Who We Really Are in Sobriety
Nothing terrifies me more than the thought of someone finding out who I really am, and then hating me for it. I think that is my greatest fear, and the longer I’m sober and the more I work my program of recovery, that fear I have inside me is becoming more apparent. Especially since I am working on a fourth round of my 4th Step and I have a boyfriend that I’ve only been dating for about five months. (Nothing seems to bring out more defects in me than when I am romantically involved with someone.)
Who We Really Are in Sobriety
This past week has showed me I have very little trust in those around me. I have no reason to believe that my auntie, my sponsor and my friends in the program would reject me if I were open and real about my resentments, fears and secret behaviors. The people I am around these days are loving, patient, sober, wise, honest and kind. They’re real. They’re not the reason I am so suspicious and doubtful; that has become obvious to me.
I’m ashamed of my character defects, of the judgmental thoughts I have, of the greedy, manipulative behaviors I act out sometimes. I’m ashamed and embarrassed of my weaknesses, of the dark places inside me. It seems impossible to rise above them, and impossibly painful to actually talk about them out loud with someone else even though I’ve done it before. My sponsor is a beautiful, wonderful woman, but the thought of her knowing everything on my 4th Step list makes me want to hide in a cave for the rest of my life.
I want people to like me and love me. That’s hard to admit, but it’s the truth. If people know all the unattractive, not-nice things about me, how could they ever want to be around me? It’s miserable to live with these kinds of beliefs and thoughts! It’s painful to expose these weaknesses, because there’s the chance that people will not want me anymore.
Although I suppose that there is an equal chance that people will still want me even if they know all of me. Is it possible that I can still be loved even if I show who I truly am, my goodness along with my darkness? I want that to be possible more than anything! There’s no way for me to find out except if I try. I’m clear enough to know that much.
I must be willing… willing to believe in the love of others, in the love of my Higher Power, and in my own potential. I can think of a thousand excuses why I shouldn’t trust, why I shouldn’t love, why I shouldn’t be vulnerable and tender. I can think of a hundred thousand times when others have rejected, abandoned, put down, shamed, humiliated and abused me.
But do I really want to spend the rest of my life living by those sad excuses? No, I don’t, because I want to be free! I want to have the kind of freedom that only self-acceptance and self-love can bring me. It makes my heart ache to think of how beautiful it would be to love myself fully and with no reservations. Imagine the possibilities! Imagine how much I could love others if I loved myself in such a powerful way!
I feel inspired now to continue with my 4th Step and with the trials and joys the rest of this day will bring me. Like they say in AA meetings, “Keep coming back!” It seems like such a simple saying, maybe even cheesy sometimes. But when I think about it, it has such a beautiful meaning. It’s a verbal sign that someone wants me around.
It’s like God is speaking through my fellow members of AA; it’s like He’s calling me home. My auntie always says the purpose of life is for us to experience heaven on earth… our purpose is to come to realize it’s inside of us.