Sunday, March 31, 2013

Stand in Your Truth

Do my insides match my outsides?

What I think and feel, is it reflected in the way I act?

Is what I am recovering about my inner self challenging to live out in the building of my new way of life?

These are all some pretty deep questions that I am working through right now.  As I discover not only the defects of my character but the assets that I never knew were there as well, I am faced with the very uncomfortable sensation of not being true to myself.  I get these little inner pricks and jolts when I act in a way that I have always but yet now seems almost repulsive.

The realization that I have acted this way almost my whole life and it has always gone against my nature and my true authentic self is kinda sickening.  I am embarrassed that I have very rarely stood in my own truth in my own life and life's situations.   That amoeba like self of mine always the first one to show up at the party, the authentic me hiding behind her.. safe and out of sight.   This is a harsh new understanding for me.   I am always what  other people want me to be, always.   That proverbial doormat.

As I walk through experience's where I can no longer live by white lies, no longer dress in the tight come fuck me jeans and can no longer pretend I am happy in relationships that really do not serve my highest good anymore, I am faced with new challenges.   Beyond discovering who I am not, now I am defining who I am by having to stand up to my oppressors.

Wearing skirts is the most comfortable and close to my nature, I have fielded friends concerns that I own no normal clothes.  I live in a jeans and pj pants town.  It took a bit of explaining to a few friends and even strangers that I am warmer and more comfortable in my skirts then I am in jeans.  Seems like such a simple thing, yet I see it was the first in a string of stepping up to my oppressors.

The white lie about the little dog I just had to get rid of... I had to stand up to Myself, my own oppressor.  I was just doing things the way I always have... tweaking the rules.  That I see now in and of itself is a form of rebellion oppression and I can't get away with it anymore.  Its not my truth, its not in my true nature to do so.

Again this was an uncomfortable lesson but still on a smaller scale.  What I face today is getting more intense for me.

A personal romantic relationship that has haunted me for two years, seems to linger like a bad smell.

  As I have built a relationship with myself and my higher power I am slowly coming to know what is good for me and what is not.  What I want in life and what I don't.

It has been a  slow process and what I wanted when I first got into this relationship no longer fits me.  Each time I break up with him, I feel good about standing in my truth.  That only lasts weeks however before I find myself falling back into old patterns with him again.

I am always disgusted with myself that I have gone back to the relationship again because its not what I want but I just cant seem to get away from it.  After three go rounds with this same man, I finally spoke my true feelings to him on the phone and for the first time ever I felt like he finally heard me and I finally stood solid in my truth.  

Until last night when an email from him telling me to Grow up that he still loves me and will be in town in a few weeks to gift me something.

After a sleepless night I have come to realize two things about myself and this situation.  I created it and I must follow through with my oppressor.   I dragged him through my entire process and he really doesn't understand it as he only knows the amoeba me.  I have only recently shown him my authentic self and that was just a flash of that.  He is doing what has worked each and every time before, blow in my direction and I fell over.

To be true to myself I must marry what my inner self needs with my outer self's actions.

This is how we are defined by Standing in our own Truths.

This is what it means to live from our higher powers.  This is why few people actually get to the point of full ascension... its easier to meld into another then it is to stand up against all the others to be true to who you are.   It means showing the true you, without all the masks and being strong enough to field all the comments about your true nature.

 Because not all the comments you receive are going to be good, and vulnerable to me is raw... and negative comments hurt when I am exposed.

I look forward to the day that I am a strong vulnerable woman that stands in her truth in every situation and pays no attention to what others think about her.  Safe and secure in the knowledge that I am in my higher power working with the collective community.

I can see more clearly now that being as strong in my gifts is what contributes to the betterment of humanity.  To build strength means to rise above challenges.

Nope not an easy process this matching my insides with the outside.  Not easy keeping my feelings contained and learning how to act on them.   The true Joy is however now coming from my ability to step into a new energy, a new life and a new level, is the excitement of receiving the unknown and being able to live like the fool again, young and full of life for a new path.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pink Cloud of Recovery

Floating on a big giant pink cloud of recovery.  The first year of the Program is a  gift.   When obsession is lifted the freedom is all inclusive.   Just wait newbies until the real work starts......

All those warnings that the newcomer gets as the old timers watch them inflate with gratitude in the early days only to settle into the humdrum of life and wondering if this is all there is to life clean.   Sound familiar   I have seen it for myself in others and my ability to see the larger picture and create solutions before the problem presents itself had me looking for ways around this before it got me.  The part of the program that teaches us to learn from others took me a while too grasp, but now I watch like a hawk.

I have blogged about finding this solution a few  posts back in the 'Rut' post.  I will touch on it again in a little bit of a different light today.  I believe that when we first come into the program everything is new, we are learning a whole new way to live.  We have a whole schwack of  new friends to build relationships with and we have new activities to try that are not using ones.  Everything we do is new.

Its that newness that actually has us excited and feeling free.  Its that newness that keeps our focus off using and how boring life truly can be.  After a few months the newness wears  off and melancholy sets back in.  This is when the pink cloud fades and the work begins.  Because lets get real life is not different between using and not using, removing the drugs does not make life easy.   But does it really have to be work?  If we recognize that its the newness factor that kept us in gratitude can we not keep that going?  I am sure some of us used because we were bored with life.

For me, I want to keep thee excitement factor going well past the first year.  Upon recognizing this, I waited to get involved with service until the newness factor began to wane slightly for me.  Each time my life starts to lose a bit of its lustre of gratitude I add in a new hobby to learn or cultivate a new friendship.  I strive to always keep the newness factor alive and well in my life, this keeps me on a pink bubble of life.  I keep my enjoyment and amazement of being alive in active freedom by practising this in my life.  I don't accept  the concept that life  has to get tough.

I have dealt with some pretty intense shitty things in my past two years, I am actually struggling to find a job today.  Yet life on life's terms does not threaten me today.  It did in the beginning and I am grateful to my group for holding my hand through it.  Again something new for me.  Now I look at the situation differently.... I have alot  of free time with no eight hour shift in my day, so I am learning new hobbies while I wait for prospective employers to return my follow up calls.   I am still riding a pink cloud through my trials.  Two years from now I will be on to a whole new set of experiences that I am fairly certain will continue to have me loving life and living in the amazement gratitude gifts me.  For me its learning to function in my Higher power and trust the direction that power is taking me.  Even before coming into recovery I had experience with this and can see it working again in my life, where I didn't trust before I do now.

Life is meant to be lived and lived fully.   There is so much out there to learn and experience    Moving beyond the boarders of my safe little world is  what excites me and gives me passion today.  The program is what gives me the tools to stay safe while venturing out there.   Live and let Live ... it's been my motto since I was a teenager.   Again if your not moving forward you are sliding back.   I want to keep moving forward today... I see the bright light ahead of me and I am good with following that.  Care to join me?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Learning to Live in a Higher Power

When we begin to really work a program of recovery and things start to click and miracles begin to happen we find we can no longer live the way we used to.   This has provided some tough decisions and harsh realizations for me.

Recently I acquired a little dog from a friend.  Earlier in the month I had actually prayed for a little dog that was apartment compatible.   So when this opportunity presented itself I jumped all over it.  except this stupid program of living an honest life wrecked my joy of having a new addition to our family.  You see I am not allowed to have pets where I live.

