Thursday, January 31, 2013

I lost the Us in Trust.


...."Just for today I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery"

This reading from the Just for today Daily meditation of Narcotics Anonymous has struck a bit of a sensitive nerve for me.  I lack Trust.

I lack trust in people in the program, in my higher power, and in myself.    I still operate from a place of people out to get me most of the time.  Although logically I know this is not the case, but emotionally it's hard not to fall into that trap.  Betrayal is a very real pattern of my past and trust does not develop over night.

A sponsor is the first person in an recovering addicts life that is suppose to help develop that trust for you.  Let me share my immature and unawakened experience with that.  My first Sponsor didn't save me from my first big relapse.  I understand today two years later that it's not a sponsors job to hold your hand and live your recovery for you, but at the time I did expect her to see it coming before I did and warn me of it.  Maybe she even did and I don't remember.  All I know is what I feel, and that was let down by her.  It is not a logical feeling...again with the logistics, but it is still a real emotion that prevents me from trusting.

My current sponsor I got through an entire set of steps with but feel I never really trusted.  She seemed like she was putting on a caring show when we were together  not that I am saying that is indeed what she did but it felt like it to me.  Her and I didn't share similar experiences.

From the outside looking in people could say I am creating my own trust breaking situations and holding people up to impossible expectations.  Which is probably true hence why I am unawakened in this department.  I am in the process of moving away from my current sponsor and am on the look out for a new one.  I question myself why this is.  And I think the answer lies in this reading... trust.  I got open and vulnerable with this person and now I want to get as far away from them as possible.

Part of me believes that a fourth and fifth step should be worked with someone you don't know and can truly leave it with.  Part of me feels your first set of steps should be handled the same way.  It's a complete let go of the past, a physical parting if you will.  Or is it a cop out of my vulnerability   My ex boyfriend who was a walking Blue book used to say I could only get vulnerable to a point then I shut down.  Am I blocking my sponsor out because I can't get more vulnerable because my lack of trust?

It's not that I don't trust everyone, I do have some remarkable friends within the rooms of NA that I do trust. I have friends outside of the program I do trust.  I think for me it goes more to the level of trust that I need to pursue further.  I don't talk about my past with people, and have a hard time truly telling them how I feel at the moment.  This is such a difficult process for me and I see why recovery takes years to fully heal from the years of self abuse.

So Just for Today I will decide to trust someone.  I will act on that trust. (Or at least begin to try)

Thank you for letting me Share.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Are you stopping the Flow of Recovery?


...." We must give freely and gratefully that which has been freely and gratefully given to us"

This reading is a gentle nudge forward for me.  For the longest time I have kept myself in the newcomer category taking in and absorbing everything I can.  These past few months i have felt the pressure to begin giving back and have gotten pretty resentful about it.  Claiming that the newcomers were sick and I didn't want to get sucked back there again, so no thanks I will continue to stick to the old timers and draw off their energy.

Spirit can be pretty brutal when you open your mind to what your higher power has to say.... I am experiencing that right now in this moment, that above paragraph is not what I had intended to write about this JFT.  Ugh.  (pausing to reflect)   Awareness is the first step, acceptance is the next one.  I guess I have been in this phase for a little bit just not aware of it.  I knew I had to move forward lest I slide back again as I have numerous times.  The fear of taking another step forward holding me to the comfort of what I know works.

One of my reasons to relapse in the past was the fellowship and how sick they all are and how I want no part of that.  Completely arrogant about the fact that I too was and am still sick as well, otherwise I would not have fallen roughly into the rooms in the first place.  When I did stumble in my first sponsor caught me and Loved me so fully and completely that I couldn't stand the affection.  It was so Alien to me.  But she just kept on loving me even when I lashed out and was rude to her.  She was practicing this reading, she was giving back what was given to her when she walked in the room... Love.

Newcomers will never get better if they don't receive the Love that was given to you.  It really does not matter how much clean time you have, if your heart is opening it can be shared.  Acts of kindness are so tiny yet make such a huge, huge impact on the receiver   A newcomer may not have the answers yet, or the spiritual awakenings to share but they have a set of arms to hug with, or a pair of eye's to smile with.

Now that I have worked the Steps and have had several awakenings it's time for me to move beyond accepting that it's time for me to give back and actually take some action.  I have set up a womans only meeting that is doing fairly well.  My service to the organization is growing, yet I still have not reached out to a person, just created a platform.  My next challenge will be to begin making friends with the broken women that walk through the doors.  It's now my turn to catch a stumbling woman and love her back to health.

