Tuesday, October 13, 2015
It is my emotional pain and suffering that have brought me every tiny step of the way to admit defeat and throw in the towel and thus become willing to admit that I am powerless over myself, people, places and things and giving myself to a Power Greater than myself.
Others may find the One that many call God more easily. I grew up in a cult like environment. Guilt and Fear were what motivated me from as far back as I can remember. I became what appeared to be a loving and kind person, a servant of God. It was only when I became honest enough and willing to look at my true buried motives, I discovered the source of what really motivated me. Fear of hellfire and damnation and eternal torment, were my true motivators. It is only since looking up the definition of a cult in more than one dictionary with an open mind that I actually came to understand what the word really means and the source of my toxic shame and fear.
The good news for me is that once my pain became great enough, I did become willing to use the steps of recovery in the amazing 12 step programmes to which I belong. I have several addictions and mental/emotional conditions. I now have a Higher Power of love, compassion, mercy and forgivness who seems more than willing and very able to help me in every situation in which I ask for help.
Looking back I would not change a single thing in my life. The pain, although impossible to realise, or understand at the time, has become the biggest blessing in my life. Without all I have gone through I would never have reached a place of being willing not only to admit, but know deep down in my heart that of myself I am powerless over my physical and emotional obsessions of thought, action and feeling.
I now realise that without admitting personal defeat I could not even have started the journey to recovery with the first physical addiction I became aware of. My Higher Power was there to meet me when I was ready to quit drinking. Wherever there has been the slightest chink in my armour, that One has offered me the way out of my pain. Just admitting my powerlessness and doing what was asked, was enough to keep me sober one day at a time.
My personal fear and hate for what I knew of God prevented me from ever thinking of Him as a being to love and trust. And yet even so, my Higher Power took me gently by the hand and led me, or rather allowed me, to show the only way I could be reached. To this day I am so grateful that in 12 step programmes there are no Musts, only suggestions and that the whole programmes are based on a Higher Power, a God of one's own understanding.
That was the miracle that allowed me to stay. No one was telling me their God was the only right God, no one was telling me I would go to eternal Hellfire and Damnation if I did not believe in the same way they did. I found true love and compassion and understanding for the suffering person I was.
Through this experience I was finally able to find a Higher Power of my own understanding who has never failed me for an instant and is always there when I am desperate enough to ask for help. Because I have many addictions it has been a slow process in my life but my Higher Power has led me every step of the way. Hindsight is a great thing. I had no idea when I was going through so many years of mental and emotional anguish that I would ever find what I have been looking for all my life.
Things really began to change for me shortly after I learned about a thing called Toxic Shame. I checked it out and as I discovered, it was the core of my personal pain, depression and 'feeling of strangeness' as far back as I can remember. That allowed me to see clearly that it was nothing I had done that caused me everything I have been through. I came to see through hearing another member share at a meeting about themselves, that the problem for me was that I was emotionally stuck in childhood. My emotional growth had been arrested quite literally since birth. Due to circumstances beyond any human control, I had never grown up emotionally. Just like a physical body that might have physical defects, nothing to do with being good or bad at all, just the way that things were. This emotional journey from child to adulthood which started when I got sober has begun to blossom in my seventies. I am actually growing up emotionally. Total powerlessness to change anything of myself and throwing myself into the loving arms of my Higher Power is finally what seems to be working when nothing else did.
I tried every avenue in all my physical obsessions and addictions, and in each one of those it was only when I realised that I was beyond human aid and finally had to admit defeat that my Higher Power was able to help me.
In another 12 step programme I belong to they talk of the two surrenders, throwing in the towel, quit fighting. Surrender and admit defeat, the addiction has you beat. Turns out that was the easy surrender. The second surrender - to life. Life on life's terms. Quit fighting. Ego deflation at depth is another matter altogether and for me much more difficult.
Gratitude and love to everyone who shares this journey to emotional and spiritual health.