THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Jeff G."
Originally posted in Mar. 1998(The author retains all rights to this material)
My name is Jeff, I am an addict. Today, I am an addict seeking recovery. When I got clean in June of 1990, it was only through the intervention of a Higher Power in the form of a desire to stop using. Even though the desperation of my addiction grew exponentially the last few years I used, I just couldn't wait to stop. The running, waiting, manipulating, scheming, and endless streams of thought leading me down the same path of pain and unfulfillment grew more and more laborious. It wasn't until the miracle of being granted the desire to stop using that I could accept the first step. I remain grateful for that, and for the continued presence to persevere in my recovery.
I've learned something about myself recently and wish to share it. First, recovery is a journey, not a destination. I know, I've heard the neat little slogan too, and said, "Yea, obviously". But in reality, a lot of times I'm almost waiting for stuff to align, to gel, and mesh, so that I can bask in the serenity. I've come to realize that I've spent a fair amount of time not enjoying my recovery because I don't always accept the way things are - not how I wish, pray, or want things to be; but acceptance of the way I am today, my circumstances, and the people around me.
I believe at the root of this distortion is a major, but very subtle defect, conditional love. In my heart I know there is a capacity to experience unconditional love because I've experienced it. But on a day in, day out basis, I found myself placing conditions on other people, myself, and even my Higher Power, concerning love. For example, I would say to my wife, "If you went to more of your meetings, (thus taking better care of yourself), you would be better able to support me, and if I had more support from you, I would be freed up to love you more, and support you better, which would then allow you to love me more, as well as make you more loveable". A crock? Yes, but it's been the basis of reality for me for a while. I tend to use the same thinking in my relationship with my HP too. Rarely do I sense that I am a co-creator - that my HP's will for me is mostly adoption and practice of the opposite of my fear based character defects.
Today, I am deciding to cooperate with spiritual principles. I've decided it's too much effort and too lonely to be in competition with other human beings. I simply can't prove anything by force of will. When I see the world through faith and unconditional love - it is a place where, with the help and guidance of my HP, I can serve and contribute to the security of loving and being loved, regardless of circumstance. I sense a change coming over me that is based in a question relating to our 3rd step; "Are you living in fear or living in faith?" When I answer faith, I am committed to acceptance and that leads me to love in the here and now. No waiting till it's right, or more to my liking, no conditions. Now - it's the only time I truly have in this journey of recovery.
With unconditional love & gratitude.