Saturday, 10 July 2010

Step 2

Ok, I have finished reading We Agnostics, which was my suggested reading for Step 2, and I had a lot of identification.

I have just re-read what I wrote under 'We Agnostics', and I was amazed at how much there was in common. From my intellectually mocking of organised religion and blind faith, to my faith in reason and what can be empirically deduced. Also, having been open-minded, or had exposure to spiritual/ religious experiences earlier on in life, but having rejected them in later life.

So far, my recovery has been rooted in knowledge and understanding of addiction. I know about relapse cycles, old behaviours, I have had a chance to analyse my feeling and my past. Yet this, so far, hasn't got me very far. I need something extra to help guide me, give me the strength, and instill a sense of purpose. I have come to strongly believe that I will find this through a higher power. It is not something I can switch on, but it is something I can open my heart and mind to.

And I have. So last night, I got on my knees and prayed: as it says in the book "Some of us grow into it more slowly. But He has come to all who have honestly sought Him."

Thursday, 8 July 2010

We Agnostics

Ok, I am doing Step 2, and I have a query: What about We Fully-Paid-Up-Richard-Dawkins-Brand-of-Atheists?!

How have other people, atheists, got beyond this point? (I think this is where we Brits differ from our American cousins: church attendance in this country is a minority rather than a majority.)

As a child I was very spiritual. My mother was into Buddhism when I was very young, and this is something that has stayed with me, but this is more of a philosophy, a way of life, than religion (i.e. the idea of a god in Buddhism is somewhat irrelevant*). Later in life I grew interested in Hinduism, but in my early 20s I rejected it - along with any other god based rhetoric - and have ever since rejected any notion of god.

So how do I get past this point? As the book says "we found ourselves thinking, when enchanted by a starlit night, "who then made all this?" There was a feeling of awe and wonder, but it was fleeting and soon lost". Well no, not really - I just thinking big-bang, hydrogen, light waves… ('wow, bet he's romantic'!!!)

So how do I get in touch with that lost sense of spirituality I had up till my teens? Haven't got an answer for that, but one thing is for sure - I am willing to try. And as someone once said**, he was asked "what you would like God to be?" He wrote down a lists of things, was then told "you can begin with that!".

So that is what I will be doing - write a list of what this higher power will be to me. My list, my god. I just hope I can rekindle that wonderment of yesteryear…

I would love to hear from anyone who has struggled with the idea of a god, or a higher power, and how you came to move beyond it.

*At least that is my reading of it, I do not profess to be an expert (and indeed I refer to Theravada Buddhism, other strands do have more 'mystic' elements, e.g. the more well-known Tibetan Buddhism)

** Charlie and Joe do an excellent read through and interpretation of the Big Book, it can be found HERE.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Pearls of Wisdom #2

"The odds are good, but the goods are odd"

Relationships with others in recovery. Yes, there will be plenty of opportunities to get together with someone else from the rooms, but that ain't a good idea.

I know I personally have co-dependency issues, and prior to coming into recovery I had never been out of a relationship. I had jumped from one failing relationship to the next 'ad infinitum'.

The feelings that arise when I am looking at myself, my past, and my behaviours are difficult to deal with, and I am going to have a difficult and challenging time. I am aware that being in a relationship is a brilliant way to avoid, or fix, this feelings, as well as giving me security and companionship in an otherwise daunting time for me.

So for the time being, I shall be steering clear of any relationship, in the long-term of any relationship from within the rooms...

Pearls of Wisdom #1

One day at a time.

I thought I would add little nuggets of wisdom as and when I hear them. Every meeting I have ever gone to I have always come away having heard something that I am grateful to have heard. So I take no credit for these, they are merely things I heard that make sense to me!

When I look into the future, things can seem very daunting, the further I look ahead the more uncertainty there is. It is very easy for me, especially when I end up back at 'day 1', wanting to be back on track with months, if not years, of sobriety behind me. There are all the plans I have that I am itching to get on with again that suddenly, with a clear head, it seems imperative to get on with. So I have to remember to live in the moment, take each day is it comes and not get carried away.

Little Fluffy Clouds

Things are going really well at the moment. I am not sure if this is what people refer to as a 'pink cloud', but I am certainly at a point where I still remember how grim it was, yet feel pretty good, mentally and physically. (This has in the past been superseded with feeling pretty good, but forgetting how bad it was....)

So, I havent written anything for a couple of days, and have been itching to (I say too busy, some might say a small matter of priorities!)

So, I met up with my sponsor on the weekend, and did my step 1. In a nutshell, it occurred to in much the same way as a beautiful lake would become pretty grim if left to stagnate, and in much the same it will drastically improve with a bit of TLC; if I drink I stagnate - in pretty much every sense of the word.

Also, after I went to a meeting, and as my sponsor seems to know every one (or as someone said, everyone worth knowing) I got to meet some more people. After 4 of us went for a coffee (joys of recovery) from which I only got back at 10.30. It might have only been something simple and casual, but how much I enjoyed the evening. Spiritually I progressed, I put work into myself, socially I got out and about, and I enjoyed a pleasant evening with friends without drinking (nor indeed thinking about drinking.

The meeting, saturday's, was one I had been going to regularly, was one I had been doing service at and I have slotted back into greeting there - so I have now got pretty much all of it in place: sponsor, plenty of meetings, service and steps...

Can't fail, surely!?