It's the circle of life... Keep the love flowing.  Hording it turns it toxic within your soul, I have learned from personal experience.  Love needs constant expression to grow within you.

So just for today the gift of recovery grows when I share it.  I will find someone with whom to share it.

Thank you for letting me share

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Are you ready to take Action?


....."Do we understand that we have no real control over drugs

Reading the daily meditation in a, 3x with your heart style, has opened a whole new door of understanding for me.  If you missed the post a few back where I discussed the new way taught to me to read the JFT, I encourage you to skim back and find it.  It is a highly effective way to receive the spiritual lesson contained within the words.

Step One says we are powerless over Drugs and that we must surrender this.  In the beginning I must admit the overwhelming feeling I got from working the questions in the Surrender section of Step One all inclusive.  I thought that was it, the miracle happened and now I was cured.  :):):)  Always wanting the instant gratification, this program met the bill.  For about five minutes anyways.

Taking the step to clear my house of all dope was a sad process, I felt like I was saying good bye to my best friend.  Yes a friend I now hated and whom had destroyed my life so I was as equally happy to kick the grass to the curb, but I had to acknowledge my sadness too.  Treatment taught me to grieve dope like the death of a loved one and to allow the process to unfold in it's own way.  ...Ya two years later and only 90 days clean, kinda ignored that advice, didn't I?

As my program moved further I had to limit contact with my oldest daughter who was my main smoking buddy.  This was the hardest thing i have had to do in recovery.  She didn't understand it and I didn't want to do it, but I just kept relapsing when we were together. Each relapse was worse and I got meaner to her each time, beginning to blame her... which was a very dangerous place for me to be in as I already alienated my mother from my life from the same blame.  I couldn't lose another family member that way.   So for months we only talked on the phone until I felt that we could have a brief family dinner together.  We have worked our way up and can now spend an evening hanging out as a family with many rules and constant follow up about not discussing drugs current or past.  She has finally gotten it and now is a bit more supportive of where I am coming from.  However I needed to take some tough action in this area.

My recovery still grows today with the Sponsorship side of things.  I still feel like I self sponsor and need to let go of that and begin reaching out more with major decisions and even small decisions in my life.  I see that step one is a constant action step.  Sometimes I get tired and weary of the constant climb.  Then i remember how great that last step with my daughter was and now feel re-motivated to seek out a sponsor that I can trust to help guide me in my recovery.

Where feelings are concerned many other addictions have manifested themselves to help me to still avoid my feelings.  A step one is being constantly worked on each and everyone of those ways of avoiding as well.  I guess when I really come to think about it, Step 1 is gonna be my daily companion for a very long time.  Peace they speak about in the reading today has not been achieved by me yet, I am still learning to get there... maintaining will be a whole new Step to climb.  Man, by the time I am there My head will surely be in the clouds looking right up Gods Skirt!!

So Just for Today I will take all the action necessary to practice the First Step.  I truly believes it applies to me.     ( One foot on Step one and one on Twelve.... Look at me doing the splits!!)

Thank you for letting me share, I am a recovering addict named Arial.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Staying Humble in Your Program


....'We can never fully recovery, no matter how long we stay clean.'     (Jan 28 JFT daily reading, Narcotics anonymous)

Before going into what my spirit received from this reading let me first address the controversy this reading brings up for me.  

At the beginning of some meetings there is a per-amble that is read called 'We do Recover'.  Some addicts believe that we do recovery fully from this seemingly hopeless disease.  That belief has trickled over from AA who do speak highly of full recovery.  I dated a man who claimed to have been fully recovered only to see him relapse, but not before convincing me that there was some truth in full recovery.

One of my closest friends would counter the idea of full recovery by stating exactly what this reading states, our disease will never go away and she is not about to tempt fate, she will just stay an addict thanks. 

 I on the other hand refused and still do today to label myself constantly as an addict.  To me to state that daily is to keep myself held bondage to a label that will never allow me the room to grow.

But ..... that belief has kept my rebellious nature alive and well.  Thus affording me several relapses.

So maybe it's time to take another look at it, from a different angle maybe...

 Addiction is much like the disease of diabetes or cancer.  It can be managed but will never go away, it's in my mind and there is no way to eradicate it. 

 I can choose to transmute it into a new energy that benefits me and my community or I can let it run wild.  Keeping it healthy means keeping treatment up.  As with any other illness of the body an illness of the mind needs constant attention and care to be manageable.  This is where I falter.  I get lazy and run from the label ignoring the work needed to actually overcome the it.

Attending a regular meeting is part of the treatment.  In the early days of recovery so you can hear the message and in the later days to give the message.  Plus I now feel the power of fellowship and connection the minute the serenity prayer is spoken at the beginning of the meeting.  I am filled up with a magical power beyond my understanding.

