Enter, abandonment and joy.

I met again with my counsellor today.

Counsellor might be too timid a word. She is more like a champion, a freedom fighter, a slayer of the lies we tell and the stories we make up to survive. She gets down to business with the inner workings of my mind.

I’ve been waiting for her. For this working relationship.

She doesn’t just listen and insert empathic statements. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Sometimes that’s what we need. Other times we need someone to point out our blind spots, our inconsistencies, and help us discover what has truly been holding us back. And then, we need a way to start dealing with that shit.

I don’t agree with everything she says. But she is helping me get down to my core issues. Which are around abandonment, loss, and feeling unworthy. I’ve known this on an intellectual level, but I’m not sure I’ve ever done the work to properly heal from this. I’ve never allowed myself to feel those emotions, feeling that it would be too self-indulgent. I’ve felt I’ve always had to take the ‘high road’, even when I haven’t known how to really get there. I’ve talked a really good talk, in other words. This is all coming to a head for me: I can’t pretend anymore how I feel and how I’ve felt and how certain life events have created these emotions in me. The talk is coming to an end. I have to begin to walk. One foot in front of the other, I finally need to face my demons. Stopping drinking is not enough (for me) without doing the emotional and spiritual work. I need to recover from not only drinking and the consequences it has produced In my life, but the reasons I drink in the first place.

I understand that I’ve been drinking to self-medicate. I understand that I’ve been drinking because I’ve felt uncomfortable being myself. I have been fighting myself for most of my life. Feeling that I shouldn’t feel what I feel. Feeling wrong somehow; different.

I’ve also started reading Why You Drink and How to Stop by Veronica Valli. What a read. I don’t know if I am just so open right now to what she writes about, or if I’ve never read something this true for me before. But I starting to realize that I am an alcoholic. I know I’ve had a drinking problem (obviously) for some time but nice never subscribed to the notion of alcoholism. It’s been too vague, too confusing. Is it a disease? A disorder? A mental illness? Is it genetic? Environmental? Post-traumatic? Is it a bio-psycho-social-spiritual condition?

Whatever it is, I have it.

And there is something in the admitting that feels so freeing.

I am not alone. There are others who struggle like me.

There are others who have recovered and become well, too. I need to walk among them. I think, because addiction has so many different and varying causes, it has so many different and varying forms of recovery. It’s about finding what works for you as an individual.

I am a spiritual person by nature. I have rejected the AA model because I do not believe in a Christian God. But I am starting to open up to the fact that AA might be more about a spiritual awakening than a religious one. That is something I can dig.

When I think about a spiritual connection, and that my addiction issues could be helped by nurturing this, I feel relief. I feel relief that I could love myself, feel comfortable in my skin, feel whole. I think a spiritual connection means living honestly to myself and to my beliefs. It’s about my morals and values. Something that living in addiction takes away from me.

I am getting to the point where I’m willing to do anything to get sober.

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9 thoughts on “Enter, abandonment and joy.

  1. Hi there, lots of food for thought here! I read Veronica Valli’s book too and found it useful and so interesting. It was one of the few books that really looked at the reasons for drinking and at the need for spiritual growth as part of recovery, and I think this is so important. I squashed down all my feelings for years and years. It’s odd and scary, but in a way, I feel like I need to get to know myself. I feel like I need to do some sober growing up 🙂 xxx

    • Hello! Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found her book useful, too. It is rely speaking to me right now. It’s what I need to hear. Full of hope that if I do the work, I will get better. I think I have been masking my feelings for a long time too. I’m looking forward to getting to know myself again.
      Oh- happy 100 days to you!!!

  2. “I have been fighting myself for most of my life. Feeling that I shouldn’t feel what I feel. Feeling wrong somehow; different. ” Yes – very well put, Lee. I can certainly relate to this, my friend. I thought I was a fraud, a charletain of sorts. That I didn’t *deserve* to feel good or felt guilty when I did.

    As for what you said about AA not being about a Christian God and about being spiritual…yup. Bang on there. I know folks who are Muslim, Jewish, Atheists, Agnostics and even witches…and they have no qualm or issue with AA because it’s not a religious deal. It’s spirituality all the way. I don’t often use the word God – I tend to use The Creator or The Maker. Some guys I know call it The Universal Mind, the Divine Spirit…whatever works for you.

    Regardless, there is a shift we find – and therapy is a good way to start on that too. I know many people in recovery who still see therapists. I saw one for years.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing 🙂

    Paul

    • Thank you for commenting, Paul. I don’t know why this is taking me so long to figure out… But I’m slowly piecing together the path of my recovery. Sober blogs, therapy, and I think meetings will hopefully support me in finally making the changes I need and want to make.
      I can get down with a higher power. It won’t be “God” but I do believe in a life force/energy or consciousness. I’ve have sought spirituality through yoga and meditation in the past, but of course, drinking has always gotten in the way.

  3. I know nothing about you. I’ve read only two of your posts (so far). Yet I sense strength in you. And if my gut feel is anything near correct, I believe you have a courageous path ahead of you.

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