I could not get past that no matter how I approached the situation in my mind.  I was breaking rules and i was lying.  I just couldn't do it.  To add salt to the wound I was creating I was also teaching my 12 year old daughter to lie and be sneaking around property managers.  What anxiety this created in my world for the few days I had him.  The program gave me peace and serenity, my decision to break that was too uncomfortable for me.  The dog went to a new home.

Now that i spend more time in MY higher Power, I cannot live and do things that I could when I functioned from my Lower power.  I cannot bend the rules any more.  Not those kind of rules any ways    Functioning from a place of this higher power comes from building a relationship with yourself.  I had a tough lesson in learning myself through this situation.  I wanted a Dog, but am not in a position to have one.  Not only that I realized that once I did get the dog the work that when in to caring for him was far greater then I was willing to give.  I wanted the cuddles but forgot the exchange that would be involved.

I learned that I am just learning to take care of myself and my daughter.  Adding on to this right now is detrimental to my own growth and my higher power will fade when I place anything before the developing of that relationship.  It is not fully established nor at full strength yet.  I am sure I am looking at years before that is the case.  The dog taught me this lesson and I am grateful for that.  I am also happy that I caught it fast enough and was able to reverse the situation and provide damage control before it created some big messes in my life.

Living from a place of my higher power has provided me a peace and serenity that I am becoming less and less willing to upset.  following the rules of the universe are becoming a joyful process of learning... not the rebelious disgust they used to be.  Life is good on this side of the light.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

You are not Your Feelings

Alright folks today's topic is... Feelings.

Quick run and hide!!  Slam your laptop shut.  Ugh, who the hell wants to pick at this... ever?  Gross.  My beautiful daughter once told a psychiatrist that feelings were like pee's, you dont like to eat them but you know they are good for you.   I thought the professional was gonna fall out of his chair laughing.  My wise daughter.

I have spent my whole life stuffing and controlling my feelings.  Feelings were not allowed in my home growing up.  My dad was a raging alcoholic that needed the house  silent while he battled the demons of the bottle in his head.  My mother was a master at hiding her true feelings, A living Cathy's clown.  Smile pasted on the outside broken and destitute on the inside.  I was a very confused child growing up being sexually abused and having all these adult feelings and being taught to suppress them.  So I did.

In my adult years I continued to do just that.  I got so good at it, I had no idea what  was a true emotion for me and what was a socially acceptable one.  I became a clone of the masses, a drone programmed to feel and act the way everyone else did.  If I felt something that didn't match what I felt  was acceptable I ate  a pound cake and that took care of that.  When I lost all my weight things got really tricky for me.  I could no longer mask the feelings with food.  Dope was a very welcome replacement.

With Dope I could not only distract the feeling but I could also induce happiness... where the hell had this been all my life??  I was in heaven.  I was reminded of how I got through all my teen years.  Picked up where i left off and didn't turn back until a trusted co-worker lead me into the rooms of a twelve step fellowship that showed me what  my true problem was....

I don't know how to deal with my feelings.  I let my thoughts and feelings control my life.  When I am not using my feelings feel like they own me and when I am doped up I feel like I am in control of them.  Of course most people know that this is all an illusion and not even close to the truth.

I have two books that I am reading about emotional intelligence that are teaching me how feelings work in our bodies and how they are as irrational as many of our thought's in our head.  Feelings do not dictate where we are at or what's going on in our lives.  Feelings are not always accurate nor are the the thoughts we have.  I am learning through these books how to determine what is a healthy feeling and what is not.

 I am learning that I do indeed feel in exaggerated forms.  Simple sadness to me is a full blown self suicidal attack.  Mild attraction to a man is a complete soul mated attraction that must be acted on right now because I cannot control these wildly great feelings.  I have shared with my sponsor how offended I am by my own feelings.  I find I am more disgusted today by the thoughts and feelings I have allowed my life  to be dictated by for so long.

Again  this pulls me back to meditation and prayer folks.  Its only been through learning to sit quietly with my feelings and thoughts that are creating havoc for me and praying for them to be lifted.  Its in these moments of silence where I learn if the feeling is an accurate feeling meant to be acted upon or if it is one that is created out of a deeper fear of something.  My true nature is revealed during these moments of silence.  I beleive it is why the first three and last three steps of the 12 steps are focussed on learning to contact your higher power.  It is only through prayer and mediation that I have been able to determine between a healthy feeling and a not so healthy one.

Today I still have a magnitude of yucky feelings that come up and it takes me several days to work through some of them.  Meetings are a great place to speak out these processes and get feed back from people going through something similar.  Our feelings and thoughts are trying to kill us, by bringing them into the light of a meeting they hold no power over us.  Its the process of surrender in the moment.  Give the thoughts or feelings to the group...  We will take them for you and leave you with serenity.

Again as in everyday, I have so much gratitude for this program and my life today.  Feelings are something everyone in the world must learn to make friends with. The twelve steps showed me the way.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Process of Judging Myself

The discussion for my mind today is a broader one about the judgements we pass on ourselves and others from picking out defects and ignoring assets.

I have fallen victim to this judgement train that carried me right out of the fellowship that saved my life, not once but twice.  Learning who we are is about be able to accept the good with the not so good.  I was completely unable to accept the not so good within myself and therefor others.

Step six helps us uncover those defects of character that have molded us into the addict that we are.  By taking a look at those qualities within myself I was able to understand my step four much clearer and my part in the resentments created in my life.  It also awarded me the humility to make my amends come step nine.  Character defects are tools we use to create the new life that we are seeking.  They are a gift.

I can say this because I had a guide walking along side me during my steps that pointed out an asset for every defect I had.  That process softened the blow for my mind and heart.  I was able to look at myself with compassion and therefor after the two falls from over judgement I was able to accept other peoples defects with compassion as well.  It was only during this third go round on the steps that I was able to see both sides of the coin.

Prior to that understanding I was chest deep in my own defects and those around me.  I have learned that each person I communicate with is a mirror for me.  Each time a persons character resonates with me I have come to learn it is something I also embody or seek to embody.  Even deeper still its a character trait that I have yet have not acknowledged yet.  A wise friend once stated... Spot it, you got it!   Its from this understanding that I now see why I ran away from the fellowship those times, I could not accept within myself those qualities I detested in my new friends.

As I began to grow up, in the early stages, I started to have new challenges with judgement.  It was not so much the spot it you got it that was getting me caught up, it was the..... your not doing it my way... that caught me.   As I began to develop my personality and become confident in who I was, then I assumed everyone else was becoming the same person as me.  It makes sense doesnt it?  If everyone shared my defects then everyone must share my new personality too..... we are not unique.  Right?


I see that this concept does not transfer as we grow in this area of judgement.   We may all come in to the program the same beaten down animalistic way, but as we grow we become individual beautiful shining lights of our own highest power.  Judgement on the way to that highest power is from a more loving place, yet is still the same judgement that wants us dead from disease.   We now want everyone to do it our way because our way is the best way.  We want everyone to embrace the assets we are displaying.  The judgement comes when we dont understand their way or their assets.

