A few days ago I was writing in my journal and realized I have two pages left and need a new one. I randomly flipped backwards to see if there was anything interesting to read from what I had written over the last two years. A complete surprise was waiting for me when I started to read, “For whatever reason I feel very triggered. Probably because of the emotional loss of losing my oldest child to college. I did not go to my meeting tonight…” After that I couldn’t put it down. It was fascinating to read the ups and downs I was going through at the time. I also hadn’t finished my 12 steps yet but was about to and I recorded some very private, moving experiences I had at the time. I’d like to share them with you in hopes they may help you in some way.
For whatever reason I feel very triggered. Probably because of the emotional loss of losing my oldest child to college. I did not go to my meeting tonight … I do not know what to do. I want to go to a meeting but I don’t want to burden my wife.
I just finished studying from my AA/SA book and was impressed by the need to finish the steps and give my will to God … That [seems] scary … but I feel the spirit tell me “Don’t worry, I will help you and give you the strength.” I will trust that feeling and plant the seed of hope and faith. I want to be healed and whole again. I want to learn how to truly love and to face the worries of the world without feeling the urge to avoid them or cover up the strong feelings I have as a result.
I finished my prep for step 5 this morning. It was an interesting experience. I expected to be filled with shame, or fear, or dread. Instead, I felt peace, lightness, and hope. I feel lifted and I look forward to my meeting this afternoon with hope and purpose. I do feel that this will be freeing for me and allow me to be sober, serve others, and improve my relationship with my wife and children. I am so thankful for the Savior and His Grace.
8/30/15 (Sunday) – Meeting with my sponsor (some thoughts he shared with me)
Control is an illusion. You are trying to play God. That is the basis of selfishness. Constantly going back to trying to have control only results in fear and anxiety. The only solution is to leave to God what is God’s. Only thing we have control over is what I bring or give to a situation or to others. I do not have control over outcomes. It is dishonest to think that how we act can change how others react. We have no power over outcomes or over other people. [HOLY COW! I am blown away at the power of these words as I re-read them and write them down. I was so fortunate to learn these things from my sponsor.]
(See page 63 in AA Big Book) We can be honest about our feelings with others but cannot be impatient, angry, resentful, etc. Those are not in line with God’s way. Be patient, tolerant, long-suffering. Our job is to stay close to God and not worry about what comes next and whether we can control it or not. *Focus on what we CAN bring. Remember: It is God that will bring me sobriety. Not me.
Do not focus on what we want to stop, but on what we want to be. Consider: Are you moving towards a fully committed relationship with your wife? It is a progression.
The ideal is not about some far off distant place in the future. The ideal is about RIGHT NOW. In this very moment. What am I bringing to right now?
When you begin to objectify someone, pray for them. “Father, help her in her career, help her with her children, help her with her parents, her husband, friends, dreams, and relationship with You.” See your wife that way.
Don’t focus on the one great experience you had a while back. That one time is such a small experience in the great picture of who you are. Do you picture your vacations that way? What about how you spend time with your kids, and family, each other? Sex is such a tiny little part of life. Stop obsessing.
It has been two weeks now since I completed steps 4-7. Those were incredibly hard for me, yet I feel such incredible peace and have a strong hold on sobriety [Up until that point in my recovery every single day was a total battle, fighting my way to stay sober and not always winning]. I just can’t believe the miracle of it. And yet, it is exactly as was promised by those who wrote the Big Book. It is coming true as I work the program. I am so thankful to God to finally feel free of my condition. I still need to finish steps 8 & 9 (make amends), but I feel confident that I can do it and it will be a great leaping platform to steps 10-12 that I will perform the rest of my life. I love my family. I love God. I love my calling, my talents, my job. Life is good and I pray I can do something wonderful with it. I am so thankful for the 12 steps and the gift of sobriety that it and God have given me.
That put a huge smile on my face. What a difference these past two years have made in my life. I feel closer to God than in a long time (maybe closest ever). I feel a warmth of love and kindness towards my wife that continues to grow day by day. I feel gratitude to my friends and family. I’m grateful for those who have helped me and those I have been able to help. I could not be sober without any of it and I love being sober!
I do not know what tomorrow will bring. I try to not fear it. I try to let God have it and lead me today and help me be present today. I’m not great at it, but I’m better. Much, much better. And I’m grateful that He would transform a lost soul like me. And if He will do that for me, I promise you, He will do it for you. Just try. Go to a meeting. Find a friend. Get a sponsor. Work the steps — really, really work them. You will be changed by a Higher Power than you. You cannot do it. But our Higher Power can. Let him.
My name is Mike