Humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings
New month so groups will be looking at Step 7. Our shortcomings…. I’m not to sure what I want to say on this, well I do but it was something that came up in group so it’s difficult, but it triggered my thoughts around this or at least what was said triggered my thoughts
‘I like some of my shortcomings they make me who I am!’
So that got me thinking are they then shortcomings? If we have character traits that are harmless to ourselves or to others are they character defects or shortcomings?
Whilst I understand the whole thing around enabling and allowing people to take responsibility for their own actions, to do for themselves what they can, or can’t and learn from it, helping and wanting to spread happiness – is that a shortcoming? I am blessed with some gorgous genuine kind people in my home group. They are generous in the spirit of friendship, have seen me alone and struggling and took me into their lives inviting me to do things which I wouldn’t necessarily do by myself. I don’t see that as a shortcoming and yet it was highlighted as possibly being so. Not about me personally and what these ladies had offered me, but the whole issue around wanting to make people happy. Looking after others. I suppose there is a fine line between organising someone life – caretaking and genuinely wanting other to be happy, I don’t feel as tho I am pushed into anything I don’t want to do, I am grateful for the invites I get, for being with people that understand me. When we have lived with addiction it’s easy to lose sight of who we are. Our lives focused on the addict, obsessing about what they are doing, who they are with, why they haven’t come home yet, instead of living in the moment and being grateful for having a life. Yes I am very grateful for having my group and those that have held out the hand of friendship, so no don’t you let go of those ‘shortcomings’ that make you who you are, kindness is not a weakness, wanting others to be happy is a genuine concern for the welfare of others – their spiritual wellbeing, those things are not shortcomings they are beautiful character traits, especially if they are done selflessly.
Someone I admire just posted this on FB and it set my mind thinking so thank you @struggletostrength Eric Ease my thoughts are below
Don’t change who you are for anyone who demands it against your will. It’s wiser to lose someone over being who you are, than to keep them by being someone you’re not. Because it’s easier to mend a broken heart, than it is to piece together a shattered identity. It’s easier to fill an empty space in your life where someone else used to be, than it is to fill the empty space inside yourself where YOU used to be.
I’m not sure I changed my self when living with addiction. I think I was still trying to find who I was. Stuck in co-dependency I would often just do what another wanted. Even when his addiction was at it’s worse I still fell in line and did what was required of me. So when I eventually walked away not only did I have a broken heart I had no identity to fill that space that should have been me. I had allowed myself to live my life through someone else’s. I guess making a positive out of that allowed me to make a new me or to find out who I am. When my marriage split up over 10 years ago I lived by myself for quite some time before I hooked up with K. Looking back I’m not sure that person really had a lot of substance. I lived in a bubble of going to work and going out with friends but felt I had to be with someone to somehow validate who I was. Drinking became a good friend. I knew it was too much but I got up for work every day and my bills got paid, was always careful not to be over the limit if I had to drive early in the morning, so felt it was under control. But part of me likes being in a relationship. Well no I like company. I’ve been single again ( in my head) for over 8 months now. I’ve been lonely at times but on the whole I’m enjoying the freedom of working on myself. A couple of the girls in group are trying to fix me up, they don’t want me to be by myself! The one requirement I have decided is that who ever this man is he has to be in recovery or at least understand my program. I nearly met someone off a dating site a while ago, may even have mentioned it on here before, he didn’t understand why I couldn’t meet him on certain nights. Basically he’d asked to meet and it was one of my group nights so I just said I have something on on a Monday and Thursday which is important to me. He pushed and pushed to know what, then totally didn’t understand when I explained what. 🤷🏼♀️ so yes if I am going down that road again recovery and/or and understanding of recovery is important to me.
I will not let myself be lost in another’s life or live thro another’s life again, I may never be ready for another relationship but when I am I know that I am as important as they are, and it about being true to my self and trusting my feelings.
