Saturday, February 16, 2013

Honor your feelings not your dope.

.....'When we refuse to accept the reality of today, we are denying faith in our higher power. This can only bring us more suffering'........ IP No 8. Just for Today

Feelings are something i am just learning to allow into my life now. Since getting clean i have used food, sex and romantic relationships to cover my feelings of the moment. Recently i have experienced a job loss and today as i write this i am unemployed with no support income of any sort lined up yet.

Can you say freaked out?

That was in my past though because right now I am not freaked out. I am somewhat enjoying the process of letting the feelings come up, because my step 11 is so powerful in my life today that i know as soon as i enter my meditative state all current feelings melt into serenity. I can almost understand the larger picture of the situation I am in and that softens any feelings i have of the situation.

This of course is not before i tried to stuff my fear with food and found i couldnt go there anymore now that i was aware of my pattern in this area. Next thing i experienced is a call from my ex boyfriend, a man i have been ignoring his attempts at contact via email.   I caved the dAy i lost my job. It didnt take long during the phone call to realize i again was just trying to get out of my feelings and current situation. So i sent him on his way in love and i went back to my feelings and my unstable situation.

This program has taught me how to trust myself to take care of my own life through the guidance of my higher power. I may be unemployed and single, but i am in touch with who i am and i am clean on all levels. Because of this i trust fully that the perfect job is being lined up for me now and the pefect man will come along when i am ready. And of course by perfect i meAn equal assets and defects.

So just for today i will demonstrate my trust in god by experiencing this day just as it is.

Thank you for letting me share, i am a recovering addict named brAndy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Self love is the only path to God

......'The last thing we expected was an awakening of the spirit.'.... Basic text, p.49

I agree fully with thAt statement. When i landed in the rooms i was so done with trying to find and please god. In my mind i was fully neglected by all spirituAl forces so there for i would devote my attention to the dark forces of the world.

I had spent many years prior to getting lost in loaded land actively seeking my higher power. I tried all the new age progrAms from deepak, louise hay, wAyne dyer, any one who claimed i could find my higher power. With each program i failed at the deeper my belief went that even god could not love me.

Then i found the 12 steps.

It was through getting to know myself and learning to be gentle with myself and finally learning the very tough lesson of loving myself that i have found my higher power. I am so grateful to this progrAm. It was a brutally uncomfortAble process but one for which i have found freedom from my own self defeating patterns.

 Recenting i have found myself out of mu job, for which i cAn now respect the lArger picture of the situation because of step one. Step 2 and 3, brought me to communicTion with my higher power so i didnt let fear over take mE. Step four helped me to see who i am and what direction i want to go now. Step 11 has kept me calm And open to spirits guidAnce.

This program has given me new tools to cope with life and that tool is self love and a connection to an energy way larger then myself.

So just for today i will awaken my sleepy spirit, i will use the twelve steps.

Thank you for letting me share in my new crude fashion. I apologize for the spelling mistakes. I am a recovering addict named brandy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Who needs a Sponsor, I got this!!

...."an NA sponsor is a member of Narcotics Anonymous, living the program of recovery, who is willing to build a special, supportive, one on one relationship with us"

My sponsor tells me all the time 'nothing happens by accident'  And this is particularly the case for me today as I just got off the phone with asking her back as my sponsor after going AWAL on her for a few weeks.  lol

I had to do some deep soul searching recently as to what a sponsor is to me.  I have a really really great support circle of women who call me on my shit when I am going off path and who love me deeply.  So why do I need a sponsor?

I finished a full set of steps and have no intentions anytime soon of revisiting the scab picking process, preferring to walk a path of planting my garden, not digging it up again just yet.  I am moving on to working a set of Traditions with a group of women... so why do I need a sponsor?

I sat long with these two area's being the only reason I need a sponsor.  I had friends that I confided in and a group I was working the program with, so I don't need someone telling me what to do.  I don't need a person all up in my private business messing with my stuff.  I don't need a person who has traveled the road I have shining light on the potential pitfalls I am heading towards... because I got this now.

For a few weeks I needed to walk on my own and do it my own way in order to find  myself skirting some dark back alleys.  My friends safely tucked in for the night and my group of women whom are teaching me about traditions far from my mind as I peek down the alley to see if any of my old friends still linger there.  The rebel in me seeing how far I can push myself... wanting to see just how strongly my higher power has got my back.

