Monday, May 2, 2011

Growing At My Own Pace.

There have been times in my recovery when I've been wide open to change and growth - excited as I began to understand what might be possible for me. I have felt empowered, delighted with life, and bursting with joy and serenity.

There have also been those periods in which I have felt stalled, or as though I'm moving so slowly, that the electricity might as well be turned off at the mains. I've become caught up in trying to find some way to gauge my progress. If I watched the horizon, I couldn't tell, staring at my feet didn't help, so I'd fix a sort of halfway-to-noplace stare on something beside me, and spend ages trying to decide if I was moving past it, or if that was just an optical illusion caused by lengthening shadows.

I've been growing at my own pace.

That infitesimal rate of change, might be a result of my needing to stay where I'm safe for just a little while longer, while something is worked out in the part of myself not accessible to my conscious mind.

More often, I was trying to find some way to dodge Step 3:
"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."

I've felt frustration which maddened me, but been so mired in self-will, and that single-minded, mulish determination to have my own way, that I have been willing to stay miserable for a little bit longer, in the vain hope that in this instance, I can force my will and my solutions. I want things to be a certain way, so I'm going to make that happen. The trouble with that, being: self-will is a drunk driver, unable to steer smoothly through the chaos of the street, to a safe arrival in the home driveway. Self-will smashes blindly into someone else's life, creating pain and damage, and blunders on, unaware. Self-will says, "I want this; you will give it to me."

Right. That's likely.

In all of my efforts to get my way with any alcoholic, I have failed spectacularly. I have so many examples of when it didn't work, it boggles the mind that I could have carried on in the belief that I could satisfy my own will, if I simply exerted greater effort in that direction. I listened to an AA speaker  last night, and he said that the definition of insanity is not "doing the same thing expecting a different result," it's doing the same thing, knowing exactly what will happen, and doing it anyway.

I pray for the wisdom to accept, and the willingness to turn over my life and my will to the God of my understanding.


  1. "self-will is a drunk driver" ... that is so true!

  2. i am new to al anon and struggling to turn my will over. i think i am making progress, but it will definitely be a lifelong struggle. not surprisingly, my will is strong to make other people conform to the way i would have them behave. i fight it constantly now-- and it is a litte embarassing as a personal quality. i would not have thought of myself as someone who tried to force her will on others, but there it is. . .

  3. Interactions with the alcoholics in my life have been filled with my trying to tweak them a little. Before Al-Anon, I was in there with wrenches and a crowbar. Now I find that the approach to getting them to change is very subtle. I catch myself doing it some days and cringe. I am aware, but I will need Al-Anon for the rest of my days to keep my strong will from coming up and wanting to "direct" others.