Facing Problems in Recovery
I have been sober X number of years and I feel terrible.
I don't feel like I have anything to share with a newcomer.
I had a newcomer tell me I didn't have anything he wanted.
I feel like my Higher Power has deserted me.
Sometimes we know why we feel so bad, other times it's a mystery.
The kiss of death is to say I've been sober too long to feel this way.
I have two kinds of recovering friends: one kind says if you're not happy, joyous and free, you're screwed up; the other kind says God has a plan for you, you're right where you're supposed to be. Then depending on how I feel, I choose who I'm going to hang out with.
We've always been so hard on ourselves, maybe it's time to learn how to be gentle with ourselves.
When I was new everybody was doing Joe and Charlie Big Book studies. They said that in the third step, my will was my thinking and my life was my actions. The Big Book says we caused our own problems. Bill later rephrased it to say most of our problems.
What about when things happen to us that we did not cause and don't deserve? What about when things happen to us that should never happen to anybody? Does this mean God doesn't love us or is doing these things to us?
When I found my own answers to those questions, I had to rethink the third step. Now when I make the decision to turn my will and my life over, my will is me and my life is everything that happens to me. This puts me and God back on the same side. So these things are happening because I still have lessons to learn. God allows these things to happen to me for my education. He/She or It is always available to help me handle them.
Two things are key to me: to be as willing to change as I was when I was a newcomer and to turn humiliating experiences into humbling experiences.
The best picture of recovery I have ever seen is a spiral or pigtail that starts at the lower left hand corner of the page and goes up toward the upper right hand corner. When the loops double back on themselves, it feels like we starting over but we are not. I think God uses these downward periods to get our attention and to make sure our priorities are right.
It is important to note the difference between manufactured suffering and genuine suffering. When someone we care about or a pet dies or when we encounter a major setback in life, it is not only appropriate but necessary to hurt.