Until in my head I hear a small voice screaming at me to call my sponsor... the one I have walked away from for a multitude of superficial reasons.  She gave me ill advice once, she didn't prevent that minor fall last year that I had, she has some personality defects that bother me... she is human.  I need super human.

The back alley seductively pulls at me and I am forced to make a decision.

.........I called my sponsor this morning, before I did anything else.  I felt good about my decision and she agree's to take me back.  And helps me feel that my exploration is normal and I am still on path.  Then I come here to begin my JFT blog and what do I find as a topic..... Blah!  Sponsorship!  God has a really funny sense of humor.

What is a sponsor to me??.... A life line.  A connection to the light because my natural tendencies will always be to walk towards the shadows, where I am comfortable and familiar with.  She keeps me out of the back alley because she is always in my head, a place my friends can't go, nor can my program working group.  My sponsor gets a special invite into the private places in my life.  However uncomfortable that is for me, it beats the alley I was just about to walk into, and the reality of never coming out of it again keeps me tethered to my life line.... my sponsor.

Just for Today I'm grateful for the time, the love, and the experience my sponsor has shared with me.  Today I will call my sponsor.. (Did already!!)

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

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Does Your God Test You?

...'we have found a loving, personal God to whom we can turn.'

The reading today is all about life on life's terms.  I heard that phrase so many times in the past few years that I never really heard it.  Until recently, when I began experiencing it.   This is where clean time does not equal recovery.  Experience equals recovery, working the steps bring about experience and let me tell ya, I have some experiences.  Most of which are not blooming with success.

Each time I was presented with the opportunity to use after I began working a solid program I got pretty angry at my God and to show that anger    I...... you guessed it...... used.  Boy, I showed her, didn't I ?!....

 This had to happen a few times before I began to understand Life on life's terms and that my God was not testing me when these situations came up.   The last time using presented itself to me I was so aggravated that the universe would allow this travesty to occur in my life, because this time I really did want to get clean and was working a hardcore solid program... could God not see that??    How could God challenge me this way and knock me off course again?  Was God not a loving god meant to protect me?  Then why was this up in my grill again??  Oh ya, I was pissed right off!

Sitting in a meeting one night, stewing in some self pity about this new test in front of me, I heard someone share.... 'Life hasn't stopped just cause you are clean now'.  Life on lifes terms echoed in my head like being yelled from the top of the Grande Canyon.  Damn.  Those stupid light bulbs blinded my brain again.

 It's not a test that I am faced with the opportunity to use, it's just life and I need to deal with it cause life will always happen whether I am ready for it or not.  There will always be people who use, there will always be liqueur stores, there will always be party's that an invite will find its way to me... because thats life of a normal person.  Isolation is not an option for me anymore.

Back to the serenity prayer I trudged.  Step one found it's way back into my hands as extra reading at the end of the night and my program peeled a new layer of the onion.  The process never ending just getting easier I guess.  This time I didn't use and I have built a more solid trust in my higher power because she walked me through it and I didn't reach out a bitch slap her for the perceived challenge.  Recovery is not easy, the first year is a gift and then the work begins... learning a whole new way to live.

So Just for Today I will have faith that my Higher Powers will for me is good, and that I am loved.  I will seek my Higher Powers help in times of need.

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

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Where do You draw POWER from??

... 'We had convinced ourselves that we could make it alone and proceeded to live life on that basis.  The results were disastrous and, in the end, each of us had to admit that self-sufficiency was a lie'.

I fully believe that as humans we are not meant to live a solitary life, we live in communities for a reason.  As addicts we isolate from lack of desire to live and work with others in our community.  For me it was because I was tired of being hurt by people, drugs numbed me and kept me safe from others.  Coming into recovery I struggle with opening up and let others in again.

When I stand in the circle at the end of the meeting I feel like that physical circle is a human shield my fellow addicts and I create against the darkness of drugs and that world that threatens to kill me.  When I am at a meeting I feel like I am in a safe zone.  There is a power in those rooms that keeps the demon in my head quiet while I am there.  I cannot quiet that overwhelming urge to get loaded on my own... I tried, numerous times.