Working the steps daily, either solid straight through or focusing on area's that need attention after they have been worked in their entirety.  Not rushing and understanding that I will need treatment for the rest of my life.  The steps are part of my pathway, the journey of my healing

Keeping up with a sponsor, switching to a new one if your looking for new lessons to be learned. Keeping connected to a support group that understands my disease is crucial.  Supports are important in any area of my life, but to have people understand why my brain work the way it does affords me a tremendous amount of relief that other supports just cannot offer. 

 Keeping my program fresh is the key to constant growth.   If I am getting bored it's because I am not growing anymore.  This I now have personal experience with after relapsing with over a year clean.  If I am not moving forward I am slipping backwards.

I do fall victim to wanting to get my old life back, pre-drugs, as it was a good one.  I have learned the hard way though that I must make room for NA in my life no matter what path I am pursuing because it is my treatment.  

However my treatment is not my entire life, NA is but the avenue that opened up the rest of my life to me.  Some people make NA their entire lives and that's okay for them, it's their path.  I am grateful for their path, it's these people that built a world foundation for addicts to recover.   For some members NA is ten percent of their lives and it's enough treatment for them and then they live a very productive life in society.

For today coming off a relapse I am making Narcotics annonymous sixty percent priority in my life and my girls and household forty percent.  In a few months whn I go back to work I will need to flip those numbers.  I do know however that when I am in the recovery percentage of my time I am fully one hundred percent focussed on recovery

  I just kept trying to move back out into the world too soon and without keeping a line tightly tethered to NA and my treatment plan and I ended up sick each time.

At over 90 days clean, yet two years in active recovery I am tired of getting sick.  I am the only one in full control of my treatment.     ....So Just For Today I am an addict every day, but today I have the choice to be a RECOVERING addict.  I will make that choice by practicing my program.

Thank you for letting me share,

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Moving out of your Comfort Zone


...We learn new ways to live.  We are no longer limited to our old idea's.

I never cease to be amazed when the reading from the Just for Today of Narcotics anonymous seems to fit exactly what I needed to hear in that moment.  Of course not every single day is like that, but every day does provide food for my spirit.  Today's dose has lifted me out of my old coping style of depression and has given me freedom to breath with the rest of my fellow addicts that are struggling to learn new ways to cope in our late ages.

The reading spoke about many of us not being taught right from wrong or how to live as children, but no matter because by the time we got into recovery we barely knew how to function in society.  This idea in one swift line released my parents from years of torment in my soul.  Years of blame can be erased just by taking responsibility for my own choice to pick up and get high.  I have friends that grew up with me and they never became addicts and although they have some personality defects to work through they have not made their lives a mess like I have.  We all have a choice how to cope... we addicts chose what seemed to be a softer easier way at the time.

My spirit helps me to realize also that all of us addicts when we come in the rooms are broken children who lash out and hurt others.  I lash out and hurt others.  I am hurting today, last night no one showed to the meeting... a meeting I really needed and I took it personally and was deeply offended by all the women in my fellowship. It took a long deep meditation to bring me out of that hurt and pain, last night. I am grateful for the 11 step.

Reading the JFT has reminded me that we are all hurt people and we are not intentionally trying to hurt others, we have not found a new way to act yet.  With time we will all become more caring compassionate human beings as will I.  Being gentle with oneself is the very first step to be gentle with others, being honest with oneself is the first step in being honest with others and protecting oneself is the first step in letting others know how you feel and what you need from them.  Some phone calls will go out this week to ensure there is a more solid attendance next week, my recovery depends on it.

Learning a new way to live means stepping up and doing things that you have never done before.  It means reaching out and taking advice and trying it even if you are skeptical   Moving out of your comfort zone and into something new is all about learning.  I watch my 12 year old daughter struggle with homework some nights and wonder if I could push my brain that far to learn something new today?  It is not easy to retrain the mind, it is not easy to shake old belief patterns and it is definitely not easy to learn a whole new way to live when your rounding forty years old.  However if I want any hope at a better life for the next half of my life, I better start dipping my toes into some new waters.

So Just for today:  I know more about how to live than I did yesterday,  but not as much as I'll know tomorrow.  Today I'll learn something new.

Thank you for letting me share,

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Are you God-Centered?

***Re-post from Jan 2013***

I was taught a new way to read and absorb a daily meditation last night at a workshop I attended put on by one of the women in the fellowship with over fifteen years clean.  She taught us to read the meditation three times and pause for a few minutes in between each read and let the meditation absorb deep into our bodies.

