I too frequently wake up in the middle of the night with my mind whirling in a thousand directions at once. That’s when I listen to podcasts. I am comforted by the drone of other voices other than my own lulling me back to sleep; unless, the podcast is interesting.
Last month, my life partner and best friend passed away from a journey with cancer. Words cannot describe the pain and sorrow I feel constantly. The word "lost" best describes my life at this moment and I find myself walking around in circles hoping I will wake up from this dream state and my life will go back to normal. Unfortunately, reality says otherwise and my new life does not include the beautiful man that was a part of my life for the last seven years.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season in the christian faith. During the 40 days ending on Easter Sunday, we are asked to reflect upon our relationship with God by fasting or sacrificing something important in our lives. In the past, I have chosen to give up food or drink I love and this year I am deleting social media from all my electronic devices. In addition, I am adding an act of service to my daily routine in the hopes of enhancing the life of someone in need who makes sacrifices every day.
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 second entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.
Step 2: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
In step 1, discussed previously, we discovered that we were hopelessly powerless to stop using a substance that was destructive to our lives. We were strangely “insane” in that we couldn't or wouldn't stop using a substance that was poisoning our physical and emotional health and ruining all that we held dear in life.
The recent tornadoes in the Southeast remind me of my life. There have been some very dark days where everything got turned upside down. Times where I have lost a lot, if not practically everything. I have had to sort through the rubble. I have had to put the pieces back together. I have had to rebuild my life.