So many times the topic of a meeting will be precisely what I need to hear. Today I had an experience which brought up a lot of old, bad feelings about myself, and I couldn't seem to shake them off. I tried for a couple of hours to work it through myself, then decided to go to a meeting, and when I did, this was one of the readings chosen by a member, on the topic of "patience." The reading begins with a rather joking listing of high expectations we may have of ourselves in recovery, and the accompanying lack of patience with our character traits or defects, then goes on to talk about the ways we deal with ourselves when we aren't moving fast enough for whatever arbitrary speed we've set as the correct speed for us to be changing and growing.
From Courage to Change, page 103:
"Is it still hanging on? Very well, I'll launch a major campaign of self-criticism. What's wrong with me? Why do I have all these feelings about something that isn't important? I'm sure I caused all this myself; somehow I'm to blame.
Heaven forbid I should surrender, accept my discomfort, and pray for guidance."
I realise that I must surrender to the pain, sorrow, grief, and whatever other feelings are going to arise in these early months of learning to live alone again, after 17 years living with my ex. It's not going to be something I can toss off like a stubbed toe, so why do I do this to myself, launch this "major campaign of self-criticism"? All I manage to accomplish is to add to my discomfort in my own skin, without having eased the original ache one iota. Hounding myself for whatever I perceive as lacking in my character, or for mistakes made, is old behavior, and it's interesting to see how quickly I have reverted to this "default mode", in the midst of this major life change of leaving my marriage.
I'm grateful for those in program who show up at meetings, so that I may have that glorious feeling of peace which descends upon me when we are "having a moment of silence to remember why we are here." I feel blessed with my friends, who keep reminding me that I don't have to treat myself harshly, that I need extra love right now, and that love needs to be coming from me as well as those friends who are my staunch supporters.
I wrote a reminder not to be unkind to myself, and placed it where I would catch regular sight of it.
I want to be at least at loving to myself as I would be if any other person asked for my support while they went through this sort of massive change in circumstance, thinking, and life.
I sat quietly tonight, surrendered, and asked, "Please help me." I know that my help is there for me, I have only to ask, from myself, from my friends, from my Higher Power. I must open my mouth and ask.
No more silent misery.