When he decided our marriage was over, I didn’t know how to let go. When he collected his family, colleagues, clients and friends and drew a line in the sand, I didn’t know how to let go. When he began seeing another woman and spending nights out, I didn’t know how to let go. When he introduced our children to the other woman, I didn’t know how to let go. When our house went into foreclosure, I didn’t know how to let go. And I was dragged. I was dragged. I was dragged. And it hurt, how it hurt, how it hurt. But I survived. I began to pray to God Show me how to let go. Show me how to surrender gracefully. Slowly but surely, Life revealed to me what remained when what was no longer serving me was dragged away. I’m finding more stable ground, and learning how to love what is here, now. I’m discovering that I’m happier by myself, healthier living in alignment with my deeper self, more confident speaking with my true voice, grateful for the simple things, the simple grace of being. I am grateful for this sweet surrender to life.
I ended up in a twelve step meeting a couple of months after my husband decided he no longer wanted to be married anymore. I was devastated; having trouble eating and sleeping, feeling isolated because I had lost a lot of friends in the separation. The coach I was working with suggested a meeting, and found one for me in town. The first meeting I inwardly criticized the room, thought it needed to be redecorated. The second meeting I realized everyone in my life is codependent. The third meeting I started to believe that the program might help me if I worked it. Two and a half years later, I know my program has saved my life. I have found a sponsor and am working the steps slowly but surely… getting ready to do a fourth step soon. When I was ready to give up on life, this program showed up to demonstrate that grace is active in my life, and I am truly grateful.
I’ve been turning my will and my life over to a power greater than myself… At first I was just dipping my toe into these waters, foreign waters, ones I was told to deny and mistrust. But it struck me one day that those who were telling me that a Higher Power didn’t exist weren’t happy people! Rule of Happiness #1: Don’t take advice from unhappy people. So I decided to try something different, and admit I knew nothing, and I had no control, and things had become unmanageable… and I began to pray… I turn this day over to you. I turn my life over to you. Guide me, let me surrender to your will, show me how to surrender gracefully, and let me do your good work this day. I’ve been praying like this for months. You know what is starting to happen? Peace. I think I’ll keep praying.
I shared my story tonight, was witnessed by my recovery family as I told the tale of the last two and a half years of my life. There were moments where I thought I might not make it through, so overcome was I by emotion. But I breathed, I paced myself, I spoke through the emotions, I let my family see me. Afterwards, these beloveds gave me hugs. they told me they were proud of me, of how far I had come. They told me they were inspired by my story, my willingness to be vulnerable, to speak my truth, to be seen so deeply. Life is a mystery; it can only be understood looking backwards. As I look back on the last two years, I can see that the worst day of my life was the greatest gift— of freedom, of authenticity, of finding my true power, and expressing it out in this world.
Ok, God, I’m tired of living in terror, so I’m turning this over to you. I have no idea how you’ll help me. I know that faith can move mountains, but that I need to bring a shovel. I’ve got my shovel. Now what?
Today I was a student*, and I felt so grateful that for once I didn’t have to prepare the lesson. I love it when my only job is to be open to new learning. I think I’ll be a student forever.
*Today was Day 1 of Nikki Myers weekend-long Y12SR training. I am so grateful to spend the next two days with other yoga teachers who are interested in learning about sustainable recovery from addiction, and who want to apply this learning to bring value to countless beings walking the path of recovery.
Grief: Non-linear. Messy. Unpredictable. Just when I think to myself I’ve got this, I’m better, suddenly, I’m back down on my knees by the side of my bed sobbing the Serenity Prayer to some Higher Power I hope exists but whose presence I cannot quite feel in those moments of deep sadness and disconnection. I turn back to my breath. I sigh out the deep pain, but it keeps coming, the tears keep coming. Is there no end to this?
I have to work hard to stay clear,
present, awake, open.
When my beautiful children mention going to dinner
to celebrate their dad’s birthday
with the other woman,
when they say her name,
I just want to vomit.
I want to stomp up and down
and scream out THIS ISN’T FAIR.
But I’m attending two 12 step meetings
every week now,
and I know enough by now
to turn this one over to my Higher Power.
Now God, show me how to contain myself.
Show me how to be an adult.
Show me how to forgive.
Show me what to do with this sadness.
I give up.
Now can you take this pain away?
a Co-Dependents Anonymous
meeting the last two Thursday evenings.
They recommend you attend 6-8 meetings
before you make a decision.
The first meeting
I saw myself as superior to everyone there.
The second meeting
I realized that I am everyone there.
I wonder what will happen
at the third meeting.
At the outset of this blog project nearly one year ago, I found myself wanting to explore the idea of creative recovery, how to pierce through the noise of my emotional system and delve into the creative, inspired self that can be expressed outwardly as writer, artist, crafter, teacher, mother, dancer…endless expressions of this indwelling creative spirit embodied as Lorien.
As I began to move through the Twelve Steps with the idea of my creative recovery in mind, I explored the idea of addiction and experiences surrounding this theme in my life; how I perceived my family’s relationship with alcohol, with anger, with hoarding, to name a few. I started to see how alcohol use and abuse has been normalized within my family, and how choosing not to drink made me part of a slim minority. I am glad to have found clarity though; I didn’t need their approval or support to make this choice–it just seemed like the most loving thing I could do for my body, mind, and the people around me to choose to be substance free.
Having been completely alcohol free for almost a year and a half, I find myself even more sensitive to the use of alcohol in social settings. I don’t miss it, so I’m not worried about a relapse or anything; I never considered myself an alcoholic although I have displayed some unhealthy behaviors during my adult years.
The fact of my being completely sober threw into sharp relief the behaviors of my family members who were drinking, and I found myself wishing for authentic connection with them in the absence of alcohol use. But how to meet them where they are? How to be loving, regardless?
Is it unrealistic of me to hope for my family members to choose sobriety? Is it futile? I want to know them, to be present to them, to listen, but it’s challenging when they are becoming more loud and aggressive with each sip.
Anybody out there have thoughts on being the only sober one in a group of people who are under the influence?