Lack of understanding is where judgement resides and when we let that grow fear grows with it.  Fear serves love but love cannot reside within fear.  When a person feels that there way is the only way its because they fear any other way.  This is judgement and for that the disease is alive and well, in the guise of protection and control.

 As I moved into the light I had to let go of the need to understand everyone else's personality   I had to let go of my closest friends defects or even positive assets that I personally didnt think were positive.  Because i realized that we are all indeed different, we are all unique.  We may not be unique when we come into the program but as we grow into our highest power we do become unique individuals   I can now see the people in my support grow and flourish within their own personal strengths and I am now able to see how each one of us compliment each other.  Its so incredible to me to be part of a network of people that draw strength from each other and share each others gifts for the betterment of our little world.

Looking back I see how I have went from very small and self absorbed focussed on character defects to growing up a bit and passing judgement on those around me that didnt share my assets, to a place where I can lovingly embrace everyone's assets and defects.   I am humbled and awed by the process the twelve steps have allowed me.  Some days I truly wonder how much love I can handle in my life.  Then I stop and think about the serenity this program promises and I realize, the program delivered.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Learning to Love yourself through the Grace of Another.

The topic I would like to discuss today is Sponsorship.

I am going to be honest right off the fly about this topic today, not really wanting to discuss it.  However it is the reading from my daily meditation and I feel there is some work I need to process through in this regard so I am going to trust the process of things and write about it anyway.

Having lived a clean and sober life before falling into this destructive pit of drug addiction recently I had a friend that I considered my mentor.  I called her for everything, she is almost 20 years my senior.  Looking back at it with the knowledge I have now about sponsorship I can see how she was a sponsor in my life.  So when I look at what a sponsor is to me and what one is not it is from this model that I draw off of.

Years clean does not create a great sponsor to me.  Nor does having worked a set of steps.   A sponsor is someone that has what you want.   I have learned that what I want changes as I grow.  So more specifically I look for a person that has the personality I want, not the life situation.   My mentor was a spiritually connected loving individual.. I wanted to learn how to be connected.  Now in recovery I find I am seeking the exact same thing but I need someone that understands the workings of an addictive personality to help me get there as this is what my mentor lacked in personal experience.

My experience and where I come from is not the same for all addicts. This is solely my interpretation of a sponsor.  I am grateful to have had good trusting relationships before coming into addiction, I am  grateful I have not spent my whole life in active drug addiction.  I realize today I do have a pretty solid foundation for which I created before landing my broken life in a chair of a twelve step meeting.  So for me a sponsor is about setting me back on path.

It did take me a long time to trust my sponsor and a even longer time to learn to accept defects as readily as assets within her personality... for which she was mirroring my own defects and assets that needed to be accepted as well.  As the year turned over I realized my gratitude at her ability to sit back and allow me to walk through a process without interfering is exactly the type of sponsor I needed in order to really get it this time.  She extended me a grace and a love that was unconditional.  I never feared being fired by her or being judged in anyway, yet she would express her frustration over some of my decisions.  Which taught me to accept peoples feelings and still make decisions that I felt were necessary for me.  And when I fell and crawled back to her, she lifted me up and placed me back on my feet with not one ounce of contention in her actions.   I didnt realize when I asked her to be my sponsor that I was looking to learn unconditional love, but today now that I am learning it, I see that her role in my life has been just that.... to teach me to love myself and others unconditionally.

I believe everyone needs one person in there lives that they can trust to guide them through life storms.  I dont necessary think this person needs to be a friend and I also dont feel you need to call this person with every single little thing in your life.  this person should respect you and you them... thats the key for me.   I consider myself so lucky because I actually feel I have three sponsor in my life, all of which get the same story but for which each give me slightly different guidance.  This creates a confidence in myself to choose what feels right for me.   We each can run our program the way that works for us.... this has worked wonderfully for me as I am about to take my first 6 month tag in over two years of working diligently on the steps.

So if you dont have a mentor in your life, I highly recommend you get one.  Again community is the way to your higher power and for me thats what all of our missions in life are to achieve.... connection with the authentic self.  Work a program to the best of your ability and dont be afraid to change what is not working. Your goal should be to learn to love yourself.... however that is achieved is the right way for you.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Share in a Community, Your Life Will Change!

I would love to Share about Community today.

I feel as a society as a whole we are moving into a more community connected consciousness, and I am entirely grateful for the 12 step fellowships for ushering me in this mentality.  Together we can... alone we can't.

I have learned from personal experience that reaching out to others as a sounding board for the rat race taking place in my mind has been paramount in my recovery and learning who I am and who I am not.  Getting to know new people gives me the opportunity to develop my personality through the mirror they provide me.  And connecting with like minded groups helps me to find a connection to humanity that I cannot find sitting alone on my computer or on my couch.

I have been blessed with amazing friends within my fellowship and outside of it.  I have come to learn that we have many different likes within our personality and connecting with like minded people means getting involved with more then one group.  Not that i am saying join everything and overwhelm yourself with people from all walks of life... unless thats your personality.  Its definitely not mine.  I am a much more private person choosing to let only a few people close to my heart.

I have a friend from middle school that I still speak to almost daily, she lives far from me but we connect with each other because we share the same past.  We grew up together and its empowering to both of us to watch each other get through challenges and success, knowing we grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.  She is my truest sounding board.   She gets my brain and calls me on stuff that my other friends cannot.

 I have two friends that I met in a spiritual community about ten years ago and they are two of my dearest friends.  They are also normies... they do not get how and why my brain works the way it does. Because they love me, they find my thought process to be amusing and love me through these times that I stumble fall and find the hard way around to a solution   I love them for allowing me this grace, as they are my spiritual connection.  They have been my life line as I ventured to the depths of hell and back.  I lean heavily on them for my spiritual understandings as this is a very passionate area of my life.

However the largest community and the one closest to my heart is the fellowship that saved my life.  The women that have become my friends have brains that work like mine, have similar life experiences and completely relate to my entire being.  Being with a group of people just like me is empowering in a way I never understood before.   It makes me think of a church group and why they seem to be so happy all the time.  i am not sure if its the concept of God travelling through their beings or if it really is just the fellowship of like minded people connecting with each other.

I am a person who loves to dig and analyze ideas and concepts, but this one is so wonderful that it doesn't matter how or why.  I know that because of the twelve step fellowship and the work book of the steps my life has changed in ways I never thought possible.  All the things my spiritual teacher has been teaching me for over ten years now is finally taking hold.... but only because of the nurturing a support from this fellowship.  Within my group of friends I feel empowered to embrace my emerging personality and move confidently into who I am.  I feel love moving through me in ways that I never understood before.

Community is not just for people with the disease of addiction.  I notice that all people striving for overall health have become part of a fellowship of sorts.  Life is about relationships.  We cannot take things to our graves  but we can take memories and feelings of love.  Again I cannot say enough good things about my twelve step fellowship and I wish that everyone in the world could experience what I am.

If you dont belong to a group yet, I recommend finding something your passionate about or something your personality compliments... I am an addict that's the group I fit best with..... and get involved in its fellowship.  Community is the  way to connection.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

That was you then... This is You Now!!

My topic for today is ... Moving out of your past into your future.

One of the dangers I have observed within the Steps is the mud puddle we can fall victim to by digging up the past and those things that caused us to fall into addiction in the first place.   It took me almost two years once I as introduced to the steps to begin to let go of who I Was.

