31 Days and Counting

marilyn 1

“Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” – Marilyn Monroe

Step 1: I admitted that I was powerless over alcohol that my life had become unmanageable.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood Him.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.

Ay, there’s the rub, catch, or whatever you want to call it. The searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. It’s not easy for a procrastinator like me to park my ass in a chair for a couple of hours and list all of my resentments.  My flaws. Wrongs that I cannot right. Pieces of my past I gloss over. Only to bring them up again so someone can point out how fucked up I am. It’s unnerving and it makes angry. It’s why I gave up going to AA the last time I got sober. I became what you’d call a dry drunk. I didn’t drink, but I didn’t do the work to stay sober either.

31 days ago I’d had enough. I bought a Big Book and began reading it. I even got a sponsor. Of course being the pig headed woman I am, I tried to move ahead and do some of the other steps before completing Step 4. Super Sponsor called me a cowboy and told me to do the program by myself if I was so damn smart. Thing is, I’m not smart. I’m frightened beyond belief. When I finally admitted that to myself, the work began.

My sponsor told me to remember that I wasn’t writing prose. I’m a writer though, and it’s what I wanted to do. I wrote my list in a way that maybe someday my words could be used as a soliloquy if I ever got to do a big Share at an Open AA meeting. Of course I look at the sentence I just typed and laugh at my arrogance. That’s not what Step 4 is about. It’s about letting go of resentment and all that other junk that weighs us down.

Last night I sat at the kitchen table and completed parts I and II of Step 4.  With all the courage I could muster, I texted my sponsor and told him I was finished. His response, only three little letters, ‘ILY’. It made my night to know that he was still in my corner. Still cheering me on.

There’s more work to be completed, but I’m closer than I was two days ago. I’ve been sober for 31 days. I’m not going through withdrawal anymore. I can sleep through the night without having horrific cravings and nightmares. I don’t want to beat the shit out of everyone I come in contact with. I’m generally a happy person to be around again. I’m snarky, sarcastic, fun loving, a smart ass, sparkly, and basically a raving lunatic. So yeah, I’m pretty much back to normal.

What I find most difficult to do at the moment is find my muse. She or he is hiding in plain sight I’m sure. Pray, keep your fingers crossed, dance naked in the moonlight, or whatever you need to do to help me find it again. I’ll be sitting at a table, working on part III of Step 4.

Love and kisses,

Renee

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12 thoughts on “31 Days and Counting

  1. Best of luck sounds trite, but what I’m really wishing you is strength, humility and perseverance. Thank you for being open with this part of yourself — without being self-pitying — it shows a real strength of character.

  2. I object! When you put down your inventory no one should point out how fucked up you are. Really, they should allow you to realize that everyone has stuff in their inventory. Treat it like a business. Stand back objectively and do an accounting. And then, during step 5, allow all that shit to wash away, leaving a beautiful person.

    No matter what is in your story, god loves you, and you should invite god along for the ride.

    And all along, I remember one translation of the first three steps: I can’t; god can; and I think I’ll let god.

    The best part of this process is learning how to be honest with yourself. Most people are very far away from this, in and out of AA.

    And if you meditate in your own quiet way, that muse will come back with flamethrowers.

    Keep coming back!

    • Thank you for every word Carl. What you say means a lot to me. You’re right, I’m still doing the work. The accounting. I’m still looking for that beautiful person inside. I’m letting God help me, but I’m a bit of a control freak so it’s really hard to let go. Especially when I think I’m such a bad person. I’ll keep working on myself though. I will. I’ll keep praying and meditating. Thank you again. I promise you and me to keep going to meetings. To work with my sponsor. To keep following the steps….

      Love, Renee

      • I’m inspired by your work. I love seeing people succeed in recovery.

        If you separate your story or your history from who you are right this moment, you’ll know that only parts of the story are bad. Today, you are a beautiful person. You are NOT your story, so you can’t be a bad person.

        Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  3. I am more proud of you than you can ever know you have done the bravest thing admitting there is a problem and you can’t fix it on your own you are so far in front of so many others who chose to carry on with their heads in the sand regardless of what it costs them

    • Thanks sweetheart. I’ve a long wait to go. Your support means a lot to me. I’ll get there. With God’s good grace and the love of family and friends like you, I’ll get there.

      Love, Renee

  4. Ah, the elusive muse! Always seemed so close at hand when we were using, right? But, the reality is, I’d forget my ingenious, creative thoughts of the night before, or if I happened to write them down (and they made sense!), I’d procrastinate and never finish the thought anyway! Give yourself time. You’re in the “clearing out the junk” phase. Which will open the door to your true creative self, the one God wants you to be; you’ll be an open vessel to allow that grace to flow through you. It was when I stopped looking for my muse, that she showed up again. Just keep showing up and try not to over-analyze or over-think this sh*t (something us “creatives” have a tendency to do!). One foot in front of the other, and those days will keep piling up. Somehow (truly by the grace of God), I’ve accumulated 3.5 years. I never thought I could, and I know you can do it, too. My muse is back and I am more creative than I ever was. And,now, I actually complete the things I start!!
    Your sister in the sunlight of the spirit,
    Tamara

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