Step 11 is what began to keep me safe outside the rooms.  Steps 2 and 3 helped me to begin to develop the concept of that power greater then myself, however it wasn't until step 11 that I began to really to sit and invite that power into my body.  As I practiced different meditations techniques I began to feel a white light surrounding me.  This became the human shield that the meetings created for me.  I call it running my energy.  I draw down power from the heavens and suck up grounding from the center of the earth.  This keeps me balanced and feeling safe.  Sometimes I even visualize a shield around myself when I am feeling really raw and want no one to hurt me.  This is the power that I cannot muster on my own.

Power greater then myself is not God, it's truly just electrical power that I plug into like a TV cord.  Strangely enough the more often I connect in this way, the more I seem to understand things about Divine Love and the more I want to live in harmony with the people in my community.

So Just for Today I will seek the support of other recovering addicts; harmony with others in my community;and the care of my Higher Power.  I cant, but we can.

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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Do YOU have the drive to Keep Coming Back??

....'We are grateful that we were made so welcome at the meetings that we felt comfortable'.

Can you believe it's February 5th already??  Just had to put that out there, reading these meditations daily keep me tapped into how time moves by quickly... a gentle awareness I wanted to share.  Moving on.

Keep coming back.  I hear it at ever single meeting and over the years I have peeled back more layers to the meaning of those three simple words.  I remember my first meeting so clearly like it was yesterday   A co-worker brought me as a guest.  I thought I was going because I was dating a hardcore addict and I wanted to understand him better.  I had no idea I was there for me, even after the meeting I was still in denial I didn't hear anything that applied to me.  Because I wasn't listening.  What I did get out of that meeting though was how friendly everyone was and how welcoming all these super hot guys were with their hugs.... hot damn I loved NA men!

It wasn't long after that when I realized after the hard core addict boyfriend was gone, I was still using and couldn't stop.  I remembered that meeting my friend took me too and thought maybe I would give it another try.  No one approached me this time.  Or the next three times I went.  So I stopped going.

A year later sitting in detox, I was forced to attend a twelve step meeting everyday.  So back in NA I found myself.  This time my detox room mate sat with me and luckily for me she was a lifer in the program and knew the drill.... really well.  She handed me a pre-amble and told me I had to read one at every meeting because it got people used to putting a name to my face.  She was right people came up and talked to me at half time and addressed me by name.   She also introduced me to her previous sponsor and pretty much forced me to sign on with her, even though I didn't feel ready for all this.

Thats when my life really changed.  My sponsor loved me so fully and held on to me so tight that I finally found some solid footing after years of slipping and falling further down the rabbit hole.   Keep coming back is what I practiced.  Even though for many meetings I wasn't welcomed and I slipped further away, my higher power kept bringing me back and lined it up perfectly for me, only because I was still willing to keep coming back.

Our recovery is our own responsibility,  but all we need to do is take the steps we can manage.  I did nothing to get my first sponsor, it was taken care of for me.  I just needed to take the small step to come to a few meetings.  I needed to take the small step through the doors of detox.  I needed to take but a single step to my future and spirit whisked me the rest of the way.

It is time now for me to give back what was so freely given to me.  I have attended enough meetings where I did not reach out to that new face in the room, but now I must because memories of how desperately I wanted someone to say hi to me during those meetings when nobody did now rings in my heart and the gratitude for the people that did reach out is overwhelming me right now.

So Just for today I remember the welcome I was given when I first came into NA.  Today, I will express my gratitude by offering a hug to a newcomer.

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

Monday, February 4, 2013

Do YOUR Feelings Control You?

.....'For us, recovery is more then just pleasure'.

For a very long time that 'us' didn't apply to me.  As soon as the 'high' of being clean wore off I got loaded.  'The first year of recovery is a gift after that you have to work at it'.  I still haven't made it to the year, but I must admit that I have lacked in the 'working' it part.  Feelings are for sure my demise each and every time.

I have spent my whole life running from my feelings and going to extreme limits to maintain that happy.  As the reading says picking the pill of the day to dictate the mood balance I need.  When I walked out on my kids, the little happy 'E' pill became my constant.  Every time I stop using dope, food steps in to alleviate any indication of sadness on the horizon   If I am the slightest bit lonely or feel a little empty, well there is always a man willing to crawl into my bed and fill that right up.  My whole life has been spent finding new ways to get out of my feelings.

