HOW

I love that I have an anonymous blog for about a million reasons, but the best is that in writing here about my program of recovery, which is AA, I can just say that….no anonymity issues. Just makes it easier. No drama or controversy, it is what to is.

“There’s an anonymous blogger and she says she’s in AA!!”. See…all the wind taken right out of that comments sails.

It’s not that I’m not open about not drinking, or even being in AA in my real life, but tradition says we are to be anonymous at the level of press,TV and radio…and in this new day and age the internet. I love it when I read books, interviews or see video of celebrities talking about a “12 step program”. Yes, sure everyone knows they are talking about AA, but they also respect the tradition. There is a movie out called “The Anonymous People”, and it was created to de-stigmatize the whole alcoholic/addict thing. “We are not ashamed of who we are”, better who we were, being in recovery now, and of course  we’re not ashamed. Out loud I speak 12 step,  and personally, one on one, that old “one drunk talking to another,” I speak AA.

I consider all the blogs I follow and comments I make on them to fall into that “one drunk” category, and so I openly speak about what worked for me, which was AA. I know it doesn’t work for or resonate with all. There are things I don’t like too, but AA does tell us to “take what we like and leave the rest”. It allows us the room to choose a “god of our own understanding“, and sometimes that is NO god, and that works too. The three basic tenets of AA are honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. Easy to remember with the acronym HOW.

There are a lot of acronyms,  lots of little sayings, that AA employs. I used to hate them and now I hear them tripping lovingly off my tongue, hardly ever ironically. “One day at a time“, “easy does it”, “acceptance is the answer to all my problems“, “it works if you work it”…I could go on and on. And I’m sure you’re grateful that I’m not, because the truth is they can be trite and annoying, as well as being true.

I stopped drinking when I joined AA. That is my truth. I worked the steps and am constantly working them anew as I  grow and my understanding of life changes. I change the longer I stay sober and  am open to change. When I was drinking there was nothing, and even when I stopped everything has been shown to me to be a process in which I am deeply enmeshed. It’s very cool, and it started with AA.

More will be revealed” (sorry…relevant to this post!) is very close to my head and heart these days. This last little while I have come to see some very hard truths about the way I behave in the world, and they have been reflected to me by people that I love. It doesn’t really matter what those are; I have acknowledged it and see how many other people I have to acknowledge it with. It’s interesting because when I got to step 9, which is to make amends to those I had harmed, I didn’t have much of a list. I didn’t owe any financial amends, I stole nothing,  I hadn’t had a wild life where I needed to make restitution to a bunch of people, never got a DUI, hadn’t left a swathe of destroyed lovers in my path. I made formal amends to my son and continuing to be a better mom is my living amends. I have a lot of dead people in my life that I can’t talk to, but I have “talked” to them, and, again, I use the living amends model there.

These new amends I have to make are in that same category; the way to fix it is to change my behavior. But first I had to see it, and that “takes what it takes” (yikes! sorry). In my case one fabulous friend who was willing to be totally honest. And now I have more work to do, both in acknowledging in conversations and then in behavioral changes.

This stuff isn’t easy.  The way I see myself and how I behave is part of my story about myself, and every new disruption in the force is painful. But worth it, so worth it, because I don’t want to regress, I want to keep moving forward. Meditation helps, so does my anger; working through that teaches me a lot. But flat out truth helps me too, and I am so grateful when I get it told to me. I want to be the friend and mother and whatever that is my best self, that self that is moving forward, taking chances, living life and loving, deeply, my people in it.

There are so many shifts going on now in my life, it’s pretty mind-boggling. Little glimpses are in my blog posts, and will continue to be. A lot of it I’m not completely comfortable with, or maybe I should just say that I don’t know where it’s heading, but I am staying open to life using me. I’m offering myself openly. This realignment of my relationships is a part of that, and I can see how it’s been happening for a while now, I just wasn’t completely aware. My people have been in my life for years, and my people are newer friends, and my people are yet to be met. Because I am sober and was willing to be that, things are shifting.

This post, and all the growth, understanding,freedom and gratitude in it (and oh so much more!) is brought to you by AA and the acronym HOW. It all started there.

Thank god!

(exhausted as I am this is not timed right and still listed as November 8. Forget that. This is November 9th’s post, I deem it so. And now goodnight!)

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One Comment

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  1. I love this Mish. I had one of those night’s last night, you know, couldn’t sleep rolling around, my mind whirling all night long. Nothing yet everything. Non specific angst.
    This was the first thing I read this morning, even before my coffee. It is nice to be reminded that I am still a work in progress. Today is a new day, and I can change. HOW is a great place to start fresh today.
    Thanks for a Sunday morning shot of espresso!

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