I remember writing in one of my first blog posts, when I had only a couple months sober, that I felt like I was being dragged along through life by the seat of my pants. Now that I look back, I see that this was my first realization of being completely powerless over alcohol, my addiction tendencies, and the whole of my life in general.
God definitely was dragging me along by my belt loops, because there’s no other way that I was able to stay sober in college, especially since I was living my life the exact same way I had been when I was still drinking. Though when I think about it, God wasn’t dragging me through life, He was dragging me into it.
My addictions only allowed me to live on the surface of life, so I was just barely passing through for the most part. I could not go a few days, let alone a week, without consuming something that would take me out of my emotions, out of the present moment, and into oblivion. When I quit drinking and doing drugs, I took away a thick layer of delusion from my perception.
The woman who first introduced me to Alcoholics Anonymous always says that the purpose of life is for us to experience heaven on earth, and that eventually we come to realize that it’s inside of us. You’ve probably read this quote in a couple of my previous posts.
This concept of finding peace here on earth, inside of me, is something that I read and think about constantly, especially since I’m a devout student and practitioner of Yoga and meditation. The thought that peace and serenity comes from the inside has become more and more comforting to me as time has passed. At first it scared me because it challenged everything I thought I knew about the world. I had been conditioned to believe that other people doing what I wanted, more clothes, more money and more traveling could make me happy, because those were things I thought I could manipulate if I just tried hard enough.
But accepting myself, my past, my character defects and everyone around me… when I was told that was the way to true serenity, I wanted to run very far away. Until recently, it seemed to me that I was too horrible of a person, that the things I had done were too bad to ever be fully faced, let alone shared with another human being. Thus I drank and used so I did not have to look at all of that.
I’ll tell you, it is incredibly painful and challenging to face reality, but so far I have found it to be worth it. Beyond worth it! The contentment and courage that springs forth from inside of us when we do our Fourth and Fifth Steps is something bordering on miraculous.
Fourth Steps and Ninth Steps are particularly scary for me because I typically avoid confrontation at all costs. To really admit to myself that I do have resentments and I will possibly have to speak about them to someone is incredibly daunting because I would like to ignore it and pretend that it’s not there.
But that attitude doesn’t last very long while working the 12 Steps! Not in my experience anyway, if I truly want to stay sober. And staying sober is something that I honestly want.
If your life feels out of control, even in sobriety, don’t let fear take you over. Others have been there before you and can understand what you are going through. If life feels out of your hands, it probably means that it’s in the hands of your Higher Power, which is a very, very good thing.
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”