Today at four months clean from all ways of killing my feelings I find I am a confused ball of emotions and I desperately try to label the reason for the feeling and feel that logic will settle it.  I am always disappointed.   After this past relapse the understanding that feelings have been the cause of all my relapses I promised myself not to make any big life changes, not to get into any romantic relationship and to just ride my feelings out... without judgment.  It has been hard, but I have got to tell you... it's is extremely amusing to see how fast they will change in a course of minutes.  To detach and observe my feelings is the most hilarious thing.  One moment I will be crying watching a movie to laughing for no reason... sometimes I think I am pregnant.(not possible)  I identify with feeling tired all day to not feeling tired at all at wtf?

I have come to understand feelings are like thoughts.. we don't need to act on them.  I am not my thoughts, and I am not my feelings.  Both of those things can be triggered by the most mundane things that I can not hold responsibility for lest I drive myself insane.  And I have!! I have almost married a man against logic because I had a passing feeling of lust that lasted almost two years!!  Feelings are a passing energy that washes over the body like rain from the sky, we have little more control over our feelings then we do that rain.  Learning not to act on them is the only thing we have control over.

God grant me serenity..... we say it at ever single meeting.  Then we take back the line the moment a feeling hits us.  It's our choice to keep that balance.  We don't have to wait till we are six years clean to find serenity.  We can have it now by letting our feelings move through us, not stick like a popcorn curnal in our teeth.  Meditation and the 11th step help tremendously with this.... I love step 11, can you tell, I reference it every single post.  lol

So Just for Today I will accept my feelings, whatever they may be, just as they are.  I will practice the program and learn to live with my feelings.    (I will not get married on a feeling, I will not get loaded on a feeling, I will not gain five hundred pounds because of a feeling!!)

Thank you for letting me share.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I Need YOU, Do you Need me?

...'Anyone may join us, regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed,religion or lack of religion.'

I am closed minded.  Writing that stings a little bit.

I read the reading in a new way that I have shared here already, I am going to share it again though because it's that new found way of reading that has opened my mind to how closed my mind really is.  I read the meditation three times now and pause in between each read to let it sink into my heart.  The first read goes into my mind as it normally would.  I pick apart my experiences with the reading and logically process what I want to share about the reading.  This meditation there was nothing that stood out.... it didn't apply to me.

The second reading I opened my heart and read it through there instead of my head and I felt some twinges of yuck come up.  When I sat with it after I had images of other middle class people in the room and my dislike for them.  The third reading brought up my love for the hardcore bottom of the barrel junkies that come into the room needing just a shred of love.  Thats where the reading began to hit home for me and I realized it did apply to me.

I can find love in my heart for the people that outwardly look like they need it.  The ones that have hit a bottom so low that I cant even imagine it, but have been taught from a young age to reach out and help these people... the people less fortunate then me.  Thats my closed mind pretending that it's open.  To open my mind I need to see that the people that come into the rooms with decent clothes and higher bottoms then me still need the same amount of love.

Instead of feeling love for the people who haven't become desolate I compare myself with them, I get in competition with them in my mind.  Rating how bad they have it to how bad I have it.  This goes back to the reading about sharing our hardships instead of alienating ourselves because of them.  We are all in the rooms because our bottoms destroyed our hearts and we need your love to help rebuild them.

So no matter where you come from in life, while in the rooms you are no better or no less then the guy next to you.  I need to open my mind to all walks of life as well as an understanding that every ones defects serve to teach me something about my own and passing judgment on them closes my mind to my own learning and understanding.

So Just for Today I know that the more diverse my groups experience is the better able my group will be to offer me support in the different circumstances I find myself facing.  today I welcome addicts from all backgrounds to my home group.

Thank you for letting me share

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Do you Think of others in Your Self-Obsession?

...'Goodwill is best exemplified in service; proper service is 'doing the right thing for the right reason','

I have been deep in obsession the past few days, praying and working an 11th step to get me through it.  This reading along with words of wisdom shared in a meeting last night have helped me to understand why I find myself back in obsessive thoughts when I am working a solid program.

You see I am one of those people that believe because I want to get better that it will just miraculously happen and life will stop when I ask it too.  Hah.  I wish!  I have been angry and frustrated over the direction of my mind the past few days, not understanding how every time my life gets going in the right direction my obsessions kick into high gear.  This reading has lit the way of understanding for me.