Reading my notes in my daily meditation book from last year shows the fear I was experiencing about moving forward.  I didn't know who I was now that I was beginning to see clearly who I was in my addiction. I knew that I didn't want to be that person any more but I was so full of guilt and shame over the things I had done and who I had become and more honestly yet.... who I had always been.   I didn't like who I was.  The steps blare a flood light on your part in the destruction of your life,  that sometimes is very hard to get through.

However with the help of a Good Sponsor and working through the last three steps, I have begun to slowly let go of that person I was in the past.  With little baby steps I am coming to trust this new energy in my life, this new personality emerging.  At first it was very scary and still is to move away from the comfort of what I know and am used too.  I have mastered my manipulative personality to move into a new personality is like a snake shedding her skin... raw and vulnerable.  I don't know what this new skin looks like or feels like.  I have no idea how to work this new personality emerging.  I feel completely new in my own body and its an exhilarating feeling.  Albeit scary as hell.

Recently I have found myself in a counsellors office that had me digging up my past again.  As I began to become agitated I realized that this was a different kind of counsellor.  I am seeing a career counsellor.  Instead of seeing a therapist to pick apart my past to help heal it, I am seeing a counsellor that is only touching on the past to give me immediate results for a better future.  The focus in my appointments is who I am becoming not who I was.  This is liberating.  I am tired of looking at who I was.  I am focussed on the present moment and creating the new life for my future.

I have come to realize since my focussed changed I have not relapsed, I have  not fell victim to my acting out.  Not saying that I haven't acted out because I have, but I rectified the situation within days of realization that my addict was alive and well.  If I am not moving and looking forward, I am moving backwards.

Here is to my future and I am sending you Love and encouragement to reach for yours as well.  Stand in the truth of who you are becoming.  The twelve steps give us a new skin to create a whole new you... what are you creating today?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pray=Talk, Meditation=Listen

My Topic today is about Prayer and Meditation.

 Of all the steps, the eleventh one is by far my favourite and the one that has the most impact on my life.  If you have been reading my posts I am sure you are already highly aware of that as I rant often about meditation.

There is a reason why I spend so much time and focus on this topic, its because I have lots of experience in this area.  I have also come to understand the benefits it has in my life on a wide scale.  When ever we as humans I think get excited about something that has worked for us we naturally want to share it with others.  We are not generally a cruel race, we naturally enjoying sharing.  For me that sharing is the gift of peace a serenity found in mediation.

In active addiction I spent alot of time praying and whining to any power that would listen to me.  I begged for death, begged for life, begged for money, begged for freedom from the obsession of money, begged for my dealer to hurry up, begged for him to go away.   I have talked to the God of the passing current understanding so much that I got sick of talking.  I got tired of my own whining and pleading.  I also got tired of not being heard.  I found myself even more angry at this stupid God that seemed to be there for everyone else but me.  I was done praying.

Prior to active addiction, I didnt so much believe in prayer. I had already written God off in my life.  However I met a wonderful friend who turned me on to meditation.  Its effects in my life were instant.  The calmness that the focus of learning different forms of meditation brought to my mind helped ease the chaos in my life.   After time I learned to direct my thoughts within my meditations to create situations and opportunities in my life that were beneficial to me and my family.  The power of mediation began effecting job opportunities, relationship connections and so many other things.  My general well being increased substantially.  I didn't understand then how it worked I just knew it did and I was riding the success train into the clouds.

Then I stopped meditating.  I stopped connecting.  I slowly began to descend from the clouds until i crashed violently into the ground and into active addiction.   I lost contact with a power greater then myself that at the time I didnt even realize I had established a relationship with.  My anger at God for allowing me to be abused as a child prevented me then from praying or asking for guidance, but meditation took me there without even my awareness.  My life got better because I was listening to the guidance of a higher power that I didn't even realize I was doing that.

Today coming into the 12 steps has blown the understanding and awareness wide open to what was going on in my life then and when I fell into active addiction.  Now that I am coming out of it I see how my prayers are whining complaints to God and my meditations were patient listening for guidance.   In my childhood I felt abandoned by God as did I in my addiction.  Thats why my prayers are attacks on my higher powers abilities and qualities.   I can see that clearly today only because of what the twelve steps have given me.

The 11 step is so fundamental for my understanding because now I see how to ask properly and wait patiently for the guidance.  I am able to marry prayer and mediation to create an incredible viable, tangible relationship with my higher power.  Some days I almost feel a physical presence of my higher self sitting with me as I pray and listen.  I never feel alone any more because the awareness of that energy is always with me. The more I sit in silence with myself the more I am communicating with an energy that is for MY highest good.

I have been called flaky, hoakey and just down right weird in my life because of my spiritual beliefs and practices.  However this program has taught me how to have a healthy relationship with myself and no longer do those comments stop me from being who I am.  Its uncomfortable learning to stand in my own truth, but the more I do it the more excited I become about learning what else is locked away within me.  I could not be more in love with this program then I am right now.... lol  I just came out of mediation, can you tell??

I hope that you all find your way to your higher Power and are able to receive the wonderful gifts that they are eager to bestow on you.  My love goes out to you.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

We do recover.

My Topic today... Moving past the labels of addiction and accepting the Disease.

Two Sundays ago I shared at a meeting my shocking understanding that I have more than a multitude of addictions, I indeed have a disease and that disease wants me dead.   Dead.

I have been so focused on the ways my addiction manifests itself that I was missing a much larger picture.  I was caught up on labelling my addiction of the moment.   Once drugs were removed food slipped in there nicely to fill the void drugs left.   Then I realized I was a food addict much before drugs entered my life, so I became confused on what program I should truly be in, NA. Or OEA.    After I peeled back the food layer I was brutally aware of my codependency issue and my sexual addictions, sending me for another tail spin as to where I belonged.   These labels I was attaching to myself fell under the category of addiction.   I was missing the larger grouping of these labels.

Disease.  I have a disease.    Dis- ease.    My lovely addict whom has always held the name of Lady Vixen, has been keeping my mind very busy in obsession over the labels so that I was to distracted to notice she was still succeeding at killing me.    You see I have dis-ease.   It doesn't matter what outlet I choose for my addiction to take until I deal with the underlying issues of why I need to use, in any form, lady vixen will always be alive and active in my life.    I realized in that meeting that I need to surrender the entire disease not just the addiction.

So I started another round of steps, going a little deeper this time.  Peeling back the layers of why I am in such dis ease with myself and my life.  Uncovering the past that caused me to want to numb out in the first place.   Taking an honest look at getting better not just masking the problem.  I no longer just want to survive, I want to thrive.   I no longer just want to live, I want to enjoy every moment of who I am and what this world has to offer.    I will always have the disease of addiction within me, but I can learn how to manage it and as time goes along I can move further away from its harmful effects in my life.   Even now with every challenge that arises for me to not act out in negative ways and to keep a nice balance my confidence and happiness builds.    The true addict in me now wants more of that.   I do beleive we can recover entirely from this disease.... But maintaince will continue for life.   As with everything good and worthwhile it takes effort to maintain it, so it is with myself.

