Your Right Where You’re Supposed to Be
So many times, during the first two years of recovery I felt as if I was somehow doing something wrong in my recovery or that something was not right with my progress. I used to feel like my feelings themselves where wrong. Especially if I were sad or fearful, on the edge of depression or angry. I was fortunate to have effective group therapy which when combined with Alcoholics Anonymous kept me and several of my rehab-mates sober for a very long time. We all had sexual abuse in our past and took our addiction to places we were ashamed of. But I learned THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING, EVER. THEY ALL COME FROM A VALID PLACE AND ARE THERE FOR A VALID REASON. We don’t allow our feelings to rule us but intense feelings should be processed.
Feelings usually come from a current, or past event. Or they can be brought up by hormones.
Our therapists taught us defining words to express how we felt on a regular basis. Each morning I had to share with the group as best I could, what I felt like. In meetings I was taught if I had intense emotions about something I should share, “what happened and how it made me feel. Words like “weird” and “funky” or strange are too vague. I had to speak true feelings with appropriate English language words. And for someone like me who was highly ashamed of who she was and what she felt, talking about what I did in my addiction was the easiest expression in the mix. Bottom line, I had to get out into the open those things for which I was most afraid, most ashamed, and kept secret.
Group therapy was a safe place to bear my soul. Meetings were a safe place to bear my feelings however there is usually an invalidator in the crowd. They crouch behind their judgmental look just waiting to shoot down anyone who appears the slight bit vulnerable. And unfortunately “vulnerable” is exactly what I had to make myself if I was going to recover. I had to take off my mask and realize very quickly that IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO SAVE MY ASS THAN SAVE MY FACE (false pride).
You can’t get emotionally well while hiding behind a facade of “bad-ass” or “tough-girl”. Sure that’s how we survive on the streets. But to actually heal emotionally, well that takes a stance of vulnerable, student. And if God is not at the helm of our recovery then it may not fall into place the way it could. We ask God to guide us in our recovery and to help us stay clean and sober and heal. Then we can say to ourselves every time we get scared or confused, “I am right where I am supposed to be God has my back in this”.
Therapy is important, but it must be the right therapy. Meetings are important, but if they are not the right meetings they can do more damage than good. That’s why we pray first. Every morning. Here is the prayer I have used. I learned it in jail ten years ago next month.
“God, guide me in my recovery. May the Peace of mind that surpasses all Earthly understanding guide my heart and mind into all Truth. Let my words be your words and your words be my words. Bless the hearts and minds of all those I come in contract with. Thank you for this opportunity to do the next right thing.”