We woke up this morning to a large red ring around my daughter’s belly button. Thankfully this episode was on a regular weekday instead of a Sunday. It was like God listened when I prayed for some weekend medical relief, or rather wrote all about it here. He must of forgotten, however, that we were just at the doctor yesterday for her 7 year check-up.
The following is my fifth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.
Step 5: “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
Step 5 is found in Chapter 6 (Into Action) page 72 through page 75 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. In step 4 we discovered the deeper causes in our nature that were creating our problems. Now we need to start the process of healing by telling them to another person. We have to stop hiding from life and others, we have to finally find the courage to remove our mask and be entirely honest with another person. The book gives the reason why this is so important on page 73; “More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. They are very much the actor. To the outer world they present a stage character. This is the one they want others to see.” This mask or “stage character” is the lie that is presented to the world and the alcoholic is terrified that the lie will be discovered. This makes for a life of constant fear and tension which empowers the addictive behavior.
The following is my fourth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.
Step 4: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
Step 4 is found in Chapter 5 (How It Works) page 63, last paragraph, through page 71 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are to take a personal inventory in order to “face, and be rid of, the things in ourselves which have been blocking us. Our addiction is but a symptom. We had to get down to causes and conditions”. Searching and fearless means thorough and honest. We cover our entire life, past and present, leaving nothing out, exhausting everything we can bring to consciousness. Having set a firm foundation in Step 3, we now have the courage and strength to look within and shine light on the true causes of our problems. What we discover we write down. We search through every emotional aspect of our lives, resentments (anger), shame/guilt (I am a bad person/what I did was bad), fear (stress, tension, anxiety, terror) and all of our life situations: relationships (sex/people/institutions), work/career (people and institutions), finances (beliefs and fear around money), spiritual (God/religion), health (physical/mental health problems). We look at our life events, real and imagined, how and why we were threatened by what we believed was happening, and how our actions and reactions created or contributed to the destructive outcome for ourselves and others.
This is the season for compassion. How can someone with ADD find compassion for themselves in a season filled with societal traditions that are difficult in the best of times and monumental during the holidays? One may really want to send holiday cards and yet never accomplish the task. Friends who visit may be handed letters left unfinished from the 1990's, or some bizarre craft project instead of the well-respected holiday card or invitation for coffee. Shame and guilt can pursue you like a storm cloud in a cartoon.