Regardless of what fellowship of the 12 steps you belong to, we all share a common disease.... more of the world then is accepted now shares this same disease.  Together we can.. alone we cannot.   Reach out today !!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I AM my own higher Power.

 Todays Topic.... How to build a relationship with your Higher Power

 Each and every step is a step in the direction towards the inner God of your own being.   I can say that now and understand it only after working an entire set of steps.   Talk about this while I was on step three and you would have been faced with a much different view from my lips...  My god is an asshole and I want nothing to do with him.   Maybe all my relapses around step four were not just solely the result of fear of that step, but maybe that I was entirely unready to believe there was a god in my life that could save me from myself.

I have come to understand that trust runs so much deeper then just around the physical relationships in my life.   Trust with myself and trust of the god of my understanding.... Which is a goddess btw, was a hard trust to begin to accept.   My trust did not begin to develop until step 11.  Although I begrudgingly became willing at step three... The third time around at least.   Peeling back the layers in the steps between is what help me build my trust in a higher power as well as myself.

I have always been the instant snap your fingers kinda a girl, if what I wanted didn't come to my the moment I thought it, it wasn't worth my time.   How ridiculous I can see this train of thought was now.  As my relationship with my higher power grows I could not imagine my life without the connection to spirit I feel every day.   I do not think I could get through a day without feeling my heart grow big in my chest and my spirit whisper inner knowings to me.   I know that may sound strange and hockey to some, but until you experience it I cannot explain it any better.

I was at a woman's group last night and I was asked to explain what meditation was for me and I found myself passionately speaking about meditation taking me to a place within myself that was more ecstatic then the best orgasm or the highest high I ever had in addiction.   It was only in that moment that I realized the power of the twelve steps.   They give you a greater feeling and better thoughts then you ever had in addiction.   Now that I have achieved this state outside of dope and can call it up at will, why would I ever want to use again??

An inner power resides within each of us, it just takes patience, persistence and courage to tap in and to work with it in all of our affairs.  I encourage you to go within and find yours, be the change you want to see.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Have you changed in the last year?

Todays topic is about keeping notes of where you are at today in recovery.

When the meditation from your fellowships literature refers you to a page to read, do you go read it?  Or the IP pamphlet?   I never do.   To be totally honest I still have yet to fully read the blue book.   I have read different parts of it during my recovery, but never the full book cover to cover.    I am working through the living clean book, which is good but again I lose focus and put it down before I really get anywhere.    I enjoy the pamphlets, they are a shorter read and pack more of a punch for me.  Not sure why this is, as I am an avid reader and always have a book on the go.   But I digress within the first few lines of the post.....

I don't really want to share on this reading today.   If you have read it I am sure you can agree that being asked to share at a meeting puts you into that 'gulp' mode and if your seasoned at it your the one that is cracking everyone up with your tales of recovery.   What more can I truly add to that?

So instead I am far more amused at my own notes in the margin of the book that just began today.   Looks like last year at this time I got pretty involved with my recovery and this daily meditation book.   I made a not to myself to share from the heart, not about what I think people want to hear.  Which oddly enough I just began practising recently.    It takes this old dog a hell of a long time to get a lesson sometimes.

The deeper resonating with my notes in the margins that lead all the way into the June is my pattern of recovery.    As I sat with this meditation today I was reminded about how it seams every march is my get clean month, my treatment month or the month I am making big changes in my life.    It being spring my goddess loving spirituality tells me that this is the time of new beginnings and fresh energy.   So for me it's very easy to go with the flow of Mother Nature and work with the energies made available to me.    This is not the popping awareness however.

The fact I am loaded and a mess by the end of summer each year is the brain splitting truth that I truly want to share about today.   I see the pattern of bursts of recovery only to be followed by crashes of relapse.   I go hard only to hit a wall.    This pattern has been so painful and hurt so many of my loved ones that something has to change.

As I read my notes I feel like they are blaring warning signs of what not to do this time around.   I am grateful that I left myself little tidbits of information about where I was at last year this time.   I am instantly reassured that this year I am in a much different place.   I no longer share in meetings for other people's benefit.   I share to get guidance and perspective on my own life.... I share from a place of humility not ego.   That alone is very different then last year.

Being aware of my summer falls is the first step in taking action not to allow it to happen again.   I will up my connections within the fellowship.  I will up my self care routines.  I will attend a few more meetings when things get uncomfortable for me.  I will reach out.  I will be of service.    I will not allow the sun and fun to be my excuse to isolate and become to busy to put my recovery first.   I have learned the hard way that anything I put before my recover... Before my well being..... I lose.

Where are you at today?  Have you grown since last year?  Have you slipped backwards..... more challenges and less serenity suggests this path.  If we are not moving forwards we are moving backwards.  Keep on Swimming Dory.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Get vulnerable!!

Topic Today, sharing in a meeting where we are at.

Today's reading speaks about the power in sharing where we are at in our recovery at that precise moment.   My first thought which is always a negative one was about the people that never share anything but where they are at and it's always a whine fest without the good cheese for balance.   Again first thought egotistical and on further reflection I came to something deeper.

This past few weeks I have been sharing where I am at.  I was even getting sick of hearing myself cry over the fear of being jobless.  I tried to share positive message, I even gave warnings at the beginning of my share time that it may not be an empowering message for the women in the Saturday night meeting.   I just needed to try to make sense of what was happening in my life and experience has shown me that by speaking my thoughts in a group setting either powers them up or deflates me entirely.  Negative unproductive thoughts are the ones to dissolve.   It was exactly what kept my head above water for those few weeks.   I am entirely grateful.

Now that things are turning around slightly for me, I feel myself returning to a more balanced state and my need to apologize to my fellow females at the last meeting was overwhelming.   However when I began to share I didn't apologize.  While my mouth was wording the gratitude I felt for the process of life and being put back on my feet, my mind was marvelling at the vulnerability I was capable of while sharing my confusion and fear over being jobless.   To apaologize for my rants would be to devalue the ability to become vulnerable.   When we share where we are at we are getting vulnerable.

I would think that for the more recovered addict this would get more difficult.  There is an image to uphold with sponsees and newcomers that might make it more challenging to get raw about your own  feelings.   I felt the connection between me and my fellow addicts as I shared honestly and from the heart.... Fear and love both reside there.

I almost didn't want to share this last meeting because everything is going really good for me in life again and when it's good I don't have anything to process, then I realized this is the giving back part of the program.  I took a lot these past couple of weeks, now it's time for me to keep that energy going and give it back to the women in the room that is about to trip and stumble on her own fear block.   This is the circle of recovery.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Finding your courage.

 Todays Topic, Overcoming Fear

I just walked through a time in my life where fear was almost overwhelming.  Being without work, no income source in sight and no man in my life to fall back on.   That was a raging fear that threatened to not only take me back out but also to act out in ways that would compromise everything I was working so hard to change in my life.

That fear did have me dancing with the devil a bit, reaching out to old obsessions and skirting opportunities to fall back into old toxic relationships.   I never fully understood how sneaky fear can be and how much my addiction is truly a disease wanting me dead.   This disease of addiction waits for moments in my life where my mind is challenged or compromised and works overtime to slip in to the dark corners of my thoughts, laying spider babies to infect my thoughts of peace and trust in the process of life.    Those spider babies brought me back to the arms of my lover.

