|Embrace the power of words. It works.|
Yesterday, I was talking to my sponsor, and I had my big pad of paper that is fast becoming my external thought processor – I make notes, doodle my understanding and translate words into concepts on it. It’s a great tool. You should try it, sometime. Go on…you KNOW you want to, and everyone else is doing it, and you’re not cool if you don’t…
Hah! The old lingo, it slips in so easily. Just like a relapse might, if you’re complacent, if you’re not constantly on your guard. I am approaching my six months’ clean mark, and it is all the more poignant because a fellow recovering addict at my Stellenbosch meetings relapsed the week before last, just days before his six months’ mark. He had to start counting all over again, has undone all that hard work, broken the trust all over again, and gone far beyond the rock-bottom he was at when he took the first step, and asked for help, because this time, he really should have known better. I know. I was there, in April. I felt his pain, as I sat next to him in that meeting. It was my pain. It was my failure, all over again.
He told me that he didn’t even enjoy the drugs, he just felt the overwhelming guilt. It hit home so hard, because when I don’t go to meetings, or when I get cocksure and arrogant about my achievements, the thoughts creep in that “maybe just one won’t hurt” and “nobody will know if I do just one”… I have those thoughts, and often. More often than I am comfortable in admitting, because outwardly I have it all under control. Outwardly I seem to have beaten this thing, but in reality, that’s not quite true. I have a long way to go. And I will beat it. Oh yes. I am becoming stronger, I am becoming more aware of the triggers, and the pitfalls, I know my duties and responsibilities, I recognise my supporters and the people who depend on my recovery and I accept the challenge. It is hard, but it is worthwhile.
So yesterday, I was talking to my sponsor, about how I am stagnating, in step four, because it hurts like a motherfucker, and every time I think of what I have to do, it hurts so much, I shake me head – an involuntary tic to shake the shame and regret from my mind. I have done a lot of bad things, to a lot of people, and I have let them do a lot of bad things to me. But talking it out yesterday, I also know I am stagnating by choice – because I know what I have to do to progress, to heal, to make amends, to myself, and to my world, to carry on living, and learning, and growing.
I am coming back to myself, coming back to life and I had this realisation, as I sat and talked and doodled on my drawing pad: the difference between me, then, and me, now, is that then I was selfish, and it was all about me, and now, I try to be selfless, and I know it’s all up to me.
Subtle semantics. Big difference.
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