Driving into Arches National Park in Utah, I have this joyous feeling: I have never been so happy in my life! I am with my beloved husband and two glorious grandsons. It is a precious time.
Carrying a basket of striped sock monkeys and assorted stuffed animals, I grab my tea and enter the casual lounge space. The three people wait as I then settle into my seat. We gather here because one woman dared to ask for help when experiencing personal despair. Specifically, she asked us to facilitate an intensive daylong inward journey.
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.
“Find A Way”
My daughter is a hero. She is a nurse practitioner working with elderly demented patients. When she was working with an Asian woman who spoke no English and refused to eat, she and the staff were perplexed. It was clear her patient was not in this reality. How were they to take care of her physical needs?
Being me. What in the world does that mean? I thought I was being me by being what other people wanted and expected me to be. I looked like I had it all: A good marriage, happy and healthy children, and I lived in a nice house with 2 nice cars. Actually, that worked for a long while. I looked at the content of my life and I thought, “I’ve done what I was suppose to do! Good job!” The problem was, I thought being the “good girl” and doing “what I was suppose to do” would mean I would be “HAPPY” too. But what I felt inside was restless, resentful, and angry.
“The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be.”
– Leo Buscaglia, a.k.a. “Dr. Love”