Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Just For Today - And Tomorrow, and The Next Day...

I usually start my day here at the computer, reading my emails, then reading a couple of 12-step blogs I follow, then reading each of the two Al-Anon daily reading books I keep close at hand, and writing about program to friends in 12-step. This morning, neither reading spoke to me strongly, so I did what I do in that case: closed my eyes, opened a book at random, and read that page.

Oh my.

The writer is speaking about using the wallet card "Just For Today," as a way to get through the day in a job she hates, specifically the line "Just for today ...I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime."
From HOPE FOR TODAY, page 218: "After listening carefully to fellow member's comments, I realised that if I continued to do something day after day, year after year, then essentially, I was keeping it up for a lifetime. Perhaps I should be appalled by my acceptance of an unacceptable situation. Getting through temporary difficulties by reminding myself they are short-lived is not the same thing as continuing to suffer with hopeless resignation that "this is as good as it gets."

That "hopeless resignation" stung. Yowsa. I can relate to some of that. Plod, plod, plod, through whatever it happens to be, head down, just forcing myself through...these behaviours are so engrained in me, they're like my default mode. I can revert to using them, whenever I'm sufficiently miserable, and not paying attention. This is my "ism." Don't make a fuss, don't speak up, don't protest, just smile, smile, smile, and let that river of shit wash over my head, and try to hold my breath for an extended period of time.

Inside, I'm angry, I'm frustrated, I'm full of rage and resentment, but outside, I'm (apparently) calm and smiling. Is this what the program means, when it talks about letting go? In my case, I don't believe it is. I believe I've been using one of the tools of 12-step, to make the unacceptable bearable enough, that I can just barely, with no clearance whatsoever on either side, squeeze myself through. Wincing, grimacing, up on my tiptoes, is this working my program?

I think I've been doing a bit too much of the "take what you like and leave the rest" and it hasn't served me well. Time for some "fearless and moral inventory." In order to find out where I need to work towards change, I need to know just where I am right this minute.

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