Self obsession.... I want, what I want and I want it yesterday   Today I want my Ex boyfriend back.  The same boyfriend I have relapsed with twice and have hit new bottoms with.  Why would I possibly want him back I ask myself.  I feel like Jekyll and Hyde some days, knowing full well where that decision will take me, but wanting to make it anyways.

I have been praying for guidance to get me out of that mindset as it was not working just praying about it, or redirecting my thought and then this reading comes along and gives me clear advice... get out of myself and be of service to others and think of others needs first.

Service is not just in the fellowship it's with your friends and family too.  My daughter would be hurt greatly by my choice to even have a fling with my ex boyfriend, because I get loaded every time and that would put my daughter in harms way, after I have promised her I would not do that to her again.  When I get with my boyfriend I lose all focus on me and my life, which would hurt my friend who asked me to train for a marathon to finish off her team come the summer.   I am also in the middle of applying for a really great job that needs some hoops to be hopped through before I get it and if I lose focus now, I lose the job... and that just hurts my family more.

Thinking of them helps to solidify the reasons not to go that direction.  In conjunction with working a tenth step thoroughly each night as well as keeping myself connected in prayer and mediation I know I can get through this self obsession and things will get easier.  I am moving past drug obsession now which is a positive direction.  Keeping focused that I am still on path and going up the steps is a positive bonus for me and helps me to continue to put one foot in front of the other.

So Just For Today, wherever I am, whatever I do, I will seek to serve others, not just myself.  When faced with a dilemma, I will try to do the right thing for the right reason.

Thank you for letting me share,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Do you let your Trauma's Isolate you?


...'We felt different... Only after surrender are we able to overcome the alienation of addiction.'

Happy February, We made it through another month... Yay!

'Your not unique'  These words ring out in my mind when I read this reading today.  That saying would aggravate the piss out of me when I would hear them.  Yes I am unique, I am different  People are not like me.  These are all the things I would think when I was told I was not unique.  My friend and I have giggled over our thoughts of being from an alien race that was accidentally planted on this ridiculously stupid planet.  We are unique.

It is precisely this thinking that alienates us from everyone else.  For most of us thats completely okay... we don't want to be like you.  Your fucked.  Then we find ourselves loaded and alone, crying about how miserably lonely we are...' no shit, really?'  Even our God swears at us.

Looking at our differences keeps us as addicts and as nations at war with each other.  We all share similar arms, legs, lungs, hearts and minds.  We all were born from an egg and a sperm, we all had to go from a baby stage through adolescence.  We all breath air and drink water.  We are all the same whether we are arrogant about it or not.  And we all have a sob story to tell about our lives.  Thats what makes the human experience what it is.  We didn't land in the rooms of NA because our lives were filled with roses and butterfly's.  Get real.   We all have hardships.

It's through these hardships that we connect to each other.  It's through sharing these hardships that we become stronger.  It's through feeling the pain of another that ours is lessened   Together we stand, alone we fall.  That concept reaches way beyond the borders of NA, it's life.  Within the rooms of NA people get us... it's one of the few places we can completely be ourselves because we all share a commonality... we are junkies.  It doesn't matter how much you smoked or snorted or popped... to a non drug user you are a junkie.  They don't get it.  But we do.  The guy sitting next to you at the meeting tonight, will get it.  The girl speaking about walking out on her kids for a fix and not coming back for three years... will get it.

I write this as the aroma of weed wafts in through my open window and I am brought back to a nostalgia that I know will not be there if I brought that shit into my lungs.  Angry at the person smoking it for not getting the fact that I am an addict and that triggers me and if I use I will be lead back to the pits of hell... how could he be so insensitive   Oh right cause he is not an addict or if he is, in denial, he doesn't have a clue where that will lead me.  But the girl sitting next to me tonight at the meeting will get it.

We are not different in the rooms... we are the exact same.  We are all addicts trying desperately to recover from a seemingly hopeless disease.  We need each other to build a barrier between that hellish world and our new world of live and light.  So stop picking each other apart and stop thinking your better then, because your not.  We need you to be part of the circle, our recovery depends on you holding your part of the chain together  your recovery depends on me holding my part together.

So just for today I will let go of my uniqueness and embrace the principals of recovery I have in common with so many others.  My hardships do not exclude me from recovery: rather they draw me into it.

Thank you for letting me share