However even though I was going through the motions of an old pattern of coping, my heart was deeply connected to a power greater then myself.   I found myself breaking ties completely with my lover and sending him on his way packing, for good this time.  I feel the severing of connection with him and with my old patterns of needing a man in my life to feel safe and secure.   I tapped a courage to stand fully in my truth and speak it in the face of  my raging obsession to allow him to just make it all better and take me away from the place causing me so much fear.

Today I am not longer drowning in that fear as money has come to me from sources unseen before.  I have been gently removed from my obsession and I am filled with awe over my own ability to walk through it and not fall victim to my own self sabatoging antics.   I am filled with an empowering courage that I as a single women can and will create a wonderful life for myself and my daughter.   That courage is fuelling me forward and as the momentum picks up so does my excitement over my new way of life.

Be courageous its not as hard as you think.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Who are you becoming?

 Topic: Fearless Moral Inventory

I was so afraid to do the fourth step the first time.   I had heard horror stories about it.  How painful it was, how people relapsed during the fourth step and how many people fired their sponsors and started from scratch every time they got to the fourth step.    So naturally I relapsed just before the fourth step and headed back to square one.  The second time attempting step four I heard how much a gift it was to work that step and how much freedom you come out with after finished.    I heard that I would learn to love and accept myself through this step and how I would get to know who I really was.     I relapsed again during this step and headed back to square one.

It took me three go rounds to finally face the demon I thought I had become in active addiction.   It took a steady build up of courage for me to finally be ready to face the person I was, became and was about to become.    It wasn't that it was all bad and I was afraid to see the monster I was capable of being.  I was quite comfortable in that.   The fear that overwhelmed me was at as soon as I could see my potential I knew there would be no going back to ignorance.   The bliss I knew in addiction and prior to it would be shattered and I would have to start taking responsibility for my actions and my life.   That's why I kept relapsing.   I was holding on to my ignorance.  I was trying to keep a bliss that hard turned toxic long ago.

I think it would have been easier if I was not the type to do it to the deepest of my ability.  Go big or go home, all or nothing, work it fully if your gonna spend time working it at all.   Maybe if I was more laid back and gave it fifty or sixty percent I would have been able to hold some of my ignorance.  Maybe then it would have been a slower more subtle awakening.  But no, I do things to the fullest of my ability and the fourth step was no exception.

When I finally did complete the fourth step, it was not with put two relapses both during the relationship section.  I have come to learn I give my power away within my relationships, both male and female, both friends and family, both romantic and platonic.   I meld into the person I am hanging out with.  To become aware of that was too painful.  To embarrassing.   The acceptance part of that has been a continual process of working through with each of my relationships in my life.

The fourth step has peeled away the layer that was hidden to me and causing my inability to see myself and life situation clearly.   By becoming the person or group I was spending the most time with, I was going against who I was as an individual.   That caused so much disharmony in my being that I was on a constant spin.   However to finally accept that was even worse in the beginning because if I was not 'them', then who the hell was I?

That is what I am walking through today.  Learning who I am.  Spending time alone with myself, not in isolation but in curiosity of building a relationship with this new person in my life.... Me.  I am defining who I am by tapping into my feelings and developing my intuition throu meditation.   Taking those new found insights into the world and maintaining my balance within relationships and groups.  Each time I succeed in staying true to myself, I grow stronger and uncover another cool personality trait that's all mine.  Not gonna lie though, some are positive traits and some not so glorious ones.  But all the same I get excited just to know that I am capable of something all on my own.

I no longer feel a slave to my addiction, nor the people around me.  The fourth step has kept it's word that I would learn who I was and I am always amazed by what I am capable of.  The freedom that comes from peeling back the layers of crap that I hid behind for so long definitely out weighs the rawness of standing naked.   I now look forward to tomorrow to see who will emerge from this darkness I have hid in for way too long.

Who are you?  Do you know?  Are you  willing to do the work to find out?   I hope you are standing  in all the glory that you posses inside and out??

Friday, March 15, 2013

Are you a part of?

Topic:  Fellowship

Always looking at my part in something has me digging deeper into where I am at mentally, spiritually and physically.   I struggle with after meeting coffees that I am invited too.   I never really understood why, it is just uncomfortable.   So when asked most times I say no unless there are people going that I am really comfortable with already.  After reading and sitting to reflect on this reading I think I may be embarking on an understanding as to why that is.

Small talk.

What is that?    Honestly what is small talk?  Logically i obviously understand the concept of it, but where in my life have I practiced it?  Upon digging deeper, I can see how all my conversations are deep and serious.  My life is deep and serious.  My relationships are all deep and serious.   Where is the lightness in my life?   I guess that slipped away from me when I began to travel the dark realms of addiction hell.    Learning to live in the light has proven more uncomfortable then I first thought.

Chit chat with new people is a light action.   Coffee after the meetings has no agenda and people are there because they are enjoying themselves and each other.   It's a different vibe then the serious tone of a do or die meeting.   I am comfortable with the do or die meeting.   Not so much with the light fun coffee afterwards.    How unbelievably odd is that?   I feel so odd outside the fellowship and within it.

I see now having coffee with fellow addicts after the meetings is part of learning a new way to live.   It's not like I never was able to small chat before, it's not a new concept for me, but it is a returning to earth again and that is a shaky transition.

Thinking of it a bit more deeply and getting even more honest, I also fear the intimacy with my fellow addicts.  Sharing myself fully means opening up and I think I have been shut down so long that the doors to my inner self are rusted shut.   In a meeting I can keep to the deep topics of addiction, at coffee I would be more inclined to share my day and what's happening in my world.  That is a bit more challenging for me.  I am a Virgo and we love our privacy, it's hard for me to open my book up for people to read.

Learning a new way is the goal thought, right?   Maybe I will be the one to instigate coffee after my next meeting.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Relationship... What is that?

Topic:  Relationships

What a hot topic this one is in the rooms of our meetings.  My first and only thought for the longest time, until just recently actually was the relationship of the romantic kind.   I was either all for it or all against it depending on the stage my own romance was at.   Last night I officially made the final break in my toxic two year roller coaster ride of a relationship with a man from the rooms.   This was the third time I have 'officially' broken up with him.   I won't go back on my word this time, I feel much differently about relationships through my understanding of the fourth step and the entire program.

Having the limited beleif that romantic relationships were the most important relationship in my life robbed me of some truly great relationships with other women, my children and my own mother and family.   I was always so absorbed in a man that I lost sight of everything and everyone else... Including myself.  The first relationship you need to build is with yourself.   This is what the fourth step try's to teach us.  By looking at our part in our relationship interactions we get to know who we are and how we communicate.   I could not see any of that while I was trapped in a toxic relationship that was always keeping my entire being locked into his.

The freedom I experienced the last time we broke up for six months, I got to see how intolerant I am. How manipulative I am, and how closed minded I am.   These things I could not see while a man was standing by my side telling me how great I was.  I have had to stand in friendships without my man to hide behind when I didn't want to face a conflict.   I have had to reach out to others in my times of need, lacking my man to comfort me.   These have all been great truths in learning who I am and how I function within relationships across the board.

