Endigar 251 ~ A Response

After I first came into recovery there was an overshadowing thought that haunted me my 2nd year clean…Will there be enough time to do what I want to do? There is so much left unsaid and undone, how will I accomplish it?
The answer came simply from a friend who reminded me that at some point I will not get a full 24 hours. I will be 42 in July and felt as if time was “running out”. It’s odd, before I got to recovery life seemed to take forever to arrive at that point and now it’s as if time has been speeded up.
I came to the understanding that 12 Step Programs prepare me to face the inevitable with dignity and a sense of self-worth. That the miserable existence I called life before really wasn’t living at all. That I have the full opportunity to live my life they way I was intended to from the very start, with the ability to be a human being.
My approach to a Higher Power is a bit more simplistic. I find it would be arrogant on my part to believe that I am one of 6 billion people living on a rock hurtling through space at 90,000 mph and this is it.
I believe the power we seek comes from both within and from others. I have witnessed far too many things both while in active addiction and while in recovery to believe in coincidences and luck.
I feel that my life has a sense of purpose and I may never know all of the answers to the questions I want to ask, but I have a faith today that what I need to know versus what I want to know is revealed when the time is right.
Take Care….Bob D.

———————————————-

1.  The nature of self-expression: 

After I first came into recovery there was an overshadowing thought that haunted me my 2nd year clean…Will there be enough time to do what I want to do? There is so much left unsaid and undone, how will I accomplish it?
The answer came simply from a friend who reminded me that at some point I will not get a full 24 hours. I will be 42 in July and felt as if time was “running out”. It’s odd, before I got to recovery life seemed to take forever to arrive at that point and now it’s as if time has been speeded up.
I came to the understanding that 12 Step Programs prepare me to face the inevitable with dignity and a sense of self-worth. That the miserable existence I called life before really wasn’t living at all. That I have the full opportunity to live my life they way I was intended to from the very start, with the ability to be a human being.

2.  The nature of spiritual empowerment:

My approach to a Higher Power is a bit more simplistic. I find it would be arrogant on my part to believe that I am one of 6 billion people living on a rock hurtling through space at 90,000 mph and this is it.
I believe the power we seek comes from both within and from others. I have witnessed far too many things both while in active addiction and while in recovery to believe in coincidences and luck.
I feel that my life has a sense of purpose and I may never know all of the answers to the questions I want to ask, but I have a faith today that what I need to know versus what I want to know is revealed when the time is right.

Bob D, thank-you for your response.  I am going to try some active listening to restate what I think you are saying here.  Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

1.  In your 2nd year clean, you were haunted by the reality of the limited time of your mortality coupled with the realization that you had much left that was unsaid and undone.  Within you, there was something that identified the unsaid and undone of your life now that you had significant time clean and sober.  The spectre of it not being accomplished was a source of fear for you.   A reality that haunted you.

But you found an answer through a friend, one that resonated with you, provided you with comfort.  The friend pointed to one reality – that at some point, you will not get a full 24 hours.  In the context of recovery, we recognize that all we have is the 24 hours before us.  But this friend said that there will come a time when we will not even be given that in full measure.  There are elements of our life that are beyond our ability to plan.  We cannot even rely on a 24 hour plan to accomplish things.   He was inviting you to an acceptance of things you cannot control, specifically, time.

You continue by restating the reality of the limited time of your mortality inspired by the quickly approaching 42nd birthday in July.  But you put the phrase RUNNING OUT in quotations.  It seems you are saying that the feeling of running out of time was not a real concept.  You point to the oddity that before recovery, time appeared to move unbearably slow to arrive at some unknown destination (I do not know how to translate –at that point, for I do not know what point you are referring to- and it may be inconsequential to your primary exploration), but now it has speeded up.  Since we assume that time is a constant, that our coming into recovery did not actually accelerate time around us, this must be an illusion stemming from within you.  I think you are suggesting that this illusion is manufactured by the peculiar mental twist of our disease.  That the tendency of this disease to use our minds to manufacture misery in order to accomodate the return to an alcoholic or drug induced state of oblivion is the actual author of the feeling of running out of time.

