Let’s get real

I want to take some time out from my current series for a little “come to Jesus.” I’m really enjoying this series which I kind of stumbled into; exploring the Bible to find verses which correspond to my thoughts on the steps. In following this extended series, though, I’ve not written as freely and honestly as I normally do – not that I’m lying or hiding anything, but that it’s far less stream-of-consciousness than usual. Or maybe I’ve just got something weighing on me that I want to get off my chest. Either way, I’ll get to Step 8 soon, but not today.

I had a conversation this weekend with a few of my friends in recovery about another of our friends who we hadn’t seen around in a while. A usual fixture at meetings, no one has heard from him in months, including his sponsor. Our concern is genuine and understandable. We’ve all known those who have seemingly fallen off the face of the earth and we know the consequences of isolation. We all know that this disease is often fatal and we know those who have not made it back from a relapse. My friend commented on how this man always seemed to have such a great program, how he was constantly in the middle of this thing and how surprising his disappearance is. Such is the nature of the alcoholic. We have lived so much of our lives lying and manipulating and trying to say or do whatever we think will make you happy. It’s so easy to fall back into old behavior even after years of sobriety. And we are such fantastic chameleons that we know exactly what to say and how to say it and even those closest to us are none the wiser. And this is so, so dangerous.

How full of pride are we alcoholics that we can’t even let other struggling alcoholics see when we are struggling? And who does this pride benefit? How many times have I seen sick, sick individuals, full of pride, leading away newcomers like the Pied Piper? And how often do I do this same thing? I once had a sponsor who was just blown away by my honesty. Am I still capable of that level of openness? I’ve been struggling with some stuff recently – doing a little praying for the willingness to be willing… or perhaps doing a little digging my heels in and refusing to pray for willingness. It’s nothing new – same old character defects popping up again, but it has been making me feel uncomfortable lately. So, this is me getting real and letting you know I’m not in the most spiritual spot just right now. The first step to growth is admitting you’re not where you want to be. I don’t want to pretend myself into a relapse. I want to admit that I’m not perfect and let go of what’s dragging me down.

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