There is a saying that says we are as sick as our secrets. The secrets that hurt me the most were things that happened to me that I was ashamed of, things that I did that I was ashamed of, or it was something that someone else did that I was ashamed of. Did you notice that in all three circumstances I had shame. But shame wasn’t the only emotion that those circumstances invoked. They all so unleashed anger, resentment, rejection, self-hatred, fear and the negative list goes on and on.
Most of those negative feelings were interwoven into every fiber of my being. I felt them in my heart, in my mind and in my sole. Those emotions were habits that had instant reflexes that I did not seem to be able to control. I had accepted every hurt in my life as truth and fact and I could see any way for me to recover from them. Many of them I ignored or refuse to acknowledge because they would either cause to much pain or I would be filled with self-loathing. I felt powerless to do anything to help myself. It was just much easier to remain a victim than to help myself.
Needless to say, when I began my recovery journey I was living in a whole lot of denial especially about my part in my problems. I could pick out every flaw and every miss step my alcoholic made, but when I looked at myself I justified my mistakes by blaming my alcoholic or I did not even see them at all.
In the 12 steps I began the process of transforming the hurts of my past into what I wanted to become in my future. I wanted to be confident, self-supporting, loving, caring, joyful and happy. There was no way in this world that was going to happen with all of the baggage I was carrying around without major change on my part. So, it was time to own up, confess up and do whatever I had to do become the person I wanted to be.
It was in the 4th step that I learned a lot of how I got this way. No more denial. No more secrets. Just plain facts of my life. But, writing down the events of my life was not enough. I had a tendency to look at my hurts through the eyes of justification because I only saw the victim side of myself. With God’s help, my sponsor helped me to remove the blinders. It was an amazing experience because my sponsor, with love, helped me to see the part I played in my hurts without self condemnation. After all, I was a survivor. Thankfully, she also showed me that now that now that I know better I now have the choice to make better decisions for my life. I can remain apart of the problem or I can become part of the solution. The choice was mine to make.