Sometimes barriers are put in our way so we have to rethink our path. I lost my sponsor and was unsure whether to ask the person I want to ask as a replacement as I knew she had a couple of other sponsees on the go, and didn’t want to ‘bother’ her. So I approached someone else just to get me thro the next 3 steps ( as was suggested by my old sponsor) this person has now decided she doesn’t want to and so I was left with no one. Then I remembered what it says in the program about caretaking! If I assume that I’m helping by not asking then not only am I blocking my own recovery but I’m not allowing the person to make the choice for themselves. So I asked. The answer was yes. But she wants me to start over. Back to step 1. I understand the reason for that, and of course my impatience for getting on and doing it kicked in but now I’m grateful. I am actually excited to go back and start again, it’s been a long time since I started with step one so I’m actually excited to see how my answers have changed, how my understanding has changed.
We admitted that we are powerless over the addict, our lives lives had become unmanageable.
Back to the future! Posted on March 13, 2016 by hopelesslesslyaddicted
Things went as I thought they would, he was open to my fears and concerns but knew the right things to say back! He’s going to try to get somewhere else has agreed to let me find my head (and heart!) but now it’s up to him to prove me wrong. Of course he said the right things he wants to have an easy clean and happy life free of drugs and in recovery ( apparently with me) but where as 6 months ago I would have been well made up hearing his words today I was cynical. Of course I (don’t) know it must be horrible being told that your plans for the future are being changed last minute that you are no longer welcome when just a couple of weeks ago you were, coming off drugs in prison with little or no control over a situation must be very dis empowering and that wasn’t / isn’t my intention. But keeping me safe from addiction is. There is no place in my life for drugs or the drama it brings with it. There is no place in my life for mistrust and the drama that comes with that either. It’s complicated for sure but I will get thro it. With the love and guidance from my fellowship and HP. It might take a little longer than I wanted due to outside agencies needing to be involved but what will be will be. I didn’t back down but have to be reasonable given the shortness of time. We have both agreed that it’s not reasonable to expect him to find somewhere at such short notice ( if his bro don’t help him) but likewise it’s not fair on me to live in constant worry and mistrust. Right now I wish I could just take off somewhere for a couple of months with my dog and come home and just get on with my life in peace…no addicts no dramas no messed up head and heart! It’s not denial, it’s not even running away but I would just like all involved to sort out their shit without me being dragged into it. I like K he can be good company he’s how he was when I met him ( and that is dangerous for me!) I don’t like wishing my life away I don’t even really want to hover over a future that hasn’t come yet but for once I would like to fast forward and see what where and who is in my life in the next 6 months….I don’t want to go back to the future, but I wouldn’t mind if Marty could have a look and tell me 😀
One year on and things are so much better. He relapsed sadly but I didn’t. It took another stint in prison for him before I finally got the courage to change the things I can, when blog posts come up on my FB feed I reflect back. With the program on my side I knew I couldn’t change him, that as he spiralled out of control and back into addiction there was nothing I could do to stop it. The program taught me that. It was hard. I was in love with a false image of someone. I was trying to do the right thing – it’s hard when you’re being asked to have faith that the addict will actually succeed this time, that they promise that this time it will be different, so you stay you believe and when relapse happens you stay and believe because you have to have faith they will find recovery! And so it goes. When I said to him I couldn’t stay any longer but did have faith that one day he would find recovery and when he did he could then contact me a small part of me didn’t expect him to stay away. It’s weird and has taken time to get use to the idea, that this time he has actually respected my wishes or maybe thinks he’s burned his bridges, but in the time I have known him he has always always turned to me in times of need. So now I wonder if you ever get over being with an addict. Is he alive? Is he using? Is he in prison? Is he in rehab? I would like to know if he’s ok, but can’t contact his family to find out as that might be misconstrued as me wanting him back. I don’t think he would understand my genuine interest in how he’s getting on as anything else. So there you have it.
I get comfort from a fellowship member who’s addictive loved one also disappeared offthe face of the earth. She too left wondering, tho she has heard that he’s alive in recovery and that must be so painful for her to know whilst she supported him when using now he’s in recovery doesn’t want to be with her. I dare say ashamed for what he put her thro, but hurtful all the same. I am grateful for my fellowship and I’m grateful that I can live in peace and serenity. I am grateful to K for respecting my wishes. So a year ago I wondered where I would be? And now I have my answer.
So I went and watched T2. I guess for a lot of you going to see a film isn’t such a biggy but for me it’s the first time I’ve gone to see a film in a cinema by myself! Anyway it wasn’t so scary haha.