 I love to meditate and have been practicing many different forms of it for well over ten years, but whenever I was placed with a book that claimed to be about daily meditations I never really got it.  Reading a page daily found me a bit of inspiration but never anything that sent me to the moon the way my Oracle cards do.

With the Just for Today daily meditation book of Narcotics Anonymous, I would read it and pick apart my experiences and how they compared and then share what my mind came up with.  Last night I had one of those spiritual awakenings the program speaks so much about during the mediation for January 26th.

A line in this reading states,'Our self-centered minds believe they are capable of getting everything they want....'.  Still acting from a place of old self prior to awakening, I picked this line to share about because I could relate to it on a personal level.    That is me for sure, I am always thinking I am grander and more talented then I really am.  This society pushes for us to reach for our dreams and work hard for them and that just fuels my desire to go for dreams that do not fit me nor am I capable of. I recently just realized I am much more content raising my daughter and living a simple life and that is quickly growing into a beautiful dream for me. I am tired of striving for dreams that are just formulated to prove my self worth.

Today I am awakened to an new level of understanding.

The second time the reading was read I was faced with the  my mind the self centered part of me and my heart actually being the part that I was to live from?  As I seemed to have received the reading the second time around from my heart and not my head.  I was then reminded of the 'I Can Do It' conference I had attended  last year with a whole whack of spiritual holistic healers that spent the entire weekend teaching three thousand people to make the journey from there heads to their hearts.

18 inches is the longest and toughest journey you will ever take, they preached at this conference.  Finally something clicked in me and by the third time she read the reading I understood how to move out of my self centeredness and into God centeredness.

Slow down and let information process through my heart and not my head.  Breath in what people are saying.  Let actions seep into your soul instead of referencing everything from your logical mind.  The mind will always be self centered no matter what, but when you bring it through your heart it will be received in love and you will be guided by love instead of your overzealous head.

How do you do this you ask?  Work the twelve steps and pay particular attention to step 11.  But even just in this moment now stop what your doing and feel your body.  Close your eyes and let all focus move into your body.  Feel your chest cavity, ask your higher power to fill you up with some love and pay attention to where that feeling is in your body.  Once you have that feeling hold it.  Open your eye's and now read your daily mediation.  Pretend like your higher power is reading to you, the words are directly from them and you receive it in your heart not head.  At the end of the reading close your eye's and bring yourself back to the feeling in your chest cavity or where you felt the divine love filter into your body.  Do this three times and by the end you should be feeling something and if not.... Don't stop until the miracle happens,  try again with tomorrows meditation.

The conference may not have reached me but the Twelve steps did and they can too for you if you work them to the best of YOUR ability.  Some people need to work the steps several times to finally fully understand.  I worked step 1-3, 3x before I made it all the way to 12 without stopping.  I am grateful I got it and now can share it.

So just for Today My guidance and my strength comes from my Higher Power, not from my own self.  I will practice the Twelve Steps to become more God-centered and less self-centered.

May 15th, 2014  ****

I wrote this a year and a half ago.  I thoroughly enjoy watching how much I have grown and changed since then.  I can also see a difference in the way i write and present myself.  This is thrilling for me.  But I wanted to add to this post current understandings on this topic.

 Learning what your good at takes practice and a connection to your higher self.  How can you know what you like if you don't know yourself??   Life has so many distractions to keep us from truly hearing our own inner voices.  How do we know our higher powers desires when we are so conditioned to follow our ego's??

  I relate it well to a romantic relationship that is being forced and not meant to be even if there are feelings of thrill involved.  In many relationships I see unfolding around me if their was a level of self honesty involved people would know that the lust they feel was just distracting infatuation.  Their intuition would be sparking them to this knowledge.  i know romance right now in my life is not my path, but I force it anyways.  Because i have free will and can.

 I love being outdoors but that does not make me a good landscaper.  I love creating landscapes but lack the patience to actually put the work into making them of good quality.  I have no desire to cultivate the patience.  Its not my passion, Hypnotherapy is.  Astrology is.    I am learning today what I am and am not good at and what my real dreams are and what they are not.  We can manifest anything we want, we have free will.  but it doesn't mean we are good at it.  Some actors never become great because its not their true passion, some people make lousy product even though they love making it... it is just meant for a personal hobby maybe and not a business.  We are always striving for the top and not all of us can sit there, some people need to be the strong foundation at the bottom and some people the builders in the middle and thats okay.  Being true to ourselves and following our god-centerdness is the way we find where we fit into the puzzle of life. We all have a part to play in the web.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Heal Yourself and You will Heal Others


...We see it happening among us everyday.  This miraculous turnabout is evidence of a spiritual awakening.  -Basic text p.51

Watching others grow in the program is what has taught me that it works.  Upon entering the rooms of NA I was a beaten soul, completely lost and without hope, confused and scared shitless.  I didn't follow the guidance of the recovered addicts that went before me and I just kept relapsing.  This reading speaks to where I have been and now where I can enjoy the experience of watching others come into the room in the same shape I was in then and know that if they work the program to the best of Their ability they will regain some hope in their lives.

