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Starting Over
By they_speak
1/8/2013 12:09:29 AM
Well, it's a new year. And I'm starting over. Today was rough. I did another first step inventory. I did one 2 years ago but wanted to do another because I've "done some more home work" I needed to talk about and address and because, again, it's a new year and I'm starting over.

I'm feeling so much shame. But I think I realized on the way home from meeting tonight that part of it is because I resist embracing step one. I resist accepting how pathetically and completely powerless I am. Also, rather than allowing my shameful sins and actions to scourge me unto remembrance of step one and to glory in my weakness I choose to become toxic with regret. Wishing I could somehow change the past. Becoming resentful of the people and situations of my past. Thinking/trying for control to change them. No serenity. But, Eureka!, I found as I was driving home I could surrender these things and let them serve only as a reminder of how powerless I really am.

That's part of the theory side of step one for me. But!, alas it is the practical application of the steps that I think has kept me from long term sobriety all these years.

I can't do much. I'm terrible under pressure. So, here's my list of practical step one...steps.

1. Prayer/meditation
I always thought I was good there. Till I lost my testimony of prayer completely. I quit praying because I thought "what's that damn use? Only thing it ever got me was excommunicated". But then I read the other day in the Step Into Action booklet "we have found that those who don't believe in the power of prayer are those who don't do it enough" I had to concede, that there was probably room fro improvement. I always thought of myself as a constant prayer. But, I wasn't. I may have prayed a lot but, not always. I believe the only way to "pray always" for me is to always work on my awareness. Meditation. A constant verbal conversation in my head with God is, I don't think, ever going to work. But, I can work on the spirit of prayer. Meditation. Awareness. I'm trying. I think it's working.

2. Call my sponsor.
If I'm honest with myself I just know I'm not, at least not now, going to call my sponsor everyday I don't think. I can commit to twice a week and texts. I'm going to see how that works.

3. Honesty with my wife.
I honestly don't even know how the power behind being honest with her works I just know I'm in a lot better shape when I'm giving tabs on myself. I regret (I have some toxic regret here) to say I haven't been as good in this area as I thought I would be 2 years ago when I confessed everything at that point to her.

4. Diet and Exercise
I know I can't do this without being healthy in mind and I can't be healthy in mind if i'm not healthy in body. I can commit to exercise 3 times a week (i'll probably do 5 or 6 but 3 no matter what). My diet plan - I know it and don't need to write it down here. Just follow it. 5 days a week.

5. Surrender my character defects when ever I notice them
I've been reading in the Big Blue Book lately and I've noticed all though they say fighting the drink is a death trap they have no qualms about vigilantly working on our character defects. As I get older and older I realize I have a lot more shame, regret, and guilt than I ever realized. I have also been shocked to find I struggle with intense feelings of loneliness, for no apparent reason, I never even realized I have. Rather than working on just not lusting I will work on surrendering these character defects that so easily beset me.

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"The solution to this problem ultimately is neither governmental nor institutional. Nor is it a question of legality. It is a matter of individual choice and commitment. Agency must be understood. The importance of the will in making crucial choices must be known. Then steps toward relief can follow."

— Russell M. Nelson

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