As I said in a previous post I was apprehensive because after rewatching T1 I wondered what 20 years later would be portrayed. Well – is the answer! There were some poignant moments of course, some of the scenes struck a chord the hopes and dreams of addicts. The inability to stop using the ability to stop using, bringing back my hopes and dreams for the addict that brought me here. I would have wanted to see T2 regardless of my recent insight but would I have gone to see it at the cinema? Who knows but I didn’t want to wait til it came out on download. But had a good evening – home now of course eaten and now just putting my thoughts down. I enjoyed the experience of watching on the big screen might even go again if there is something worth watching. Anyway it was worth the effort for me to go. I don’t make resolutions but I did promise myself to do more with my life. Focusing on my step work getting out and doing more things rather than the isolation of being at home. When you’ve been cut off from society thro addiction it’s hard to break that habit. I lost my closest friend thro addiction. I do have people to hang out with but that’s at the pub and I don’t want to go and drink so that’s kinda off limits! Anyway enough ramblings with no purpose and in the words of Renton Choose Life 😀
Whilst I have been writing this blog many things have happened. I relapsed again and again going back to my negative self belief that I was somehow knew better than K that he should want to get and stay in recovery, that I was better than ‘god’ and I could save K from self destruction. I’m Not sure how or when my mind set changed but it did. Call it my HP if you like, but something steered me away. Something clicked and I came to believe that this was not my job it is well and truly Gods job. Reading another’s blog this afternoon affirmed this @fromstruggletostrength. The words struck a chord with me. The self hate and self loathing that K lived with weren’t mine to fix. They never were. He often would say he liked using drugs and I don’t doubt it. It blocked out all the feelings ( for a while) but then on coming too the self loathing starts again, I’m sure you are aware of the cycle of addiction.
Looking at myself and some of the defects of character I may have, I have recognised my OC behaviours. Some are for the good putting 110% into a project is never a bad thing, I know that I have addictive traits to my personality. I don’t have a cut off switch when it comes to alcohol. I have nothing drink for weeks at a time but if I have more than a couple I’m in a very dangerous place as my brain makes me believe I want more. I have to put things in place to stop me, like making sure I have no money around or going out in the car so I only have 1. Again I can have drink in the house and not touch it, but if I open it the chances are I’ll drink it. I don’t even know why I am writing this! I’ve digressed! Oh yes the OC traits!! I’m not very disciplined when it comes to doing stuff, my blog is very haphazard. In the beginning I had lots to say, I was still in denial and self pitying mode. I had joined a fellowship and if I’m honest was a non believer! But I wrote and wrote often I became obsessed with writing it. My journey was slow I relapsed like I say, but that’s because I didn’t understand the harm I was still doing to my self. But I didn’t give up – I wanted to live a different way. The co-dependent wanting to believe in a dream that wasn’t shared. Once I understood that then it became easier to really walk the walk. Once I fully 100% understood that I could NEVER change the addict, that no matter how much he said he didn’t want to live that way, until he actually changed it for himself, I could do nothing. Maybe you read this and wonder why it took me so long or it is obvious that you can’t change another’s behaviour, maybe you are thinking she’s said this before, and I probably have, but that was talking the talk! Now I 100% believe I am walking the walk! My OCB meant I was fixated on making him better, on doing anything and everything to get my reward, a cliché but couldn’t see the wood for the trees! My fellow blogger stated that addiction wants to kill you, and it does. It wants you to live in misery it feeds off that and gets stronger so you stay in it thinking that everything will be all right, that eventually your loved one will see the light – didn’t they say they didn’t want to live like this whilst asking again for money! It’s self destruct on every level.
Do I wonder what’s happening to him yes of course you dont give up 4 years to a person without wondering how they are and what they are doing. But thankfully even if he is still in addiction I somehow found the strength to let go and let god.
My latest obsession is instagram I don’t think that’s too harmful! But like a lot of my obsessions it will become boring and I will stop, or at least not be on it as much! I need an obsession for my step work haha maybe tho now I am getting settled again I will find the time, but we are coming close to the start of my other love the growing season 😃 seeds getting sorted my spare bed room turned into a growing room propagaters cleaned and ready – that’s one obsession I won’t get hurt by!
