Friday, January 16, 2009

Inspired by Honesty

I want to share something with you and I need to do it before I lose my muse's. My first inspiration came from Woody, he has a blog called "Sobriety" it is in my read list right,.. there.. you can click on it and check him out. Woody has 24 days clean today, congratulations Woody you are a miracle!! He shared a very honest 1st step on his blog and I love honesty, it is so easy to look past it at others and turn around so you don't have to look at yourself. For my journey it took me a while to get through my first 3 steps and when I did I held on to them until I could learn to practice them in my daily life. They are my foundation to my recovery and I work them still everyday, so hold on to that Woody and keep doing what your doing. My next muse is from Lou who has an addict that she loves dearly and who I pray finds recovery, I really get humility in my life when I hear how we as addicts affect those we love and I am grateful today that my addict is not active. Thanks for the Joan Baez song Lou, I love Bob Dylan and I never heard her sing his song before, it was beautiful.
I recently finished my 6th step in which it reads "We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character"- It has taken me 36 years to understand what my character defects are and that I have a choice today not to act on them. In the step working guide it has a series of questions that you bundle together for each defect and the first question says to list the defect and give a brief definition of it, then it goes on from there with questions like how do I act on it, how does it affect others and what feelings do I associate with it. My sponsor tells me that I am very concise in my writing and she appreciates my candor because it shows a willingness to change. The character defect I hate the most is my anger, and I will share what I wrote down with my in my sixth step, this is about honesty and humility so keep in mind it isn't pretty;
Anger- to be mad, this is a very strong emotion full of negative energy that is very draining physically, emotionally and spiritually. When I am angry I yell, cuss, cry, break things, stomp, say hateful things, scream, hit my family, hit myself, pound my fists on hard objects, if I am driving it is dangerous because there are times I get in such a rage I can't see straight. I will rev the engine hard and race because I just slammed the pedal down and then I slam on the brakes. This is my ugliest character defect, when I act out on this defect is when I am the most dangerous. This is the one that makes me want to kill myself. I absolutely HATE this character defect and I HATE myself when I get in this defect. I scare my children when I am enraged, I get so violent I fear one day I might hurt them physically. Nobody wants me around when I am angry. I have been real good about not getting angry but the past couple of weeks have been really difficult for me. Because I am yelling more and more at my children. It is like I am turning into this ugly monster and I feel it like quicksand, the more I try not to get angry the more angry I become. It is having a very negative effect on my family and my spirituality. I feel more and more like a failure because I lose my temper. It's like a fight inside between me and my addict, and sometimes I feel my addict is winning. So, I associate every negative feeling with this defect. Name a negative emotion and I associate it with anger. They all apply, they all lead to the defect. I don't want to write them down right now because it will put me in a negative space. When I act on this defect of course I am using it to suppress some feelings like, sadness, frustration, disappointment, fear, the list goes on but mostly, today, what it is really suppressing is all the good and love in my life. That is why my addict likes it so much and why I hate it so much. Because never before in my entire life have I ever been aware of all the blessings in my life. I say "aware" because I had the blessings and love my whole life, I just chose or could not see them, and I have a choice today to see them and when I do I am happy inside because of what I see through this program. And when I am acting out on anger I don't see those blessings, and when that anger turns to black rage, everything that is good in my life goes out the window. My life would be almost perfect without this character defect. If I could choose only one character defect to remove this one would be it. The spiritual principles that I need to apply to this defect are prayer, meditation, love, honesty, more regular meeting attendance and humility.
That was just for my anger, I listed many others and I used up a lot of paper. I remember when I was first in the program and I looked at all the "oldtimers" who had smiles on their faces and before the program when I saw the earthlings (non-addicts) who didn't need anything outside themselves to be content I often wondered what was their secret. For me my secret is step work. It is funny when a newcomer hears me share about how I used to get angry, they say that they would never picture me as someone who screams or yells or gets mad, and that makes me feel good inside, I know that I am working a good program. I love that I am a good mother today who doesn't abuse her children it is like I have stopped the cycle of violence that has haunted my family for so long.
Like I said I was inspired by what I read in the blogging community today, from Woody's heartfelt honesty to Syd's deep thoughts, it is a great thing I think that you stuck it out, I wonder sometimes how Wes puts up with my roller coaster journey, we started dating when I had a year clean and he had 15, he is an addict but he is beyond all the newcomer revelations and he has infinite patience in letting me have my journey. I know it is hard to be a parent of an addict and I hope that if my babies end up down that road that I will be able to handle life on life's terms through that. I really just wanted to share that this is how it works, by being honest and looking at reality for what it is and not what I have twisted it up in my head to be, and for all you in recovery I just wanted to share that you have to get honest if you want this to work. That is why we say this is not a program for those who need it, it's for those who want it. Because if you don't want it your not going to do what it takes to get it, and I shared about the anger defect because I meant what I said about being rid of it, I think I am doing the right thing about sharing that one.
I'm going to go dance with my 2 year old now, she loves to dance -Todays thought; - "Integrity is telling myself the truth, and honesty is telling the truth to other people" -Spencer Johnson


Syd said...

I'm glad that you wrote about anger. Awareness was what I needed. And as the BB says, "We pause when agitated". If I just take a breath, pause, and do a quick inventory, I can generally see that my acting out is not going to help anything.

Character defects are still with me but many of them have ebbed and are no longer in control of me.

Lou said...

Thank you, that was very nice of you to say. I love Joan Baez's clear, strong voice. She doesn't need any electronic gadgets to get the point across in her songs.

I'm glad the realize how your anger can scare your children (and others around you). And words cannot be taken back. I do the opposite of anger, I like to walk away & bury my head in the sand. That's not right either. I talked about in a meeting tonight..I call it my magical thinking.

steveroni said...

To be honest, I have not read your blog--yet--but if it's about alcoholism 'recovery' I will surely find it interesting.

This comment is about putting a link in your blog:

1. First you must HAVE an adedress (URL) copied--highlite, right click, click copy.

2. Go to your Blogger DASHBOARD, click on--to the right of "Font"--the fifth icon, it should show as "LINK" if you lay you cursor over it.

3. Pretty much self-explanatory after that...rt clk in space provided, select "paste", and it's a done deal!

Sorry I gotta run now, but hope to be seein' ya, girl. OK?

Steve E.

steveroni said...

OK, Klean and Krazy, something stood out above the other fine thoughts I read here. NOTE: I could only comment on this, because it is MY defect also, OK?

You wrote: "I absolutely HATE this character defect and I HATE myself when I get in this defect."

You (and I) write the word "HATE" in caps, we really mean it! How about (it works for me) substituting
the word "Understand" for HATE? (Only if it can be true, that is (Honesty, remember?)-grin.

That sentence above would read "I understand this chacter defect, and I understand myself when I get in this defect."

That gets rid of the word "HATE", which is/was part of my problem. Get it? Of course, as with all things, "Take it or leave it".

Steve E.