Waking Up

The voice inside my head screamed, "You can't let that bitch talk to you this way, Jeff." Talk about a rude awakening. The therapist I visited to get some friendly direction for my life instead took my inventory. Her exact words were, "you don't have an ounce of humility in your whole body, your brain is so cloudy from your daily drinking you can't hope to get any clarity on your life and you have the emotional maturity of a 13-year-old." I was shocked. She went on to say that she couldn't help me, but maybe the treatment center up the street could. All I thought I needed was a job. Instead she basically suggested I needed to change my whole effing life. No one had ever spoken to me like that before, but as it turned out she was exactly right. Somehow truth penetrated into the core of my being. I  became willing to be changed.

I learned in Alcoholics Anonymous that God sends me uncomfortable experiences, not to punish me but to wake me up. Even after a long period of sobriety, I still want to burrow into a comfortable cocoon and stay there. I don't really want to deal with life on life's terms even though I know that I grow and change by doing so. I heard the first step to waking up is admitting that I really don’t want to wake up.

I believe control in any form is spiritually deadening--even when I'm trying to control how much I drink! My need to control comes from self-centered fear. Like it says in our book I'm afraid I won't get what I need to live comfortably or I’ll  lose something I already have that I can’t live without. This fear causes me to try and control the people and situations in my life. This need to control--to try to impose my will on reality--blocks me from my higher power and causes me all the pain there is.

Giving up control is a slow painful process for me. It sounds so simple. Just let go and let God. Get up in the morning and say the Third Step Prayer and skip on down the road to happy destiny. Talk about delusion!  My faith grows by feeling the fear of a situation, sitting in discomfort, and doing the next indicated thing anyways.  It’s amazing how quickly situations resolve themselves if I just let them be and not try to fix them by imposing my will.

My faith grows every time I walk through an uncomfortable situation without picking up a drink or otherwise trying to change the way I feel. As I grow in faith, my need to control dissolves. Oh, I still have fear, but it no longer paralyzes me. The process of growing my faith pays a lot of dividends. I’m better able  to accept life just the way it is, I’m more comfortable in my own skin, and I no longer need to depend on anyone else to tell me I'm okay. It's simply a great way to live.