Moving Slow Today

I met my sponsor just a few days after my plunge from the puffy pink cloud. God’s timing was perfect.

It only took a couple of conversations about my unsettling romantic charades for her to point out that my picker was broken. The more I thought about it, the more I had to laugh. Looking at the lack of conditions I had listed for the man of my dreams brought new meaning to that famous line in Jerry Maguire; You had me at Hello.

Anyway, I’m on restriction now so there’s no dating for a while, and that’s a wonderful thing. I spent forty years trying to prove to the world that I was SOMEBODY, when the truth was- I never really knew who that somebody was. And I obviously didn’t care for her much, either.

When I had to sit down and name the people that I had hostility toward, the main culprit seemed to be me. My negative opinion of myself during adolescence did some serious damage to my psyche, and played a role in all of my self-sabotaging.

Learning to forgive
myself was HUGE.

I have to say that my walk with God started out extremely bumpy. I was expecting to display proof of some sort of immediate transformation, but I’ve discovered that it’s a lifelong journey. I had to dismantle that “fast-forward” button and stop trying to blast into the future. At the speed I was always traveling, I was never able to enjoy TODAY.

So this morning, like every morning, I woke up grateful. The past is gone, tomorrow isn’t here yet, and I am sober.

God is good!

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? – Matthew 6:27

A Child of God

Asking God to help me see my life from His perspective is what truly helped me. I went back forty years, to when I was lost in that awkward limbo between childhood and adulthood, and serious issues consumed my thoughts. I was convinced that no one would EVER understand what was going on in my head. I was the odd man out, the outsider, and a teenage misfit. I just didn’t fit in anywhere, and it was too risky to try.

I let fear win.

How I saw things now was that a curious young girl stood before me—full of intriguing thoughts and questions about life—and I silenced her. I introduced her to alcohol to help ease her angst, and we hit the fast-forward button. We raced into the adult world- totally unprepared.

What I came to realize was that, although my outward appearance had changed, that child had lived on. She carried-on in protest like a rebel without a cause—always reminding me that I was not like everyone else, and that I’d never measure up in this world.

I stamped the “reject” label on her myself, years ago, and she carried that stigma for decades. I was my own worst enemy! That’s probably when my recovery process really started to take hold. I visualized this younger me, and thought about what I could say to her…

You are loved, and you are worthy. You’re not different; you just see the world differently. That doesn’t make you less, it makes you unique. Be strong. Be courageous. Trust your Creator. He is with you wherever you go.

I embraced my inner child, and I told her these things. And then… I whispered to her the words that have never failed to see me through the darkest of days…..

You are a child of God.

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! 1  John  3:1

 

More Girl Talk

They say that maturity is stunted when an alcoholic begins drinking heavily, or that when addiction starts, development stops.  For me, that basically meant that I had a lot of growing up to do.

My recovery process has involved a lot of stopping to reflect on what is going on inside of me. More importantly, it’s involved communicating with God… about everything. One of the biggest, most heartfelt prayers that I prayed, with tears in my eyes, was…

Lord, please show me how to live the right way! I don’t know what to do, because all I know… is what I know!

I can’t even begin to describe how much He’s shown me.

So… backing up a bit, I want to talk more about my little detour; my pursuit of the man. I used to be SO innocent. Naive is maybe a better word.  I dreamed about finding THE ONE. The love of my life. My soulmate. It wasn’t that I envisioned a future with someone, or even dreamed of living happily ever after. I was just searching for something. Something PROFOUND. That heart wrenching, over the top, so deeply felt it hurts kind of love.

I was a love addict.  I’d never seen a shrink, and had no professional diagnosis, but I knew enough to realize that, putting alcoholism aside, I had some serious issues! I loved being in love, or just loved pursuing love, I’m not really sure which one applied. Maybe both.

This isn’t a sex addiction I’m talking about, either. I think I was brainwashed early in life, whether it was by a specific man, men in general, or just society as a whole, that sex was just what people do, and it’s perfectly normal. In my case, it wasn’t exactly normal. I was just starting to realize that I had subconsciously used it… in an attempt to receive love.

I hope that came across correctly! Handing out sex to get love was not something I went about doing all of the time; and that certainly isn’t the point I’m trying to make. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I was starting to discover that my entire life had been about pursuit; PERIOD.

From the moment I was young and my mind opened up to questions about the meaning of life, and death, I had a burning desire. I needed to find something! I would observe everyone around me, going about their daily routines, and think to myself; “Please tell me there is something MORE!”

I think from the very beginning, alcohol just helped me drown out that nagging voice in my head. It enabled me to stop worrying about finding the secret to life, and just go about my tedious day to day business like everyone else did. In looking to God for answers, I saw that my entire life had been the story of a girl who, since adolescence, was completely LOST. Swimming through a sea of alcohol and bouncing from relationship to relationship, in an attempt to fill a HUGE VOID, and find perfect love.

I was beginning to understand that none of those things; Alcohol, my business, or even the love of a man, would ever provide the complete satisfaction that I was looking for. Nothing here ever would. What I was seeking couldn’t even be bought. My mind was opening up and I was realizing that the things I thought mattered to me, never really did. It was a scam. The world around me had groomed me in such a calculated way that I was fooled, and I was just beginning to see things in a new light.

So, although I failed to “get the guy,” I got something much, much better. I gained valuable insight and learned something about myself, about life, and about God.

I’m thinking that the little detour I took….

…wasn’t really a detour after all.

Next Up: A Sprinkle of Faith

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2