Monday, February 11, 2013

The Baggage Company

I spent so many years looking down.

I looked down on addicts. 
I looked down on recovery books.
I looked down on groups, therapy, even the language of recovery.

How many times did I crack the cover of recovery books only to slam them shut because they didn't agree with my logic?
Oh, my broken logic.

Surely those methods were for OTHER people that actually had problems... that were ACTUALLY screwed up.
I was okay.  Prayer would do it for me.  Prayer, scriptures, and a trusty journal.

Because I was special and strong.
I was a strong case of special.

Yes, I was STRONG.  I didn't need anyone.  well.  except for my husband...
I needed him at night.  I needed him when he was gone for work trainings.  I needed him to tell me if my outfit was okay.  If the food I made was acceptable.  If I should go to the store or not.  If I should buy Girls Scout Cookies.  If I should start walking in the morning. 
Am I okay?
Are we okay?
Is our future okay?
Am I making you happy?
Are you happy? 
Are you comfortable?
Babe?  Babe?  Babe?

He didn't ask for me to need him.  I simply reasoned with my broken logic that if he was okay with everything I did, WE would be okay.  He wouldn't need to look at porn because I would make him happy.
My food, my outfits, my activities, my sexual offerings: they would all be his favorites.
And then.  The porn would be squelched.

I was STRONG enough to squelch porn with one simple solution: self-sacrifice.

I placed myself on the Altar of Porn, and my Father in Heaven waited patiently for me to rise up, remove myself, and start my journey to another altar.
He patiently stood by while I took two steps away from the Porn Altar, ran back, took two steps away, ran back...
"They will be done," I said in my prayers... silently attaching "later" to my prayer.  But He heard.  He always does.
He held me anyway.  He never gave up on his sheep.
The more distance I put between myself and the altar, the more sense the recovery books made.
About ten months later, I took my shaking self to a PASG meeting.
I literally SHOOK.
I knew by then... I wasn't strong enough to squelch anything.
Strength has nothing to do with it.

Strength is THERE, but it is only found in submission, giving up.
I read a few days ago in the forum someone laying the first three steps out in this manner:
1) I can't.
2) God can.
3) I will let Him.

And I quit asking my husband if my food was okay.  I quit asking him if my outfits were okay (though occasionally I have to check because I have an inability to match, and my husband is great at it -his Mother raised him right.  I mean: his shoes always match his belt.  I didn't even know that was a thing...)

I started directing my questions inward.
"AM I okay?"
"Is this food good?"
"Are you comfortable?"
"Are you learning?"
"Alicia? Alicia?  Alicia?"

For years, my husband was more my father than my husband.
It's slow going, but our marriage is balancing out.
It's a huge adjustment.  HUGE.

But no longer is he the ox at the helm of My Baggage Wagon.
And no longer am I the ox of HIS Baggage Wagon.

We're both riding' the trail, Wagons side-by-side.  We're sitting pretty on the hard wooden seats of our OWN wagons, and the Lord is at the helm of each of them.
I don't always feel good about it.  I mean: it IS my baggage.  I should be the one to manage it -not dump my STUFF on someone else, right?
I can't.  I can't do it.  I can't handle my own stuff.
And why should I, when someone else has already handled it?  I just have to hand Him the reins, hop off my seat and chase my kids around the wagon.

Someday we hope to hitch our wagons together, push the baggage out onto the dusty trail and leave it behind.

And we're not special.  There's eleven or a million other wagons with us.

We call ourselves The Baggage Company.
Our leader is FEARLESS.  Our members are pioneers.
We laugh, we cry, and we don't pretend to have it all together.

We move on with hope, and there IS strength.
We are strong enough because our leader is strong enough.

I have my Girl Scout Cookies, and I don't look down anymore.
Hope holds my head high.


  1. Great post, Alicia! It left me feeling fortified! I had to chuckle about your dressing yourself. I know my wfe needs me if for no other reason than to give her those exact same types of advice, ha, ha. We are pioneers. While immorality has never not been a problem, the internet has caused it to explode. Seems that only a few, in comparison to the true numbers affected, are at this point willing to give the painful/exhilarating/crushing/liberating experience of recovery a sincere go. Your post also reminds me of how much the addict has in common with the co-dep. Our team Captain is the same! Thanks again for your insights!

  2. You always have great posts. I'm so glad you are my friend. :) You rock!