Semantics are tricky, amIright? When it comes to defining my own sobriety, the words I use make a huge difference. Too many words overwhelm me to the point of giving up on weighing in on myself... I give up on self-accountability before I even begin. Not enough words, and justification sneaks in with rationalization on it's shirttails.
Ambiguity is not an option.
Perfectionism is not an option.
Balance is the key. And balance can be so elusive.
I struggle with my own addictions, so do I throw that into my definition? I reminded myself that I am working the 12-steps outlined in the s-anon program.
Why am I doing that?
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? Do you ever sit through a meeting and think, "What am I doing? Who am I? When did THIS get to be my story? WHY AM I DOING THIS?!"
A: Because of the pain. I flashed back to that day... it was the tail end of 2010 and I was in so much emotional pain that it graduated to physical pain. My heart hurt. And not in the way folks on social media say, "My heart hurts" when there's puppies with no one to adopt them. My heart LITERALLY hurt. I clutched my chest. I couldn't think straight. I couldn't see through the tears.
One thought pounded clearly through, though:
THIS IS MY LIFE.
Everything I had done to keep this life from being my life had failed. I was living this life -the life of a woman married to a man with a compulsive sex addiction -at the hands of my husband. I was in the ugliest, irrational bout of Tug of War with my circumstances.
Sometimes they controlled me.
Sometimes I liked to think I controlled them.
But that day, I realized my circumstances just WERE and the Tug of War was all in my head.
THIS IS MY LIFE.
As the tears turned into a migraine, a question came through the brain pipes:
IS THIS MY LIFE FOREVER?
It felt that way. In that moment, it felt like a change of circumstances was impossible for me. JUST me. I had exhausted my abilities, resources, capabilities. According to my past experiences, that meant that the only thing life had left to offer me was WHAT WAS.
I didn't know then what I know now -that circumstances have not much to do with my peace and serenity unless I let them. I thought if my circumstances were in line with MY IDEA of peace and serenity and happiness, then I could be peaceful, happy and serene.
My pain came from trying to manage everything around me, everything inside of me.
And that -right there -is where I found my definition of recovery. I turned to s-anon because of the unmanageability that came into my life from trying to manage everything and everyone around me.
"If I go to control, fear, or anger and try to manage it myself, I have lost my sobriety."
So hey there. My name is Alicia, and I am 3 days sober.