This week I set myself the ambitious target of getting back to yoga, fitness and hanging my boxing bag.
What really happened was a sudden shift of priorities across my whole life. All of a sudden I was doing less recovery service, less step work, fewer meetings, more rushing to compete deadlines at work, returning to the office, renewing medications and rejecting offers to meet with people. And more yoga. And finally a hefty bill to close down an outstanding issue I created when I sold my old Apple Watch in a fit of fury.
I fessed up to a friend that I wasn’t sure how I’d afford a trip to Las Vegas. I was shifted a whole lot of work that I didn’t know anything about. I was fearful that this trip of joy would be tainted and taken away from me. So to avoid the disappointment I’d remove it from my life.
The words from recovery this week: trust, god, discipline. I didn’t feel any of these words.
I was angry. Angry that what I had set out to do was being whipped out from under my feet and life re-prioritised. The only moment I found in solace this week was stopping everything and finding the time to do what I really wanted to do. Which was nothing; space.
I realised that other people were my greatest source of anger as I became angry at the universe around me for shifting life’s sands. I was blaming everyone else in a paranoid way for shifting everything around. For drip feeding me anxiety, worry, fear, negativity.
I writhed in my bed this week as the only thing I could think of was to inject myself with some form of happy chemical. I sat in my living room my brain exploding from anxiety. I let rip at a friend at all the negativity in my life. I withdrew. I held a blade over my wrist, to scared to carry out the deed.
I was vulnerable last Sunday, as I shared my deepest secrets in a chair at a meeting. And came away disappointed with myself, because I felt I had spent a long time in my share sharing my shame, blame and disappointment. Rather than my hope.
What was I really trying to say?
That the only thing that works for me is action, hope and freedom over anger, fear, hopelessness, loss and discipline. That the only way I could be free , is to choose to be willing. To liberate myself from my old mindset. To liberate my truths, my secrets, my fears and my darkness.
I listened to my sponsor as they asked me to separate my wants from my needs. This week I was slowly setting my wants on a bonfire, and said to my sponsor right now there is nothing I really want.
If recovery is a spiritual programme, sometimes it misses the mark on mental health. It can make us the perpetrator of our own victim status. Which can be true. but we are also victims and survivors. There are many who die before they make meaningful recovery.
But we are in recovery because we’ve been beaten down. Because our path has included moments which destroyed the soul, many of them not through our own choosing.
I spoke at length about my higher power sometimes being my anxiety, my fear, substances, other people. How my codependency wasn’t always on a person but a thing or event.
The opposite to addiction is connection. But also strength and endurance can be found in being tuned out from the world around us.
Pain makes us stronger. Love makes us connected.
Last night I was watching the Mandalorian. In it there are two ways of doing things; the Jedi who believe that connection compromises our ability to be objective and balanced. And the Mandalor who believe that brotherhood draws strength. Either path is a path of liberation from the past, from things, from pure independence. As Grogu stared at what choice they’d make, I wondered what I’d pick.
And I thought what do I choose; strength and endurance or connection and love. Or does that choice exist at all?
I think I’d rather be Jedi.