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Why are you running away?

Part of my sponsee homework this week was to flesh out my higher power a bit more. Not necessarily to share with Beth, but to have a more tangible and articulated foundation for myself.

Chris and I had this two hour conversation tonight that rocked my night. I love those nights where we set up the computer to watch Heroes, but then fall into deep, connected conversation instead. The world falls away and it’s just him and me in this moment.

And it wasn’t until we had this two hour long conversation that I truly grasped the validity and necessity of forming and articulating your higher power. In part for myself, which I’ll expound on in a minute, and in part for Chris because he’s been in this process of working his fourth step for a couple months now. And it’s completely his journey and I want him to walk it as such, and at the same time, I know it’s been a hard process–one I don’t have experience to speak on–and it’s been on my radar that he hasn’t written anything yet. I imagine it’s a crazy hard thing to sit and explore and he’s so incredibly brave to even go there. Tonight, with our talking, as I articulated my higher power and he shared how he’s been fleshing out his own, I realized the beauty of the sequence of the first four steps.

How can you write out a “searching and fearless moral inventory” of yourself alone? That sounds terrifying and traumatic. That’s not a process I’d want Chris to endure without a solid higher power. You got a clear picture of your higher power tho? That sounds terrifying and completely doable. That’s the experience I prefer for him.

I haven’t done my fourth step yet. I’m not there. Tonight’s conversation was pivotal to all of this tho. I was saying how I had this solid higher power picture. I was saying my foundation is solid. So freaking solid. But also, I’m a sponsee for a reason and I don’t claim to know all the things. Beth wants me to be able to come to a point of articulation. Cool, I can comply with that. And I even said to Chris, “so while *I* feel I’m set with my higher power picture, Beth, she’s the poker and she comes in to poke at my views to show me what’s strong and what needs work.”

I know my place. Even when I want to snarkily boast about my evolvedness.

So I eloquently tell Chris about my higher power.

My higher power is the universe. I unquestionably view the universe as a thing that will always take care of me without exception. It is always looking out for my best interest, and the best interest of all.

As an added characteristic, I also view my higher power as a parent, who, when I come to it, vulnerable and broken and damaged and hurt, it will always show up with open arms, always wrap me in comfort and will leave no room for me to believe anything except that I am all-loved.

That is my higher power.

(Pretty cool, huh?)

And then, I played Beth in my head for a moment (poke poke poke) and considered “ahh, my higher power only works in the present.”

OH MY FREAKING GOD–

(No pun intended.)

I have spent all this time with a freaking kickass higher power and I only let him play with present me. Oftentimes I think about including him in future me stuff, but it’s not really in a tangible way. Never do I let him interact with past me.

This is where I call upon my inner Julie and allow her to say, “what would it mean to you that the universe was looking out for past Jill?” That past me-the scared little girl me–is safe with the universe. That she was being looked after back then, as well as right now–if I so chose to dive into the psyche of all that.

And I guess my immediate, involuntary response is, “Fuck you, you can’t be trusted. She got hurt and you didn’t look out for her at all.”

……

Well, that was unexpected. I probably have some work to do there. That was very honest and vulnerable of me. I was expecting to go somewhere else with all that. I was expecting that posing the question would bring a sense of relief and provide an immediate safe haven where past Jill could come out to play and heal.  I expected immediate growth here and the opportunity to wrap it up in a neat little bow and call it a day. Figuratively and literally.

Instead I think I’m just going to call it a day and sleep instead. And think on this again tomorrow. There is time for forgiveness in tomorrow.

xo.

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Like an ocean that you can’t see.

Funny thing about someone pulling their floor out from under me. My floor is still pretty damn sturdy, so I’m just standing here going “huh…well, okay.”

And now I just kinda got nothing. It could be deft compartmentalization. But really it just feels like…I dunno. Not that.

I re-prioritized my day a bit. I was gonna speed read through an online library book I’ve been wanting to read that’s due back in two days, but I had been on the fence anyway because I had other goal stuff I wanted to get done. So I breathed and centered and returned it early for the people on the waiting list. And I texted my sponsor, I guess just so I could acknowledge that something did happen even if currently I’m okay.

Now I’m gonna get back to my day. Because time ticks on and all the stuff has to get done whether people make un-ideal choices or not.

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Damn sure better than rain.

I went to my first Al-Anon meeting.

I wasn’t nervous at all when I left for the meeting. When I got there and sat down I was suddenly doing all my nervous things. People were inviting and warm, but also people were inviting and warm. They were paying attention to me and fawning and supportive and caring and gosh, that is a lot.

But I went. And I stayed. And I plan to go back.

Really, I already knew I’d go back before the meeting. I’ve been to AA meetings and OA meetings and I know the program is good. I know the people are supportive.

Well, most of the people. OA was a completely different fish. I once had a man tell me I didn’t belong there because I was too skinny. As if my appearance precludes me from using food as a coping mechanism. As if anyone in food recovery has to forfeit community support once they find healthier tools to survive. But I digress.

Al-Anon isn’t like that. I can be there for any reason, for any timeline in my life, for any alcoholic who has touched my life. And I didn’t really understand until recently that I probably should have been going all along.

I should have gone six years ago when Chris and I started dating. In the days when a small argument could have compromised his short sobriety.  Or when he switched jobs for his dream job and then they insisted he throw away his integrity or quit. And he quit. At an immeasurable hit to his self worth, closing not only that dream in his mind, but a true hope for any dream at all. Or the moment we got pregnant and then miscarried and didn’t get to keep Caleb and he retreated from life for a bit. I could have used Al-Anon when his doctor and seizure medication fucked him over completely. Or when he started taking another medicine he put all his faith in and it backfired and, for all intents and purposes, took away his sobriety. For three years.

I could have used Al-Anon. I could have used the support and guidance of people. And I just…I didn’t know better. I didn’t know there was help for me for all of that or where to find it or, really, that I needed the help. That I deserved the help. I thought maybe that’s just how it was going to be from now on. I knew I needed help–wanted help–, but I didn’t know the help I needed was possible to receive. That it was out there.

And so now here I am. Going to meetings. Getting the community I have so desperately needed. Allowing myself the self-care of actual help. Of not going at it alone. Of being told I’m braver and stronger for showing up than I ever was of trying to hold it together by myself. And so I’m gonna keep doing this awhile.