I have a tendency to “lose myself” in other people, places, things. I’ve lost my voice in relationships, lost my identity as a human being to my work, lost my pain in addiction. This past week, I’ve caught myself drifting back into some of these patterns — over investing in some work related efforts or fantasizing about romance, dating. The dangerous part is in getting caught up in all of this, I was losing my focus on recovery. I got *very* short-tempered and lashed out at a couple people on Tuesday. As I reflected on things, I realize I’ve been going to recovery meetings a lot, but not doing much work beyond that. I have been skipping time to meditate, read devotionals all in the name of getting things done.
I was sharing this with my therapist this morning because he has been helping me see how unhealthy this tendency to lose myself continues to be. I asked him “Why?” I wanted to know why this happens. I wanted to understand.
His reply: “Why?” is not the right question!
When I asked, what is the right question…he hesitated and said, “Well, there isn’t really a right question. Instead, I suggest you focus on how your powerless over this. You can’t understand – you’re not God.”
I’m learning in teachable moments like this to stop – listen – and absorb the lesson. It’s a hard habit for me to break. I’ve always prided myself on my thirst for knowledge, for understanding. I’m smart – it’s what I do. But, my best thinking got me here as they say in the rooms! And my attempts to understand my co-dependency, or how to grieve, or why I do certain things — are really masked attempts to control…to “play God.”
So what do I need to do differently?
Let go. Admit I’m powerless. “Work the 12 steps” on…[insert my intellectual attempt to disconnect from who I am.]
That is the point.
This is about growing up. At 42.
This is about finding a sense of self – rediscovering who I am.
How? I don’t know.
But I’m learning to listen – to remain open and willing – to be honest with myself and others – and to admit I’m powerless.