Light at the End of the Tunnel

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This morning I am truly grateful, which is surprising, given the start I had. I woke up at 3:45am, I accidentally turned my electric blanket on too high and I ended up cooking. I woke up sweating in my unicorn onesie, turned down my blanket and went back to sleep, all to be woken up by my alarm at 4:30am on a Sunday morning. I was due to leave for work at 6am and needed to do a little program before hand, so the day seemed manageable. (I don’t dare miss a morning of program)

After a huge amount of reluctance and several snooze alarms later, I woke up. The internal negotiation started and I really had to pep talk myself into getting up. Cold and unwilling, I pried myself out of bed, got some caffeine into my system, did program, got ready and got into my car. A really good friend messaged me in response to a daily reading I had sent her, glad to see she was awake, I gave her a call. This is when everything changed.

We had an amazing conversation, we got vulnerable. Shared our fears and our dreams and it became a ping pong game, where inspiration and admiration were the balls bouncing between our paddles. By the time the conversation drew to an end, I was rolling into the pink sky of Melbourne, approaching the Bolte bridge. The panoramic, tinted sky was the backdrop to this beautiful city and then as I sailed around the bend, just incase the gorgeous sunrise wasn’t enough. Three hot air balloons floated over the city on my left and the full moon glared through the clouds on my right… If I had to picture heaven, I would imagine it looking something like that. I was glad I woke up and showed up for life this morning, I was rewarded with such a beautiful picture of the city I live in and to the love and light from a special friend.

8 months ago I had no one to call. I was a recovering addict, who had spent her first year in a fellowship, yet totally isolated from it, because I was involved in a relationship. My ex partner was in the fellowship too, so my disease cleverly deceived me by making me believe I was reaching out and connecting to other members, when actually all I did was hide behind her and considered calls to her, outreach and connection. When we broke up in April 2016, I got to taste the loneliness and the emptiness that sat underneath the relationship distraction.

For six months I was in pieces. I had intermittent contact with my ex, because I had no one else to call other than my mother (which for a 30 year old woman, I think, is a depressing truth). Riddled with fear, petrified to pick up the phone, I had lost hope. All of a sudden, waking up in the morning, if I did or I didn’t, didn’t seem to matter to me. In short, I was in the darkest place I had ever been in my life, with nowhere to go and no one to ask either.

My recovery is completely unconventional and much to the dismay and criticism of the 12 step purists, it’s worked! I started out trying to prove I didn’t have a problem with drugs, all to learn, not only am I a drug addict, but I am an alcoholic as well. I went to rehab to find this out and on my 30 day milestone I was on a plane to Melbourne to live with my girlfriend, who was as many days clean as me. They suggest you do your first year in recovery without relationships, I see now why, but I did my first year in a relationship. I did 70 meetings in 90 days before moving to the country. Unable to attend more than one meeting a week, I became a workaholic, who listened to 1-2 speaker tapes a day, did a bucketload of step work and called my sponsor once every 2 weeks, when everything was going well. Hahaha, how the hell did I survive that?

The relationship was a good buffer and I am actually grateful, because it kept me afloat. When the relationship ended though, I was so afraid to bump into her at a meeting, I stayed away from town and went to the only meetings I had access to in the country. These meetings were for alcoholics. I ramped up my program to full throttle, because I was so alone and in so much pain. I was doing everything I could to get some relief from that voice of self-hatred in my head, which left me so beaten down, I felt suicidal. One day I needed to buy a pair of work boots on the other side of town. It was a public holiday and I wanted to get my 18 month key tag, so I drove to Richmond to celebrate. After the meeting I drove to the store and had to drive through Kew, where my ex partner and I had spent the last Christmas together. The overwhelming feeling of longing crippled me and I was desperate for help. I needed relief!

I went online and looked up a meeting which addressed my issues around love. There was one on that evening at 5pm. I walked into it as a last resort. For the first time I was able to share about the thing I had kept bottled up inside for 6 months, after trying to be respectful of the singleness of purpose in the different meetings. The relief washed over me and I thanked God for guiding me to it. I got a sponsor and started working the steps in this new & different way. The purists picked at my process and judged that I was working two programs at once. I ignored them and picked up a third, to deal with issues around my codependency.

If you are an addict like me, you would understand when I say that sometimes I loose motivation for what I am doing, that doesn’t mean I give up, that just means it gets shelved and instead of procrastinating and doing nothing to wait for the motivation and inspiration to come while it is on the shelf. I rather pick up program in another area of my life that needs work, so that I continue to keep the momentum and that ball rolling forward. This is how I work my program, which works for me, but may not work for others. What is it that I get from working it this way? Well it’s simple, every program has got tools, I go in, I learn how to use them, I take what I need and I leave the rest.

First I learnt to not pick up that first drug, then I learnt to pray like an alcoholic. Then I learnt to do step work like a drug addict. I learnt to make 3 calls a day like a love addict, I learnt to do step work like and journal a sex addict. I learnt to not get too involved in controlling my sponsees like a codependent. Then I learnt to validate myself like an under earner. I learnt to do self-love acts like a love addict (top lines) and self worth to come up with my own 7th step prayer as a codependent – and what have I ended up with a result of all of this?

  • A life worth staying sober for
  • Having a connection with God, so that I never feel alone
  • My dreams manifest the moment I put them onto paper
  • A string of fabulous women I have the pleasure of guiding in the way I have worked my program
  • 10 esteemable acts
  • Self-love and self-validation
  • And most importantly friends, like the one I was talking to this morning, who inspire me and make the most mundane day seem absolutely magical.


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