Thanks for reading
So here I am again! This Christmas was probably the best I have had in at least 4 years…maybe more. But of course the last 4 were taken up in the centre of addiction. Don’t look back only look forward don’t project or hover over a future that hasn’t come yet are phrases you hear in the fellowship phrases that have a lot of bearing when you live in addiction/with addiction wise words but hard to actually live up to when you’re in it. I don’t mind looking back – it’s useful to reflect. I like to look back not in the what could I have done differently way of looking back because that achieves nothing no one can erase the past or change it, but you can and do learn from it. I’m not even going to remind myself of what I did in the last 4 years at Christmas – I know! I know things that I won’t even put in this blog. Bad shit that happened but it’s in the past. I was powerless over the addict! In every sense. His choices were just that. My choices were just that. So this year mentally I was at a much better place. No expectations I didn’t measure up or down on anyone or anything. It happened. I limited myself on the drink and food I didn’t binge which I have done in the past. For comfort! It’s been a sad year on the celebrity front lost a good number of people this year, every night over Christmas we seemed to loose another. 4 in the space of 24 hours, although Ricky Harris didn’t make the news on the TV. Or at least not on the news I saw. Anyway end of year reflections
I came to believe that I was never going to change the addict. In fact more than that it was not my place to even try. I found the power maybe from my HP -( which someone once told me was myself and I doubted it but maybe he is right) to let go let god and release with love. Words and mantras that are easy to say but not so easy to put into practice. I saw yet again the the addict was not ready to change. That he was prepared after going thro the pain of coming off the drugs to start it all over again even tho he knew he was killing himself time and time again. That he hadn’t as yet made the decision to say enough is enough. But more importantly no matter what I did it wasn’t going to change anything. The only thing I could change was me. I know 1 year ago 2 years ago I said this but it was words this year I did it. I haven’t lost faith that it’s possible I know it’s possible I follow a fellow blogger seen how he has changed his life around he’s not a kid either but a grown man. But for my own sanity I jumped of the merry go round. Maybe I reached my rock bottom? Maybe I came to realise that I needed something more that I couldn’t be pulled into the downward spiral of someone else’s addiction yet again. Maybe I just realised just how hurtful it was to me and those around me? Nah what it was was I believed. I believed that I was powerless that my HP gave me the strength to say know what? You go ahead and do what you want, but don’t expect me to be part of it, one day you will find the way, but my hurt has to stop and only I can control that.
So on that little reflection and in knowing everyday I am getting stronger and better I wish you all well. I hope your festivities were with out drama. And that you live in serenity and hope
Not posted for a long time….again! Not keen on this time of year the last 4 haven’t been brilliant. Don’t we just build it up to be this and that and then feel let down disappointed that it isn’t what we want. Interestingly my last 2 long term relationships the other half didn’t do Christmas! One was just too tight the other had ligitimate reason well 2 no actually 3 if you include the addiction. So here I am again free of the addict. I don’t suppose I will be ever be free as such until I hear he’s gone to a better place free of that eastern temptress that has his mind body and soul! I suppose I haven’t really thought about him in any depth for a while. I have been away – a week in the sun and I don’t think he has really been in my mind at all. So why now? Today I had a lovely visit from a friend she knew what I have been through and asked how I was – really was. And I guess that’s why I am writing this to put it behind me for the holidays! 😶 am I in a better place than a year ago? Of course. I’m I in a better place than even 3 months ago yes. I don’t know if you ever get over being with an addict. If someone passes then you have to deal with the grief. I’m sure that brings a whole load of different emotions hurts and what ifs. The codependent probably goes into over drive and blames them selves – something K did over the passing of his on/off girlfriend ( the 1 before me) he blamed himself for her dying of an embolism but she was bi polar and an alcoholic and drug user ( the last from his instigation) but she died because of a organic problem not an overdose or too much drink. Both of those contributed to her death but he was in prison on a 7 stretch so hardly his fault. But I get it – I’m sure if, when it happens and IF I ever find out I will ask my self if I could have done anything different. I couldn’t of course which is why with the support of my fellowship learnt there was a better way to live, I didn’t need to ‘save the world’ be the fixer.
