Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Bottom Line...It WORKS!
I have to be honest and share here that I do have moments where I really wonder whether I can be part of a "partnership"...in other words a relationship ...specifically a marriage relationship. Not because I have any doubts about K but because I have doubts about myself. I still feel like the same flawed, selfish person I was and there are times I wonder if I can truly progress to a point where I can be a healthy partner.
Then there are other moments where I know it is what I really desire and I feel really good about the commitment and am looking forward to taking that "next step"...this time for all the right reasons: Because I am truly in love and want to share my life with Kim, because I feel the Creator has led me to this place and really blessed this relationship. There have already been many occurrences where I've felt that this was truly "meant to be" and I believe that comes from God.
Ultimately whenever I have felt these moments of doubt I don't sweat them too much...they tend to work themselves out. I keep doing the things I have done over the last several years to continue to grow in my faith, my recovery and that all naturally impacts my life in general in a very positive way.
I will say that I have taken a close look at my motives for even being in a romantic relationship. New readers might not know or realize that even though i have known Kim well over 7 years, we have only been in a serious boyfriend/girlfriend relationship since June of last year...so not even a year. And though this may come across as "too much information" for some (IE: my kids...you've been warned!), Kim and I have been celibate...no sex for all those years.
I think a lot of that came from our (definitely MY) reluctance in years past to complicate our recovery...I know that was my choice. When I committed myself to recovery, when I finally surrendered..I was "ALL IN"...I was desperate and didn't want ANYTHING to screw up my sobriety. I was going to do whatever it took and even though I truly valued my relationship with Kim, my recovery...which I saw as MY LIFE, CAME FIRST.
That was really the only way I could approach it and have any reasonable chance of making it...I had to put everything I had into staying sober first and I just would have to trust that the rest might come later. Well it did, of course but even I didn't think it would be 6 years before I felt comfortable to be in a committed relationship.
But it turns out that I had a ton of work to do...just being honest with myself I knew that I had to get my life in order. I had to fully admit to what I was: an addict/alcoholic and know in my heart that i was powerless over my addiction, I could NOT change that fact on my own.
Then I had to commit spiritually to someone or something greater, more powerful then I. Ultimately for me that turned out to be GOD. Then I could commence cleaning up the wreckage from my past and begin to understand some of my character defects and behavior that went hand in hand with my alcoholism.
This really was hard stuff to do, getting honest with myself, facing some really unpleasant realities about me then ultimately accepting them, sharing them with another person and God. Then I could go about REALLY saying I was sorry to the people I hurt...I could truly make amends...which was saying I was responsible, accepting that and apologizing for it. That was a real spiritual experience for me...God really was at work in me and I could feel it.
There were people I had hurt, who I had repeatedly lied to that I had no real reason to believe me or forgive me...but they did and that was the true spiritual experience of making amends...years of guilt and shame melted away and I could feel human again.
At that point an new life could truly begin, based of spiritual living and service to others. Some folks disagree with this approach to recovery and that's OK...but it saved my life...and more, much more. It gave me an approach to living based on service and caring for others that has rewarded me in SO many ways that I can't even begin to describe how amazing life is today.
Sure...there are difficulties...life can be hard and recovery doesn't change that but it helps me live through the tough parts and truly has helped me connect to God and THAT has made the difference. This process will continue until the day I die...I will always be growing and progressing...one day at a time. And that is the beauty of it...just keep going each day.
And that ultimately is why I believe my relationship with Kim fits so well into my life. We compliment each other in recovery and in every day life...it works. I am so grateful for that...and for her.