For me through watching others who came into the rooms at the same time as me, who share the same original clean date, take one year tags and yesterday two year tags.  Thats where the miracle of trust has developed for me.  I couldn't do it for myself when I first came into the rooms, my self loathing still far to deep even if I was utterly destroyed.  Watching my dearest friend work her ass off to take that first year as I was just coming back from a harsh relapse was the most humbling experience for me.

I remember the pain and the joy I experienced that night as I shared my congratulations with her and a packed room.  Trying so hard not to make the sharing about me, I focused on where we both were when we came into the rooms and how she was this beautiful strong flower now blooming wildly and with so much color.  The whole time inside I was almost withered and dead.  I had just spent the last four months in a white cocaine cloud with my supposed to be recovering addict boyfriend.  My life had taken an opposite path as her shortly after we both took our 60 day tags.  I was just getting back on path then and the harsh reality of the turn I took was underneath the words of pride I felt for her sticking to the straight good road.

Do the work and reap the benefits, it's a simple program they say.   As her family shared how much their lives had changed because of their mom getting clean I was faced with more of my own harsh realities.  I just kept dragging my kids through the mud.  It was that meeting where I made a solid commitment to myself to put in the work.

I can't sit here and say I didn't relapse again, because I did, twice.  However they were slips and I came back almost immediately.  I worked the twelve steps and built an incredible support group up around myself.  Because of working so hard on my program I can honestly sit here and say I feel hope again, I feel my life beginning to mend and as I watch the newcomers come in I am filled with compassion for where they are at.

This reading reminds me to take a gentle approach to my over zealous want to help them and show them the light.  It was the over zealous sponsors that scared me off in the beginning   A wounded animal has no trust and needs space to come to you.  This is why we let them reach out to us.

So Just for Today, I will find joy in witnessing the Recovery of another.

Thanks for letting me share.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Is it Isolation or Alone Time??


 I just posted in my other blog about the importance of taking a day for yourself, yet struggled internally with myself.. Wondering if I was isolating or really needed some down time.  I am made aware of the strong desire to isolate when I am going through some feelings.

Reaching out is the hardest thing for me to do.  I always feel like I am imposing on people.  Why would they want to hear about my problems??  Thats the resentful part of me, the self centered part has different reasons for not reaching out.  What will the person want in return for helping me through something?  Much of the time I think that it's better just to work through it myself and not get others involved they just complicate things.

Except now having worked through an entire set of twelve steps, what I seen as complication before was actual healing and healing is sometimes a messy process.  Reaching out is about healing and getting better from whatever it was that caused you to want to isolate in the first place.  We all have a story and each of our stories involves a level of pain and hurt that has caused some of us to close up and protect.

We are not isolated beings at birth, we are social creatures and need that interaction.  Without it we die slowly.  It's a proven fact that a baby that does not get held, will surely die.  That does not change as we age, our bodies may physically survive but everything within us fades into the darkness.

Today I want to be alone, is it isolation or is it just wanting some alone time?  I struggled hard with this when I was cancelling my appointments and planning for a day of watching movies.  As I began beating myself up, I stopped myself and checked my past few days and the next few days... they are all packed with being around people and fellowshipping.  I don't believe I am isolating, I believe I am practicing self care and recharging.  Learning to spend time alone with yourself I think is very important as well.  A saying in the rooms... 'An addict alone is in poor company indeed'... I think in the first part of recovery this is indeed true, but there comes a point where we must learn to love ourselves and spend quality time with getting to know who we are.

I am a person that takes all advice to heart and when it doesn't work for me I blame and cut the source out of my life.... Learning to be more tolerant and accepting has been a process.  One that I am sure I will still be working through for years to come.  Not everyone is the same even if we have similar appearances or similar behavoirs.  We are all unique and not all advice will work for us.  Learning to listen to your body, mind and spirit is the practice I think to tapping your intuition and seeing what advice works for you or not.  I have been so disconnected from all aspects of myself that this is the true lesson I am facing.   Building trust with myself.

So looks like a nice day home, relaxing and watching movies!  I will get back to the grind tomorrow.