It was so lovely to hear the words it feels like the old Karen is back today. Thank you S it meant a lot to hear that. I am back. I have to make amends to many…only if it won’t cause more harm, that’s not a get out cause, that’s me being honest and practical some won’t want me to. Have already said as such. That ok I have hurt many in the last 4 years. I don’t expect their forgiveness. However I do forgive myself. I didn’t understand 4 years ago the power of codependency I didn’t know i was sick and even tho I knew I overlooked friends for relationships I had always been lucky enough to hold on to those that understood better than me. So here we are a few days from what in the western Christian world is the big event…tho how many understand that I don’t know, the whole celebration of the birth of Christ has been taken over by commerciality the I want this I want that the disappointment for not getting the same as your friends in school as feeling inferior too many children feeling let down ashamed because maybe all they got was a new pair of shoes or something they needed not wanted and others in class got a new iPhone of iPad maybe they got nothing but a hot meal when normally they eat cereal for tea, single mums or dads feeling they have failed coz they are in a hostel escaping a brutal ex partner and can’t give their child something better. Young teenage kids on the streets out of a ‘care’ system that no longer can help them. No this time of year isn’t always kind. So when you are opening those presents eating your Christmas dinner and forcing yourself to have just one more potatoe enjoy it of course but give a minutes thought for those that can’t or won’t have anything this time of year. Even have some compassion for the addicts out there that might have robbed someone or something for their fix, as they need your compassion ( maybe not forgiveness) too. They know what they do is wrong they know people think they are the lowest of the low and don’t think of themselves much higher. But addiction is a disease there is no cure – only abstinence. So dear reader I get this out here now before the full on festivities start. Put away so I’m not thinking about it. I thank my HP that I am free ( ish) of the hurt addiction brings. I hope that who ever is reading this also is free to enjoy this time of year and with people that cares about them.
So I am coming to the end of my holiday a week away by myself well me and the dog! Back to a place I have been a few times before. This exact place 3 times now but first time alone and I have loved it! I have enjoyed being here in the past but it was always with someone else and in my codi mind set always putting them first….so this week – that week we work for and save for and give up other stuff for so we can live the dream week this week has been good. I have had a few ‘Karen’ moments lost my purse ( with my bank card and money) lost some shopping got lost driving but nothing so disasterous I couldn’t sort. When I was with an addict i became ‘ clever’ with money or deceitful if you like. I hid money I hid bank accounts if you have read my story you know this already but if you haven’t it’s just part of being one step ahead looking out for me and my needs – some might call it control? I call it making sure I have enough to get thro the week or month. So when i realised my purse had gone just stopped the card and re orders a new one and transferred the money into another account which I had a bank card for ….I think my HP was looking out for me because I had not long gone to the bank to get some money out but the cash point was broken, other wise I would have been maybe £50 down. So lost about £15. I had been saving my coins for parking as parking in Cornwall isn’t cheap and was more annoyed about that than anything as I no longer had change. The shopping? I bought a scarf and was given it in a bag, rather than put it in my ruck sac I carried it stopped for tea and put it down and never picked it up! Getting lost – easy when roads are closed and diversions aren’t clear for people that don’t live in the area. But I have enjoyed myself I have reached a point where I can please myself do what I want to do. I had plans for the week some I have done others I haven’t. The dog has had some influence over what I could do – places I couldn’t go with her. But all in all I have had a good week.