I find I have way more love and time to give to my children.  I am sure they are all kinda creeped out by this new Hugh mom they have... Actually my oldest jokes about her party mom turning into 'nanny McFee'.   It's a good feeling.  I have gone out of my way to work through my resentments and uncomfortable feelings with my mother, healing very old dark wounds.  I am gearing up to rekindle my relationship with my estranged brother.  These are all things I did not have energy for when I was chasing my next compliment from my boyfriend.

I feel grateful and free today.  This program hasn't given me my life back, it has given me a whole new life.    I pray that more people find their ways to the 12 steps from whatever fellowship fits them.  This world would be a much better place if we all fell in love with ourselves.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My sponsor, my friend.

Todays topic:  Sponsorship.

I have definitely struggled with what a sponsor is and isn't in my little corner of the world.  The old me had a whole shit tonne of expectations.  Those expectations I am learning today were double high for my sponsor.  I truly believed my sponsor was my soul saviour and that as long as they were privy to my life then I would stay out of harms way.   I had no concept of how much work I had to put into my own program.  I really did believe that just by having a sponsor I would stay clean.  Ya, two very painful falls corrected that thinking.

Two falls and two sponsors later I am now just coming to understand what the role of a sponsor is in my life.  I am only coming to that understanding because I am just coming to learn who I am and what I need.  I had no idea how to utilize a sponsor in the past, therefor my sponsor could not do much for me other then share the steps with me and show me my patterns and the nature of my issues.   Everyday life was still a mystery to me and was causing me to continue to wreak some havoc in my world.

For me I am coming to understand that a sponsor is my friend, and someone in whom I trust.  It takes time to build trust and with that comes respect and finally and deeper love then the one born out of our first tradition.   I have not always shared everything with my sponsor, sometimes I have faltered in  my life because of that and other times I have become empowered by solving a problem on my own with my higher power.   My sponsor has allowed me the room I need to grow and for that I am beyond grateful to her.

I personally believe a good sponsor builds you up and empowers you to walk forward into a new life.  I am a very sensitive person I have come to realize and my sponsor worked with that.  She is slowly helping me to become stronger.  Someone whom has tapped their own higher power and has emotional maturity is definitely an asset in a sponsor.  However just having someone to walk the steps with you in the beginning is enough.    The steps are the focal point the perfect sponsor for what you need in that moment will come to you and as you mature and grow so will the sponsor you choose.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Getting out of the Rut


Todays Topic:  Complacency

I think it's true for everyone in the world that life can get boring at times, we can all fall into ruts.   I definitely can relate to this before my current manifestation of drug addiction wreaked havoc in my life.  Understanding fully that I have always struggled with the disease of addiction I did enjoy creating the chaos my life had always been loaded or not.  However there were times in my 17 year marriage where I thought I was gonna poke my eyes out and suck my brain through the sockets if I had to preform one more menial motherly wifey task again.   It was at those time I could have learned what the blue book speaks of instead of creating the huge life changing dramas that I was accustomed too.

I have not faced this issue in recovery yet because I am still in the phase of.... Oh God please make my life simple....   I even have posters around my house with the accronym KISS.. keep it simple sweetheart.   I am so sick of the chaos of my mind manifesting in my life that I long for the routine of boredom.  Just as the reading states.   However now that I am learning I am not unique maybe I will start working on some preventative medicine now for this malady that is sure to strike me as I continue on this path.

I have learned that doing new things, however small they are, creates a passionate excitement within my spirit that is akin to the feeling of falling in love with that really cute bad boy.  You know the rush of a new relationship that us addicts thrive on?  Trying new things produces a measure of that feeling for me.  I can see how when my life gets to that simple that I strive for now, I will be missing out on that passionate feeling within me.   Dangerous zone for this girl to hit, as that's when I rush out and make some huge life changing decisions to shake shit up again.  Maybe already predicting the path I can make it my goal today to try something new once a week.

What's if every week of my life I strove to try something new, however small or large.  Wouldn't that create a really fun story for my grande children one day?  All the things grandma has tried in her life?    I am sure there would be some interesting things on that list.   I am getting excited just thinking about creating a list to create excitement!!    Today in early recovery everything is new, almost daily I am trying something new and maybe that's is the bases for the excitement the new comer feels.  Maybe I can carry this excitement for the rest of my life and not fall into the rut.... Ever?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Drinking the resentment poison

Todays topic:  Resentments

I read the daily meditation 3x and sit with the reading for a few minutes between each reading.   Today I am being reminded that the more I learn about myself and this program the less I know.

Understanding what a resentment was in the beginning was a huge awakening.  Everything made so much sense as to why I went out of my way to hurt family and friends in addiction.  Again I am one to always get stuck on the awareness part of things and not really move on from that.

Upon second reading I found myself thinking of how many times I have ran away from the meetings because I was so offended by a fault of another.  How many times I have harshly beat myself up for my own faults.  How many times I have wanted to fire my sponsor or walk out on a friendship because a fault had surfaced.  Where was my acceptance?     I couldn't see that I was still stock piling resentments.  I was making new ones.   This again is a bit shocking to me, as I really believe that once you have worked through your step four all resentments fade and no new ones will be created because now I am aware of what a resentment is and how hard it was to let go of past ones, so I won't create any new ones.

How messed is that thinking?

I am just getting hooked back in to the fellowship and it feels so good to be welcomed back and to be of service to these people that I have so harshly judged in my head.   I am just now learning to accept my own faults and to give myself grace when I do something defective.   This has given me the ability to accept others for who they are.... Good and not so good.  I feel like the rose coloured glasses are coming off and everything is much clearer and brighter.

I guess my next step is action.   Working through my defects and judgments and allowing others there faults.   Practicing compassion and unconditional love for myself and for all my family within the fellowship and outside of it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Steps to our Own Recovery

....The steps are our solution.  They are our survival kit.  They are our defence against addiction, a deadly disease.   Our steps are the principals that make our recovery possible.     Basic text, p. 19

Hello my name is Brandy and I am a grateful recovering addict.

The steps have been the answer to my problems.  I find myself feeling sorry for people that struggle with their lives but don't have a drug or alcohol addiction and have not been able to access the twelve steps.  These steps are truly the spiritual awakening I have longed for, for a very long time.  I just had no idea they would be this painful at times.

Last night after a suggestion from a very dear friend I opened my step working guide and began writing out another step one.  I truly believed having went through an entire set of steps I would never open that book again.  I could identify a step working itself in my life so clearly that I didn't figure I would have to actively seek answers like the first time around again.  I was wrong.  Terribly wrong.

My obsession over my ex boyfriend has left me completely depleted of energy and any though other then him, and no other feeling then anger and resentment towards him.  I could not get above it these past couple weeks no matter how hard I tried to control it.  I upped my meetings, reached out more to the women in the program, did more service work.  Yet the obsession just kept growing.  I was even aware it was obsession and was talking to God and meditating through the entire process yet nothing was lifting the cloud I was walking deeper into.   That is until I opened my step working guide to page one and answered the question..... How is my addiction manifesting itself in my life today?

After working through the entire first step on just my obsession over my ex, I realized my obsession isn't even about my ex.   It's about having any man take care of me because I don't truly feel that I can.   You see I am unemployed and struggling to stay on my feet.  My obsession is my addicts way of distracting me from the tasks at hand and keeping me on my ass, instead of walking strongly into my future.  This is how my addict will kill me, by causing me to fail.  Brining me to a place of self pity so that I numb out the pain with dope and begin the entire circle all over again.

