The fog of time DESCENDS...as I often know there is a critical remberance, deep down inside of me somewhere but I cannot put my finger on it exactly...who am I? What was I? Can I really just be ME now or do YOU get to decide? It seems only the Shadow Self gets to be real these days...he is there...somewhere.
From the start of my recovery in the early Summer of 2006 I really pushed myself to make myself change, to live differently, to be as honest as I could be and to follow certain principals, many of them similar to the 12 Steps of AA that are often talked about or used in a variety of 12 step programs. Why is that I wonder? Because they WORK and have worked for literally millions of alcoholic/addicts, for those with sex, food or gambling addictions and many others. That system was set up perfectly for people who had MY kind of problem: Addiction.
It helped to clear up the wreckage of the past by finding out what I did that was hurting me. It helped me deal with the guilt and resentment...and I learned that I needed to make amends to those people that I had hurt by my behavior. I learned that ultimately it was my own selfish desire to run the show (READ: Play GOD) and taught me that a reliance on a "higher power" (For me that was and is God) could help me where I failed to help myself on my own.
It was the first time in my life that I really was honest with myself and others. I was very hard on myself because I knew that failure to stay in recovery, one day at a time for a guy like me was a death sentence. I have had some difficulty making this transition I have been talking about lately, learning how to NOT be so hard on myself. But the circumstances are not the same as they used to be...
It is like I am a solider, we are still at war and have to be vigilant, careful, work really hard every single day to maintain our high level of preparedness...but I am personally no longer in the very front line every waking second of my life, so I don't need to be at the highest level of intensity at all times. And I will admit that I have had trouble turning it off at times or toning it down sometimes.
I have had some issues with friends and family where they have been concerned that all I talk about was recovering from my addiction and being raped. That it intimidated people who did not know me that well. I was not very open to that kind of criticism at that time. mainly because I didn't really see any other way out...I could not perceive a life with out obsessing on my sobriety 24/7 because that was what I originally HAD to do to get and stay clean...and it worked.
This transition to a more balanced, full...yea, go ahead and call it a "normal" life is perfectly natural but it will take time to make the adjustment and that is the period of time that I am currently experiencing. It feels quite strange and I often feel exactly like a fish out of water as I try and negotiate my way through day to day life and living. It keeps things interesting however and I can feel myself settling into it like a favorite pair of jeans....initially they are a bit tight, somewhat uncomfortable but then the loosen a bit and fit like a glove.
I'm slowly but surely starting to "wear" my new lifestyle....like a glove.