You walked through a process that brought you to a certain comfort or reliance on the 12 step program.  The first thing this process did for you is to help you realize that no matter when the inevitable day of your death arrives, you would be able to face it with dignity and a sense of self-worth because of your devotion to this program of recovery. Then you looked back at what you had been able to achieve under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and realized that you could not even say that you were living life at all during that time.  You realized that when you did what was natural for you, you could not live at all, and that without the intervention of the program misery was a way of life for you.  With death faced, and the old way of living discarded, you looked at what you had under the direction of the 12 step program in a new light.   Your discomfort came not from the limits of time and resource, but the reality that for the first time you have the opportunity to live your life the way it was intended from the very start.   The ability to just BE who you were supposed to be was suddenly a possibility and the newness of this reality was what you are adjusting to. 

2.  Your approach to the Higher Power is more simplistic than…?   You value the simplicity of your approach to the Higher Power.  Because when you said that the answer came from your friend, you said it came simply.  If I am correct, you believe that simplicity is an indication of inspiration from the Higher Power. 

The phrase “on my part” identifies this as a personal assertion.  If you were to believe the following, it would be the voice of your arrogance:  I am one of 6 billion people living on a rock hurtling through space at 90,000 mph and this is it.  You are one of 6 billion people makes you small, maybe insignificant.  You are living on a rock, not a planet, hurtling through space,  not in a life-sustaining orbit,  at 90,000 mph.  Since both of those things are facts, but are expressed in a way that strips it of wonder, they could be considered an attempt to diminish yourself and your place in the universe.   It is the assertion that you and your environ are insignificant that is the foundation of this arrogance.  Now merge that expression with the opinion that “this is it,” and the statement of arrogance is complete.  I find this paradoxical because arrogance is defined as the offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.  If I am correct, the resolution of this paradox comes when you observe the universe and claim the ability and right to diminish its workings, and declare yourself and those around you as ultimately insignificant. 

You believe that the spiritual empowerment we all seek is available within us, and through our connections with other people.  You have witnessed things that had nothing to do with you being in recovery or being in addiction that you cannot dismiss as luck or coincidence.  These were events outside of you.  You see them as evidence of the existence of a Higher Power.  

What you have gained from your connection with the Higher Power is a sense of purpose.  This is something that you truly feel. 

What you give in the relationship is a trusting acceptance, a faith, a knowing, that those questions that are left unanswered don’t need to be answered until the time is right. 

*****************

Bob, thank-you again.  I would like to ask you a few questions if life is not keeping you too busy.

1.  When you talked of having things unsaid and undone in the beginning of your missive, could you give some examples?  Have you found a new expression for them or have they been discarded as being of no value in your current life?  Are they apart of what gives you a sense of dignity and self-worth?  If not, what is it that feeds those qualities in you?

2.  You spoke of being able to live your life the way you were intended to from the very start.  Do you specifically know how your were intended to live it?  How did you gain this insight?  Intended by your Higher Power, or by you?

3.  You alluded to events that you do not count as luck or coincidence, and serve as evidence for your spiritual life.  Would you mind sharing some of them?  I will treat them with care, and not attack that which you view as sacred.  I truly am interested. 

4.  What feeds this sense of purpose that you speak of?

One Response to “Endigar 251 ~ A Response”

  1. beyondtheendoftheroad Says:

    I appreciate your inquiry.
    Most of it, is and was amend related. Taking resonsibility for what I had done. Being in active addiction for 25 years has left it’s mark. Staying clean and not being a menace in today’s society is not enough. I also have traveled. There are many things I want to see. Places to spend time with loved one’s at.

    I don’t believe I was given an instruction manual on proper living, but I do know what I did before was not proper living. Most of the time I have found what not to do versus what to do.

    The people I have met is probably the biggest. People like you. This is not some random mouse click or is it? I have been able to learn something from you and hopefuly you from me.

    Take Care.

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