Recovering My True Self

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Whoo hoo! I’m back!!! 🙂

I have been on quite a journey in the last month. It has been a real period of self discovery! I had been going flat out with recovery, since about April last year. I was in a desperate amount of pain after breaking up with my ex, the woman who I moved to Australia for. Since the break up, I did a step one on her and a step four on her in the drug program, but that really didn’t work. 6 months later, I fell into the love fellowship on my knees and desperate to fill the empty space that was so dark and lonely, it made death the more palatable option. I was scared. I didn’t want to die. It took every last bit of strength and God, to stop me from giving up entirely.

I started the steps in the love fellowship and in the process realised my codependent tendencies, so I started the first 14 days of questions in that too. I was acting out with workaholism and at the beginning my sex addiction was running rampage. I acquired a little self worth in the codependent program and managed to walk away from my job and a boss who was gas lighting me. I also managed to get more than 30 day abstinence with the sex and love stuff too. What I was left with, was the beginning of a life worth holding on to and that darn empty space!!! Somebody suggested therapy. I took the woman’s number, but with the ‘glamorous’ childhood I had, I really didn’t see how I could possibly need therapy (completely overlooking the fact that I had been to therapist after therapist since I was 14).

One day I was at home and I was completely overwhelmed with shame after receiving a message from my former boss. I was ready to throw in the towel and it was then and there that God gave me the strength to reach out to this woman. She called me and it was an instant connection. I had no idea how I was going to pay for these sessions, considering I had just walked away from my job, but I was desperate and I would have done anything at that point. What followed was a gruelling commitment to self recovery – Recovery from addiction, is in actual fact, recovery of my true authentic self (you know the one that was there before the dysfunctional family systems and societal jading).

Since February I have worked through books. Before then I didn’t even read. Books like: Claudia Black – Changing Course; Jerrold Mundis – Earn What You Deserve (Turns out I had a money addiction too); Julia Cameron & Mark Bryan – Money Drunk Money Sober. Charlotte Kasl – Women, Sex & Addiction; Brennan Manning – The Ragamuffin Gospel; Patrick Carnes – Facing the Shadows. I have finished the 12 steps in the love fellowship. I started in the money fellowship, got up to step 3, put it down and picked it up again. I did an improv comedy course. Have just started listening to a guide to stand up and writing jokes – this was all while working and studying. Every time I put my program down, I would get into a heap load of pain, so I was afraid to stop. I was even frantic around doing heavy therapy sessions fortnightly and writing this blog.

Now I don’t know if I had a spiritual awakening, but it sure feels like one (Many actually! Every time I turn my head one whacks me in the face – it’s like a profound realisation!). One month ago, I threw in the towel on therapy. I went into the session and just said I just cant do anymore. I wanted to live the life I had worked so hard to recover. My therapist supported me in a way so gentle, I have really just tried to carry it to everyone I deal with – it is a love and a gentleness that I had never experienced before.

After making that decision, which for me was the first step toward empowerment and independence, everything started to change. I booked a trip to Sydney. Reconnected with a love interest. Had a near fall out with my best friend, which pulled out my deepest abandonment wound and put me into the most vulnerable place I have ever been – I was naked and frail and so aware of my humanness AND I didn’t die! (I was able to self soothe and even though I had ‘lost’ my best friend, I was ok!) – It was there I let go of the self judgement and shame. I could see my defects and was able to make amends for the behaviour (taking people’s inventory). Seeing my humanness, helped me see it in other people and it is there I found true love for self.

I put my program down for that month, but I didn’t beat myself up about it. I have been able to start dating and start breaking the sober dating guidelines, but I go easy on myself. I am an addict, I am not always going to get it right! I got into pain around the money stuff, so I recommitted. As a result opportunities are falling out of the sky and God is actually giving me the courage to follow up on business and feel worthy of that business and feel good about the work I do. “Gentle judgement free approach to self” – I wrote that down as one of my top/bottom lines a year ago and I finally get to practice it.

Tomorrow I will do 5 rhythms, then go and ride a horse that somebody wants me to compete. I’ll go and watch a comedy shoe in the evening (Nadine Sparks) – an inspiration in my pursuit of my comedy career. And then ending off on a night out dancing in the LGBTIQ community. All four of these things are on my list of esteemable acts. I am blessed. I am working a program, but not like my life depends on it and I am living that life I have always dreamed of. This stuff works and the moments of stillness in my mind, make the work totally worth it!

Feeling love today and feeling SO grateful!

A Human BEING, not a human doing!

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There had been something brewing in the air lately and I can’t put my finger on why my heart is so sore and lonely, not sure I will ever really know. I feel like emotionally I need to take a break. It is the most loving thing to do. I have been living in God’s grace for the last few days and that requires a solid commitment to not over planning my life. I have been going pretty much flat out since I started recovery. I have workaholic tendencies, so it is really easy to distract myself with busyness. So this whole go with the flow in God’s grace thing, though heavenly, has been really confronting. All this time to process emotions, which were always brushed aside as an inconvenience in my hectic life.

The result is, I am feeling rather bruised. I have tried to bury myself in my program, but God even has other ideas for that. I have found myself slowing right down. I do my tenth every night and I ask for God to direct my thinking every morning, but the rigorous way in which I worked my program in the past, has stopped. I don’t find time for it. Now you would think it’s because I have lost momentum and like I am putting life in front of my program. (This I would have judged other people in the past for, if I heard them talking about the same thing) But instead it is time taken out to go for a massage, take a bath or walk on the beach. Time taken to cook a really loving meal or get involved with my housemates in gardening and making a beautiful place feel like a home,

Sounds pretty healthy to me. The thing people have forgotten to mention, is that although living in God’s grace is simple, it is by no means easy. I have activities take place that ground me and then all this extra time to feel these feelings, that I have spent my whole life forcing down or distracting myself from. It is more painful than I realised and I’m truly present in my body to feel it. I am desperate to reach out to an old intrigue, but by the grace of God, I am holding on to my sobriety again, but that I have to pray for a few times a day, because she would be the perfect detraction from the pain in my body.

I am reading Brennan Manning’s book, “The Ragamuffin Gospel” – I absolutely love it. It is giving me a better understanding of religion, but more so it is really focussed on what “God’s Grace” actually means and how it has been misconstrued. For me, this deeper understanding, is deepening my relationship with God and that is fundamental during this process of deconstructing the barrier around my heart. I feel like, once through this layer, that I will be more vulnerable  than a naked baby and I am going to need divine guidance and protection. Manning said, “To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark side. By admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means… My deepest awareness of self is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn or deserve it” – I love this! I have become a human doing and I have always used what I do, to define me and the more I do, the more love I will get. The concept to be loved for who I am is so foreign to me, it’s not even in the same language.

It’s no wonder I am struggling with doing less. It boils down to self love for me. I can not expect you to love me for who I am if I don’t love me for who I am. And it is even more difficult to expect myself to love me for who I am, if I have always been to busy doing to actually be. Who is the human being… I have had a little glimpse. Too brief to really know.