“If you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?” – Dolores Huerta
The burden of guilt and shame can hold you back from attaining a happy, joyous and free life. In a crowd of two through thousands of people looking to recover from addiction if you ask who wants to be happy? Every one will answer, “ME”! I have yet to meet the person that says I am simply looking to expand my misery! In order to be happy it starts with the choice to be happy! But that is just the start, there is work to do.
The twelve step approach was based on a Christian perspective, it is the result of the belief that a complete psychic change is necessary to recover. A spiritual experience is at the root of the process. The process simply put goes like this. Step one and two lead you to step three. “Duhhhhh” you say, right! So step one we say, “wow this aint working”! Two we say, “I just can’t continue to live like this, but God can help me”. Which leads us to the Biggie! Step three, “We make the decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God”. The next six steps are the actions I must take to fulfill or implement my step three decision! The final three 10,11, & 12 are the steps I utilize to remain in congruence with my decision and new life!
In my first thirty or forty days in recovery, well after eight years of hoping and wishing it would all just go away, I was in a step meeting sitting with my arms crossed staring into the abyss. I got up and went to the bathroom in the middle of the meeting just to get out of there. When I walked out of the bathroom there waiting was my sponsor George. He said, “what is wrong”? Me in my infinite wisdom replied just as I always have, “NOTHING”! Well he was not gonna let me get away with that. He said, “Danny, don’t BS me, what is wrong”? I remember it like yesterday I said, “George I will never do step five! Every single time I have ever told the truth about what I have done wrong it has come back to hurt me. It put me in prison, offered me up to some grand beatings by my dad and in church I would still be there doing my penance if I listened to the priest”!
George looked at me and said, “Danny what is the worst thing you have ever done in your life”? I remember thinking, “this guy did not hear me”! I simply stared at him. He said again, “Come on man what is the worst thing you have ever done”? I don’t know what made me do it but I told him, well one of the worst anyway! But something amazing happened to me, I could feel the weight of the world lift from my shoulders! That was the day that I knew I would recover!
The bottom line is this, there are people like me that need to find freedom from the past, if we carry around the guilt, remorse and shame we are destined to failure! We need to do the work. We need to free ourselves of the weights that drag us to the depths of addiction. It starts right there and then the fun begins! Life is goooood!!!
Go, Go, Go…