compared to so many people. Holy shit was I ever wrong about that. I am truly self-centered, selfish and dishonest. I would often be better off telling people exactly what I am thinking when it comes up. Because when I don’t it seems like I get into a position of being angry and then building resentments.
I am still working on this stuff and still writing stuff down. But I hope to meet with Keith again and see what else comes up. So more to follow on this.
I am capable, worthwhile and lovable.