I’ve written before about feelings. For so much of my life, even before my active addiction, I haven’t done well at understanding, sensing and managing my feelings. Throw in years of addiction where I used alcohol and drugs to run away and numb myself, and I know that one of my biggest growth areas is to learn how to experience what’s going on, name the feelings, and process them so they don’t bite me in the ass! And it’s more deadly than that…before they catch me off guard and I relapse. Or, if I stay in my head too long and don’t either talk with another person in recovery or get out of my head, then I’ll end up in the same place…relapse. Play with fire, and you get burned. One of these days, if I’m not more vigilant and use the tools I’ve learned, I’ll get burned. This ain’t Boy Scout Camp — this is real shit. People go out, and most don’t come back. People die. It’s that simple.
I now realize that this week, I had several conversations or interactions that brought shit up from the past. The specifics aren’t that relevant. The point is I held onto them – even subconsciously. I didn’t take time after things came up and pray, turning them over to my Higher Power. So the simmering anger grew… resentment started to build. I took my eye off what I could control – what I’m responsible for – and started taking other people’s inventory. I dwelt too long in the past or worried about the future.
Recovery 101. Don’t.
Live in the present. Talk to people in recovery or my sponsor on a daily basis about what’s going on – even the little stuff…cause it’s the little shit that catches me off guard. The job losses, deaths, etc. I realize I can handle. But throw in a couple hidden resentments, let them fester for awhile, mix ’em up with a little hunger or loneliness…recipe for relapse. Straight from Betty Crocker.
And I came damn close last night.
And then, I went into auto-pilot today, working in the yard. I processed some of the shit that was surfacing while I weeded…stayed in my head…and surprise, 8 hours later, on the way home from a meeting talking to my sponsor, I fell apart. I was in tears, angry at him and the world, overwhelmed just for a moment with where I was, angry at myself and the past, for what had happened. I was a mess.
I realize now I had cut off contact with my Higher Power. I let my head – my rationalization – my control of the replay / jog dial on the recorder of my life – mess with my mind and get in the way of letting go. Simple put, my ego got in the way. CT tried to take control and play out how things coulda / shoulda happened. And look where it got me!
Fortunately, my sponsor has been there…is patient…let me vent…then gently put me back in my place. He reminded me of perspective – the bigger picture. He reminded me to stay in today, to turn things over. To let go.
And I got back where I needed to be. A little more humble. Just for today.
It was 24 hours from when I almost stumbled and went out playing with fire to when I finally processed all this with another person in recovery. That’s about 23 hours and 59 minutes too long.
This time, I made it through. But next I may not.
This is real.
Play with fire, you die.
It’s that simple.
Now, easy does it…progress, not perfection…lay my head down and be thankful for what I’ve got.