Saturday, November 6, 2010

"My Problem"

"Dear God: I have a problem--me."
"Dear child: I have an answer--me."

The best share opening I've ever heard? 'Hi, my name is booze and I have a Zach problem.' Followers of this blog are aware of my belief that, for those of us with this disease, our use is just a symptom. Our real problem is with ourselves. It's why we don't get instantly better once our bodies are free of substances. It's why binge users and dry drunks are still as difficult to deal with when they're not loaded as when they are. It's why Recovery is a process, not an event.

Medical doctors with their research will show how the disease is a perversion of our natural instincts. We have needs, and we try to get those basic needs met, but we do it in unhealthy ways; in ways that end up causing harm to ourselves and those around us. Therapists will talk about how the very language we speak is different than how 'Normies' communicate. We talk around the subject, with implied meaning, avoiding directness. We tell lies of commission and omission. In many cases, our very perception of reality is warped.

My problem has always been me. In the grips of my disease, I'm a deeply insecure, raging egomaniac. Inside, I think of myself as the worst of the worst, while outside I demand that others treat me as the best of the best. Oh, to be right-sized...

I'm in the vice grips of my disease again today. It doesn't surprise me, actually. I've identified the boulder in the soil of my soul--the issue of low self-esteem--and have been working on it. I've been making a dedicated effort lately to embrace the good qualities I have. I've been actively doing things I enjoy doing because I enjoy them. I ordered the CDs for my latest album; I went out and shot pool for the first time in like a year. I was of service to others this week as they struggled through majorly difficult times in their lives. And I noticed that I have been feeling better--about myself and just in general, too. So it doesn't surprise me that I woke up this morning feeling depressed and low. Why? Because my disease never quits.

My disease doesn't want me to feel good about myself. It wants me to suffer and die. If I fight, it fights back. If I feel good about myself, it looks for ways to make me feel bad about myself. It tells me the most sinister of lies. It whispers in my ear that feeling good about myself, that feeling I am a person of worth and value who deserves to be happy and healthy, who deserves all the best life has to offer, is a horrible unspeakable evil and that I am the lowest of the low if I so much as dare to think these three simple words: I am enough.

Many addicts feel they are their own worst enemy, and it's true for me too. For some, it's an out-of-control ego. For me, it's a deep lack of self-worth. But I am chipping away at that boulder, and I'm not going to stop just because the evil demon that I keep jailed up inside my brain is complaining more loudly today than normal. Of course he is; I'm winning the war against him.

I shared at a meeting last night that when I feel lost, I reach out to my higher power and ask for guidance. That when I'm confused, I ask to be shown the way to go, which way to turn, what choices to make. Sometimes I ask for specific things. Sometimes I ask for the strength to do what's best for myself. Sometimes I ask for nothing more than for God to guide me, to guide my thoughts, guide my words, guide my actions. 'Keep me on the path.' 'Help me to let go; help me to do what you would have me do.' When I do this, when I stop trying to rely on my on strength and instead align myself with the strength of my higher power, that's when things go better. Sometimes the change even happens on an unconscious level and I find myself gratefully amazed at the fulfillment of that ninth step promise--I find that I'm intuitively handling situations that used to baffle me.

Today I'm going to spend more time doing the things I enjoy, the things I know are good for me. I'm going to spend time with people who love me. I've written in my journal. I'm keeping conscious contact with my higher power. I'm writing in this blog. The disease can make all the noise it wants; the louder it screams, the more I want to smile because I know the reason for its cries: I am winning the war against my disease, and my disease is a sore loser.

No comments:

Post a Comment