Good, Better, Best
I have been mulling over many different directions to take in today’s post, because, like anyone in early recovery (or probably anyone at all), a million things happen in a day, and I try to figure out what sticks out the most.
The meeting I attended today focused on Step 3: turning our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him. As always in this kind of meeting, the opinions are varied as to how exactly to do this, but the theme I kept hearing was as long as you are trying your hardest, you will eventually get the concept of turning your will over.
The idea of knowing definitively that I tried my hardest is as alien to me as the idea of a higher power is to an atheist. As soon as it was said today in the meeting I grew uncomfortable. The man who introduced this topic then listed all the different ways he tries to turn his will over. Without exception, I have been doing these same things for the past 54 days, and yet I still question whether I’m “trying my hardest.”
Perfectionist thinking is a hallmark of any addict. Our “all or nothing” thinking is usually whats gets us into our mess with whatever substance we prefer. So it would seem a simple answer: just find more balance in your thinking, choose the middle of the road with the goals and expectations you set for yourself, and you will be fine.
But for me, this has never been a simple problem to solve. I genuinely struggle with what is moderate, what is good enough, and thus I have a hard time knowing when I have tried hard enough. And the flip side of this problem is being unable to accurately see the progress I am making, because I am struggling so much with the question of whether I am doing all I can do.
I can only assume this is a normal problem for a person in early recovery, and this is not a post that is going to end with an easy answer. Maybe the simple realization that it is a significant problem that I need to resolve within myself shows that I have “tried hard enough” in my post today!