Why am I sharing this on here? Not to say hey I’ve been on holiday! Nope I’m saying it because I have a real gut feeling that I am over my past. I have stopped living I hope – no I have stopped living in hopeless addiction – I live in hope always! I hope every addict finds a way out of the torture, I live in hope that every co- dependent realises the truth and works on them selves to be ‘co-dependent no more’* I live in hope that who ever reads this is happy not to take second best putting others in front of themselves in a desperate hope that person will love them more ( see last hope) but more importantly I live in hope for me! I wasn’t sure if I had much to blog about now but maybe I do. I give service for my fellowship and help out with our ‘help line’. I took a call the other day and the lady i spoke to said things I never thought I would hear – that I gave her hope that there was a way out, that I had been thro so much and yet was willing to give to others and sounded positive and kind. I give service to give back to the fellowship that saved me. I share my experience strength and hope not for praise or nice words but to enable others to see the way – to live free from the life they live bound up in, the hurt addiction brings to them/us. I do not underestimate the pain the addict has to deal with mentally and physically, the torture they live in, but that is for the addict to say enough is enough not us that live with them and see it and try to deal with it. We can’t change it. As I read back through this I am seeing step one – accept I am powerless over the addict and my life has become unmanageable! I am living it now – how great is that – I give thanks to the fellowship and my HP for allowing it to happen and for allowing me to give me will over to my HP to guide me. My story is far from over my step work is slow but that is because I have to believe in every word before I can ask my sponsor to listen to my step. But I know I am in recovery and this week has proved it to me. When I came away before by myself to Cornwall I wasn’t happy I had already started my journey into co-dependency and attachment to an addict. I was wrapped up in him and what he thought and had lost my own will to him even though we had only just met. Other things contributed to my unhappy holiday a friend committed suicide whist I was here and it rained most the time but I wasn’t who I am now – of course! So I sign off with hope for you and me xx
At the weekend I went to the NA ( London) convention…I was so blessed to be able to attend 😊 being in a building just bursting with recovery was so up lifting – I was going to say that experiencing so much positivity must be an incentive for any using addict to stop, but then I’m not an addict ( of drugs) so can’t really make that judgement call. One of the speakers came over from the US Gladys D! What a woman. She got it, I just wanted to absorb every word she said and make K listen to her, but of course he hasn’t even asked how I got on. And I am mindful not to bring up recovery with him as he then thinks I am having a dig or a go at him, so best keep it to myself and know from first hand experience if you want it bad enough you will succeed. Gladys’s share was awesome for many reasons, she had heard it all before experienced it all before had been running around on drugs from a late age in her opinion (17) a late starter, but at 62 she had heard and used every excuse going. She came out with them one by one, blaming this blaming that woe is me its not my fault I has beaten as a kid my dad died my mum died I lost my partner on and on and on, the same excuses I have heard and hear again and again, as will you if you have anything to do with addiction. She had stopped – abstained from using drugs went to groups but relapsed again and again because she didn’t work the programme and didn’t fix herself spiritually and until she did 14 years ago she kept going back to drugs. Not the heroin so she hadn’t relapsed really! Ha ha living that dream right now! Prescription drugs drink that’s not H so she hadn’t relapsed! How I identified with so much she said not from my experience you know I don’t do that shit, but from K ‘being clean’. Anyway she was entertaining funny and I think a must for anyone to listen to if they are starting out on recovery. What she managed to do in the nicest way was say stop making your excuses if you want recovery – only you can do it but you HAVE to go down the spiritual path, abstenence is one thing – living in recovery is something very different. So my readers if u are in recovery and not just abstenence you have my love and best wishes. For me? I am also fighting with my recovery, I am learning much and have had to put into practice tools and a way of life I am still grappling with. I have backed down a couple of times but am fighting and standing strong. I am clear of what I find acceptable and what I find unacceptable. Living with another’s addiction is hard but I have to keep the focus on me. I haven’t seen K in nearly 2 weeks, apart from a brief meeting last week, which didn’t work. I don’t like a lot of his behaviours and a dare say he feels he same about me and my new way of living. I am grateful that I have had this opportunity to grow as a person, to find out that if I don’t like something I don’t have to put up with it. Gladys said she has been alone by herself for many years, but is happy with that. I am learning slowly that I would rather be alone than in a situation that hurts me mentally and spiritually. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about him it means I care for my self more. I said a few weeks ago this was a slow journey for me as with my programme it’s at my own pace in my own way. I know many of you would like to see me by myself with out the hurt I go through. I am working on it. Of course ever hopeful that he will get better or at least find a way to find peace in his troubled mind. I am doubtful that I will see that so have to find a way to be happy – I know what I don’t like and what I don’t want to go through and that is something I didn’t know 2 years ago even 6 months ago. So let’s celebrate my achievements how ever small and for every day an addict stays off the drugs and in recovery and make every day a celebration.
In fellowship X