I am humbled again today and find feelings rushing back to me.  Feelings that were starting to become choked out by anger and fear.   I am learning I can feel fear and not be over taken by it..... It's when I try to deny the fear that anger takes over and destroys everything.   It's okay to be freaked out that I don't have a job.  It's that fear that propels me forward to seek out a job.  Anger holds me back and focuses me in the wrong direction causing me to miss great opportunities.  Now that I am back in my feelings I know what I have to do this week to release that fear and keep moving forward.

I am not going to fail this time because I am walking the steps to my own salvation, to my own new and healthy self that is just waiting for me on the other side.   I have a strong support circle and I am doing the work.  Failure is a part of success and coming to believe again has been the trip I needed to regain my footing.

Just for today: I want everything my personal program has to offer.  I will work the steps for myself.

Thank you for letting me share.  I am a grateful recovering addict named Brandy.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Don't Sweat the small stuff

"In the past, we made simple situations into problems; we made mountains out of molehills."  Basic text p. 90

Hello my name is Vixen and I am a recovering addict.

On a deeper level I am beginning to understand what it means to work a program.  Reading this meditation everyday seems to reflect in that exact moment in my life. Like the words from the pages of the book have been written as a running commentary for my life.  I recognized this with the steps as well.   As I worked a step it was like my higher power facilitated the exact experiences necessary for me to earn that step on a very real practical level at the same moment that I was working through it in a book.   Amusing tidbit of information for myself, sorry to hold you hostage while my mind plays with the small stuff......

Today I received an email from my ex boyfriend that I have been struggling mentally to let go of.   I am pretty obsessed with him and have recently released he is a reservation for me.  We relapsed together twice.   At the moment I am freaked out about being unemployed with no income.  I am coming up on my very first six month tag clean.  I also just made the official cut in our relationship, which puts me single for the first time.... In my life.    Huge changes in my world two weeks before a major tag for me.  Can you say super hot zone?

So the email response is one of those small things that has me teetering on the edge.   Small thing?  Yes.    That last thing that can send me over the edge?     It's not just that he emailed, it's the content.   He always says the seemingly right thing, although I know beneath the words his concepts are skewed.  This email is the little mini bomb he dropped at the end that has me reeling.   He will be in town for the weekend and at all the meetings.

I am blessed with the fact he lives out of town and I am not tempted by him on a daily basis.  That would be excruciating as I am still deeply attracted to him.   Not a healthy kind of attraction I must add.  However being as close to the edge as I am in my personal life, to have him so close makes it almost unbearable.    This is a small thing that I am sweating.

So.... Just for today:  I will work on patience.   I will try to keep from blowing things out of proportion, and walk with my higher power through my day.

Thank you for being here with me.  My name is Brandy and I am a grateful recovering addict.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Learning to Love Ourselves

......'What we want most is to feel good about ourselves.'  Basic text, p.101

I just got out of my drug addiction counselling appointment and this was the focus of our session today.  My self esteem.  Go figure.  I am so used to these synchronicity now that they don't even phase me anymore. 

I found a love so startling within these rooms of NA when I came in that it scared me back out.  Realizing at such a late age in life that I had no idea what Love truly was is an uncomfortable awakening.  Women hugged me and related to my pain.  Other addicts shared in meetings thoughts directly from my head.  I felt like I found a home that was more of a home then my biological family was.  While it was welcoming and wonderful it was equally as sad and painful.

That love however did carry me until I began working the steps and I began to feel some compassion for myself and my journey.  I find myself now learning the process of liking myself and embracing the emerging personality that seems to be oozing out of my pours.  I am slowly moving away from those people, places and things that hurt me, into a more loving and supportive environment.  My self esteem is rising, I was just informed by my counsellor.

It is a really odd thing to learn to love yourself and to take care of yourself.  I have realized loving myself does not mean pampering myself at the spa.  It means paying my bills on time.  It means excersizing my body and feeding it well.  It means taking care of my responsabilities well and living a honest life both within my mind and within the world.   By doing these things I am showing respect to the one person that matters most in my life.... Me. 

It's not self centered to take care of Me.  By taking care of who I am, it free's up my energy to be of service to those in need around me.  When I am not stressed about my bills, or feeling like crap, then I am free to get involved fully in the present moment.  Being in the moment is where true service begins, because you are then aware of what is needed and how to deliver that.  When I am not taking care of me, I am clouded and unable to see what someone else needs.  This is why taking care of me is not self centered. 

So  Just for Today; I will do something today that helps me recognize and feel love for myself.

Thank you for letting me share

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When Recovery is Your Priority

"......The good times can also be a trap; the danger is that we may forget that our first priority is to stay clean." Basic text, pg.43........

Hello my name is Brandy and I am a recovering addict.

I can relate deeply to this meditation today. I don't have years clean but I have become complacent in my program a few times, born out of my need to rebel and do things my own way. I always seem to want to integrate back into society before I am ready with a mindset that I will not become like the NA lifers and be attending 3 plus meetings a week in five years. I realize now that this is a dangerous attitude to have because it separates me from the addicts living a program. It tries to re connect me with the normies, as some addicts call them, outside the rooms. This thinking clouds the fact that I am an addict... Always have been and guess what, always will be. When I try to identify and relate with someone who is not an addict I get confused, frustrated and lonely.... Which leads me back to the same place as it always does. Isolation and using.

It seems each time I get comfortable with being clean I forget how much other addicts have done to help me feel loved and accepted and I have got to go try this out in the real world. After a few attempts I now have a solid conclusion that I like the feeling of belonging and feel good about extending that feeling to a newcomer coming in that desperately needs to feel that way as well. This attitude will keep me in the rooms and hopefully clean for a much longer time.

Getting into a relationship for me was that too good to ever fall feeling that took me back out. The reading warns of the good feelings being a trap and i must admit i have ranted about this to anyone who will listen. i don't use when I am miserable, I use when i think i have regained control. When I fell in love with a man in the rooms, I truly felt invincible with my 'soulmate' by my side. It took a few months before dope made it's way back into my veins, subtle and slow was the slip from grace. When I woke up four months later in a new town really far from home, I realized I was not above the program and my rebellious nature would end up killing me if I didn't surrender it.

Of course the surrender process takes some time for me as well and I took a few more headers before I finally began working this program in all my affairs. I work very hard at keeping my head in the grey area, not too high and happy and not to low and miserable. Keeping an even balance and being steadfast to my recovery. That has taken me through some of the toughest challenges that my life has seen to date, and has rewarded me with the longest clean time I have ever had.

Step ten, eleven and twelve worked on a daily basis has saved my life. I keep a priority spot for giving back when life is good for me and reaching out when it isn't. I realize today that I will alway need the fellowship of this program no matter how much clean time I have under my hat, because I am not built like the normies of the world.... I am an addict, and it is only through the acceptance of other addicts that I can truly begin to love and accept myself... As I am, as the goddess created me.

So....'Just for today: I am grateful for the good times, but I've not forgotten from where I've come. Today, my first priority is staying clean and growing in my recovery.'.....

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