I was at a crossroads. Faced with two bewildered little children and a failing business, I toyed with swapping my two nightly beers for a six-pack to knock the edge off the day. I couldn’t do it. I knew if I repeated the alcoholism modeled by my father, my children would end up as scarred as I had been. I needed help.
For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself. We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend.
Through these spiritual tools, I find that I am better able to define what is right and good for me and to have the courage to stand in that truth regardless. Being the example is often all that is needed for others to see.
I figured I could read my way out of my problems. Recovery books. Motivational books, CD’s and phrases. It was all about doing it on my own and doing it “my way.” Frank Sinatra had nothing on me! In the past I spent all of my drinking time alone, so I figured I could also get out of it on my own. No higher power, no other people, just me.
Many people who quit drinking or using think all they need to do is participate in a treatment program and show up at a supportive recovery meeting now and again. They assume that all will be well … that everything has been “fixed.” This is rarely ever the case. Recovery is not just about abstinence, it is about doing the work it takes to be able to live a life that is “happy, joyous, and free.”
A classic scene from a classic show, The West Wing. One recovering alcoholic talking to another. This is truly “How It Works”!
There is huge power in the spoken words of a song. Pay attention to the lyrics of what you are listening to and what you are singing because you are claiming that which you sing of for yourself. Sound strange? Consider the lyrics of a song as a musical affirmation. You will bring into your life that which you speak/sing of often, with feeling and intent.
Journaling was difficult for me because it took time, commitment and nurturing energy, all things that I found difficult to give to myself but desperately needed. It was through the practice of keeping a journal that I began my journey to a better and lasting relationship with a Higher Power and with myself.
When we approach journaling with an open mind and heart, and we commit to being completely candid with ourselves, we open up to limitless opportunity for growth and healing. Through total honesty, we begin to peel away the layers of our psyche. The masks we wear begin to fall away, revealing our true nature – who we are when we aren’t “the parent, the employee, the friend” and are just ourselves.
Journal writing is what I call verbal meditation. It’s very much about downloading what’s behind your feelings and your emotions. Sometimes it’s frustration, sometimes it’s grief, sometimes it’s anger. If you get that out on the page, you get a very clear sense of what’s bugging you and what’s holding you back.