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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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"Just as the landfill requires dedicated work and attention, laboriously applying layer after layer of fill to reclaim the low-lying ground, our lives also require the same vigilance, continually applying layer after layer of the healing gift of repentance.…Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, feel sorrow when we choose to remain in sin, when the gift of repentance made possible through the Atonement can clean, reclaim, and sanctify our lives. When we gratefully accept and use this precious gift, we can enjoy the beauty and usefulness of our lives... "

— Shayne M. Bowen

General Conference October 2006