A member’s journey to Recovery in 3 stages, what it was like-what happened- and what it’s like now.
I ran from the pain of my Powerlessness and continued to manage and control my sobriety with all the “things” I was doing while teaching others to do the same-and was being praised for it within my sober circle as a woman with dignity and grace. I wanted to feel good and believe it was all actually working, but I was just as miserable as I was when I was modeling and everything on the outside was perfect. Once again I found myself screaming inside.
It was then I began to Recover. All things human failed me, left and right, and I found no relief from my suffering when I looked outward. I felt worse when I went to my local A.A meetings, therapists, my sober circle, my sponsor, more commitments, less commitments, I could increase the list ad infinitum and still there was no relief. I began a very personal surrender, conceding to my innermost self, and I ceased fighting everyone and everything. I stopped following everyone’s direction for my life and began to experience the suffering I never stopped running from all the years of my being.
I cried with a sober best friend, binged watched shows like Greys Anatomy, gained more weight than my body could comfortably carry, laughed until my stomach hurt, cried until the tears dried up for each event/feeling I mourned, I slept, trusted God, and talked about how I felt both to God and Spiritually Recovered people God had passing through my life during this journey. I simply continued to ask for help and followed intuitive direction from a Power that created me, loved me, and had the Knowledge and Power to fulfill the God-given desires of my spirit -once I was ready to accept them.
I received many messages from those that loved me in sobriety suggesting I get to a meeting as soon as possible or I was going to get drunk, but every day when I asked God “what next ?” the answer was “don’t you run and hide in a meeting” followed by another divine suggestion I followed. I had done everything everyone told me for many years; my mother and family that raised me, society, teachers, friends, agents, my fears guided me, sponsor direction, fear of relapse told me what to do, I could also increase this list ad infinitum. None of that worked when the low spots came. I never picked up a drink because God had removed the obsession from me so it was not a thought, but I was absolutely miserable, hopeless, and felt condemned to a life of working at my emotions with breaks in between. So, I was done.
I began to see the lack of recovery around me in meetings, but I remained to pray- it is all I have ever known praying to a God I may or may not have believed in at that point in my journey. I asked God for help and did what I wanted/was directed to do. I did not know that this was me experiencing Steps 1,2, and 3 rather than the intellectual knowledge of the steps I worked at acquired over the years, but I knew it felt different.
Following Gods direction brought me to Dr. Gloria Montgomery founder of the Hollywood and Vine Recovery Center, who with over 62 years of recovery, guided me through experiencing 12 steps spiritual in nature-in their original form. On this journey I safely experienced trusting and following the intuitive direction of the Power that had been taking care of me my whole life. I was recovering.
Accepting I was Powerless over my emotions, my sobriety, my recovery, my misery, my future, fulling my spirits purpose, my finances, my child, my child’s suffering, and everything else, was the first step. For me, this realization was pain that was unimaginable without the immediate relief of the Step that follows, a pain I love hearing Dr. Montgomery refer to as “Spiritual Surgery.” Coming to believe in a Power greater than me that could and would restore me to sanity that is Step 2. Experiencing coming to believe,again, as I was recovering did not feel like anything I had ever experienced before in sobriety.
I spent a lot of time with recovered spirits, those who knew without a doubt that everything they would go through in life they would not only be safely carried through but it was for their greater good. They were living examples of facing unpleasant emotions and circumstances with the peaceful Power of their Recovery, handling those situations that once baffled us with divine intuitive direction. I spent time while Coming to Believe (several years sober at this point) with those who shared with me their experience with holding on to the light in spite of how dark it gets, and experiencing all of this at a time when I was able to receive and accept the truth of the experience was a certain kind of coincidence only a Power greater than me could have orchestrated.
Once I Came to Believe in life, I experienced an exhale of so much pain and weight as hope was restored. I felt the pain of mourning my delusions of power and control begin to subside and I was then able to continue follow the intuitive direction I surrendered to on the next step, Step 3. For the first time in life I followed a direction that was not to accomplish some goal I expected to fix a problem, but a direction given intuitively from a Power within that I was happy but skeptical to trust. I began to experience that Power that works in us and through us, each and every one of us.
I continued to experience the Power that lies within each step, including the emotional recovery that happened to me as a result of experiencing steps 6 & 7, for those familiar with the journey. Living in the light of my recovery today is a gift from God through the Spiritual Experience that happened to me as a result of a 12-step experience I trudged, spiritual in its foundation. I have been safely carried through that painful place where I became entirely ready and you will too. I live a life of emotional recovery where the pain of my human emotions has been removed from me and as more is revealed every day, the same constant remains that God is not only carrying me through but everything (the good and the sometimes seemingly bad) is all for my Greater Good. My spirit is free. Although there may be many differences, if my suffering sounds like your suffering you can recover too. No matter who you are or why you hurt, you may be ready to surrender to The Truth of who you are and the desires of your spirit.
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What It’s like now