In recovery, there's a deep and embedded emphasis on us taking responsibility for actions, especially the harmful one's, healing wounds we've inflicted intentionally and unintentionally on others. Cleaning up our messes is a "Thing." Then learning how not to make new messes is a "Thing," so that we can stop being our own crisis creator. The idea that we can, "Do whatever we want to whom ever we want, as long as we're willing to accept the consequences," is frankly a bunch of bullshit.
If that was true, we wouldn't have Step Eight, Nine, and Ten, in particular. To do or live otherwise would directly contradict the ethos of "Goodwill," and "Doing the right things for the right reasons." Asking ourselves, if we're still acting in rebellion, and self will run riot, how does that get us to, "Fully whole and wholly free?" In my direct experience, it doesn't. I've had to learn more than a few hard lessons in recovery. As one long-timer put it in a meeting, "There's no right way to do the wrong thing."
Those bases covered, the next thing I was taught to address in on-going rounds of the Steps and Inventories was the trauma and harm caused to me by others. I was told by my sponsor that without dealing with that aspect of our experience, it could result in an "Incomplete," understanding of my story and come out "Sideways," like spiritual bypassing, codependency, unhealthy boundaries, unresolved guilt and shame, which are expressions of resentments (reliving and re-enacting past experiences, dragging them into the present), and holding grudges (a deep ill-will for harm done to us, that interferes with our ability to be at peace with self and others). I was reminded that carrying resentments and grudges would have the effect of leaving fully whole and wholly free out of reach.
My sponsor telling me this thought counterintuitive to my addict mind. I was skeptical, until with their guidance and support, they helped me to clearly see and understand what the unresolved big and little "T" trauma: the physical abuse from my father, the sexual assault I sustained from a family member at 11 years old, the unintentional unhealthy communication style, were expressing themselves, influencing me towards being distant, aloof, and self-protective in a way that looked a lot like defensive driving, proving helpful to the disease to keep me in its grip. At one point a therapist informed me that I was using spirituality to put my self in "Spiritual Saran Wrap," to protect myself as they put it, so people couldn't get to me, so I could avoid betrayal.
Strangely he asked, "How's that working out for you?" It wasn't. And so with my sponsor and therapist, I went to work. The results were and are phenomenal. In the process, I discovered something other than being the hero or the villain. I discovered human. That made a huge difference in how I am with myself and others. The nagging physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual insecurities don't remotely trouble me the same way, at this point. I'm as fuck as I've given myself permission to be, thank's to the support and guidance of my sponsor. I'm not having to look up the word "Martyr," in the dictionary anymore, trying to understand where I'm standing within myself. As we say around here, my gratitude speaks, by caring and sharing, the path of healing, in our own way.
Just for today, I will reflect and meditate on past stories that I'm still reliving that I think and feel weird about, and people that I have ill will with, interrupting my ability to experience peace, when they come up in my mind. I could understand these as "Reservations," from Step One... things holding me back in the completeness of my healing, and talk with my sponsor about actively addressing them, to allow for greater freedom.
Calligraphy Note: 自由 | Jiyū | Freedom