Ok, I'm not going to lie, I hoped that people would read it. I'm not going to say that I have no ego at all....
In my dreams, I hoped that I was talking to that one still sick and suffering addict out there who needed help. To their families who needed explanation as to why their loved one was addicted and why they couldn't "just stop."
|It's not until we step back that we see how our actions|
impact the world around us...
It's my way of paying it forward to the community of people who gave so much to me and helped me to get
through one of the toughest times of my life. And, not the least of which, I write to stay sober myself.
It's important to understand that addicts are never "cured". It never goes away. I've been clean and sober since I was 17 years old. And it's never over.
We have to work at it every day. Which is not to say that I have any desire to use drugs or alcohol. I haven't had one in years. Not during my divorce. Not during the loss of loved ones. Not in some of the worst situations of my life.
But in order to stay that way, I have to maintain my spiritual condition and work on the steps. The "maintenance steps" are steps 10, 11 and 12.
For those of you who don't feel like looking it up....Here are the last 3 steps:
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
I've posted about my commitment to rigorous honesty. You can find that post here.
And, although I struggle with my belief in the "God" taught by religion, I have a firm grip on the fact that I'm not the highest power in my life and I do work to pray only for the strength to follow the path that I'm supposed to be on (which is, incidentally, harder than it sounds).
This blog is my 12th step. It's my way of carrying the message.
I thought that I had considered all of the ramifications of writing this blog when I started writing it. I knew it would be out there forever.
I knew that someday my children would find it (though, to be fair, I think my kids know most of what's here anyway and I don't think they'd be surprised). And I'm perfectly fine with them reading it. I'm not ashamed of who I am.
I knew that if I ever needed to work for someone else, it might impact my ability to find a job. But helping other people was more important to me than those risks.
What I hadn't considered was the ripple effect.
I had never considered that my decision to write this blog would cost someone else something. That my forthrightness would be held against someone else. That the fact that I'm honest about who I am and who I've been could be held against someone that I love with all my heart. And for that, I'm truly sorry.
And while I apologize for people I may have hurt. I do not apologize for who I am and who I've been. I have no reason to be ashamed.
We are all works in progress. If you can look at your life and honestly say that you've never made mistakes, you haven't lived long enough yet. And, as far as I'm concerned, as long as you're still working on being a better person, that's all I can ask of anyone (including myself).
Just Keep Coming Back