M(3), 1/12/15: Letting Go of Old Ideas

Can you guess what kind of weather we are experiencing in my part of the world?

Today’s reading, selected as a nod to New Year’s resolutions, is entitled “Letting Go of Old Ideas.”  For most of us choosing the journey of sobriety, putting down the drink or drug (or both) is really just the first step in the process of recovery.  A monumentally arduous and often painful one, but a first step nonetheless.  The truly meaningful work begins when we examine the lifelong thoughts and beliefs that led us to the bottle in the first place, and then decide, with the clarity only sobriety can bring, if these thoughts and beliefs are serving us well.  If the answer is no, as it often will be, then we must figure out a way to release them.

Here are some bona fide ideas I held before I chose recovery.  This list is completely, 100% true, and not exaggerated for effect:

  1. Alcohol is a requirement at a social event.  If an event has no alcohol, I can assume the people making these choices are either restricted by something not of their own volition, or they are people with whom I do not want to relate.
  2. It is inconceivable that I will abstain from alcohol for the rest of my life.
  3. If I must abstain from alcohol for the rest of my life, I will eventually lose the companionship of everyone currently in my life.
  4. If I must abstain from alcohol for the rest of my life, I must not, under any circumstances, let this be known to anyone; keeping this secret is paramount to my happiness.
  5. A social life without alcohol will necessarily be less interesting and fun than a social life with alcohol.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  Happily, through the process of testing the old ideas, discovering they no longer serve me, and discarding them, I find myself at peace in a way I did not believe possible.

Of course, I hold many more old ideas that need to be re-assessed as my journey continues.  In times of distress, my instinct to project and interpret the emotions of others, and then believe these projections as if they were handed to me by God Himself, is an old belief that does me an incredible disservice.  Fortunately, recovery is a journey rather than a destination, and I have a lifetime to figure things out.

Rather than go point by point over the various pieces of wisdom gleaned from today’s meeting, I want to share a miraculous story that happened this morning.   I have had an issue with my daughter, one with which I’ve been dealing all weekend, and it’s affecting me enough that I felt like I needed to share about it at the meeting this morning (more to follow at some point).  In so doing, I received some amazing support and wisdom, all of which I hold in my heart even as I type.  But one fellow in particular stood out, he shared almost immediately after me; he related to what I was going through, and he shared some of the experiences he is having with his daughter.

Since this gentleman has been an attendee of my meeting for some time, I was well-acquainted with stories about his daughter, as he has shared his concerns about her for months now.  He is currently in a place of relative peace with her, but re-telling the tales of some of his troubled times did remind me that I am not alone, and also that things could always be worse.  Of course his daughter is 21 and had moved across the country for a time, my daughter is 14 and lives with me, so the situations are not identical by any means.  On the other hand, the simple act of sharing our troubles with one another gives us both an opportunity to feel less isolated, and, as a result, feel better about our situations.

Possibly ten minutes after he shared he got up abruptly from his chair and left the meeting.  He did not return for several minutes, and when he did he raised his hand to request a “double dip.”  In other words, could he share again even though he had already shared once?  And since of course the answer is always yes at my meeting, he let us know he left the meeting because he received an urgent text from his daughter that she needed to speak with him as soon as possible.

Turns out, she’s been thinking a lot about all the issues she’s been facing, and she’s been reading some of the literature her father has suggested, and she thinks it’s possible that she has a problem with alcohol.  She would like him to take her to a 12-step meeting.

I’m not exaggerating when I say the entire room sat in silence for a full minute.  I finally broke it by saying that I don’t know what to say.  It’s one thing to feel a miracle taking place within yourself, it’s another to experience it with a room full of people!

And if, after all that gentleman has gone through with his daughter, this can be the end result, then surely my “privilege problems” with my daughter are going to work out just fine.  At least, that’s the message I received!

Today’s Miracle:

I’m pretty sure I’m not getting a better miracle than the one I just described.

 

 

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Posted on January 12, 2015, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a touching story. Very moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now look who you have all misty, Josie. *sniff, sniff.

    What an incredible story. I’m sorry you’re a little blue about your daughter. They are truly the source of our highest highs and lowest lows, no?
    But you said it so well: “On the other hand, the simple act of sharing our troubles with one another gives us both an opportunity to feel less isolated, and, as a result, feel better about our situations.”
    You are a blessing to that group, for giving him the platform to share and then sharing it with all of us.
    Sending you hugs and sunshine. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I seriously thought of you Michelle, in the midst of the chaos, and thought, “I wonder if Michelle’s been through anything like this?” (the answer, based on your last post and smooth sailing with Tanna, is a big NO!). The good news is that we are over the hump of the crisis, so I can be very, very VERY grateful that the worst of the situation was short-lived. I am thinking of taking some time this morning to write about it, but we’ll see how it goes.

      In any event, I always get a lift when I see a comment from you, so thanks a million. And I’m still craving pancakes 🙂

      Like

  4. That’s just beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing that, Josie. I don’t know about you, but I would call that a God Shot for sure.
    ~Jami

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Josie. What a miracle, and what a hopeful message too. I hope things feel better on the homefront. Raising kids is not for the fainthearted. And today is sunny, so there’s that too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s a goosebumps type of tale there, Josie! and that happens in the rooms often, eh? So very cool that that happened, especially in the light of things going on with you and your wee one. Beautiful stuff and I totally agree about the letting go of old stories.

    Blessings
    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul, I’ve got to tell you, I’ve had plenty of goosebumpy experiences but this is the first where the entire room felt it simultaneously. It was great stuff!

      And the even better news… we seem to be over the hump of the crisis (fingers crossed) with my daughter. We shall see, but I’m definitely more hopeful today than I was on Monday.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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