Friday, June 8, 2012

Elsie Tripped While Climbing The Steps


I’m going to tag this post as a Journal Entry and be nice and give you guys, my Hooligans, the “Danger! Will Robinson! Danger!”  alert.  Elsie is setting out to type a long and rambling piece of some sort….

This is my sixth or seventh attempt at trying to write this post and I can’t quite find the write (see what I did there?) way to “frame” it.  Instead, I’ll just journal it from the heart…like the old days.

Yesterday was a big day for me.  I completed my fifth step.  This means I took my fourth step and presented it to someone I felt I could confide in.



         Step 4.   Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step 5.   Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

After I completed my fourth step, I felt happy, I felt a sense of completion because I had been working on it for so long.  I had worked through a ton of mental crap.  I drudged up a lot of painful memories, some from my childhood, some from my teen years, some from my time with my first husband, then while being a widow and now, my most recent pain, being married to a sex addict and all that pain that comes with it. 

I picked apart each piece, examined it a bit more carefully than I had before and put it back in its place.  I was able to find forgiveness in myself for mistakes I had made in my recent past (I had already forgiven myself for old mistakes).  I was able to find forgiveness for Devin for his mistakes.  I have come to realize that I am able to look at Devin’s past, his addiction, the way I look at my own, without immense pain or shame.  I cannot change what has happened, I can accept it, forgive him, and move forward. 

That’s the path I have chosen.  It is a path that may eventually lead to more pain, but it is the one I am choosing for now.

I also found character flaws I need to work on fixing and while I was aware of them and accepted them as a part of “me” yesterday…today…not so much…

Let me see if I can explain…

Yesterday, after I did my fifth step I felt, I don’t know, “free”.  Imagine telling someone you kinda, sorta, almost, know, your most intimate and deep thoughts and secrets.  This person has been exactly, exactly, where you have been.  Walked in your shoes.  Traveled your path.  As you speak, you see this person nodding their head in recognition.  Any fear or shame that you held for sharing your secrets is gone in a flash.  *Poof*  They understand.  They “get it”.  Been There, Done That.  It didn’t matter that I had shared these things with various people throughout the years in bits and pieces or even with Devin in its entirety.  There was something about sharing it, concisely, in an organized manner after having gone through it so thoroughly myself. 

My moments of pain, my moments of fears, my moments of embarrassment, sprinkled with some highlights of my good qualities and my humor and dashed in with some shameful events and admissions and I came out a brand new me.

It was freeing!!  I felt a weight being lifted from me yesterday as I came home and reflected and finished working in my workbook.  I was elated.

Then, this morning. 

I began working my sixth step:

Step 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

It seemed easy enough yesterday.  I had admitted I had the defects, why wouldn’t I want them “removed”? 

Here’s what I said the last time I talked about this:  

"I'm not going to ask God to remove the "defects" of character because they make up who I am. While I'm not proud of the things I have done in my past, and I have regrets for some of things I have done, I don't think I am defective in any way.  I am me and God knows me for who I am and still loves me "as is" - that's my God."

I recognize some of the things, such as to much pride or hanging onto resentment and anger, I see the need to free myself of these things.  However, to “hand it over” to God and have Him release me of it??  I just don’t sit well with that.  It seems to me that it’s MY job, not his. 

Then again, one of my issues is control, isn’t it? 

I guess I need to talk to my rockin’ counselor about this on Monday…

48 comments:

  1. Your poor fingers, having to write this out 6 or 7 times. The cat really feels bad for you. See what I did there?..lol

    Congrats on the next step, now I sound like an american pie movie, and yeah isn't God helps those who help themselves? So that means you help yourself and he doesn't have to help you, see what a lazy turd he can be? Not lightning, the cat is still safe..haha

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    1. I know for sure the cat never "feels" bad for me - ever =PPP

      I haven't seen the latest American Pie movie - is it good?

      I believe that God does help those that helps themselves. He can't be expected to do everything for us. (I'm leaving the lazy comment alone so I'll be sure NOT to get hit by lightening ha ha ha)

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    2. I'm channelling Annzie right now: "yes, the ebil cat probably threw a party to celebrate the info! All the fleas in the neighbourhood got drunk at his place last night!"

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    3. Annzie still does it better, you're better at the mind in the gutter stuff haha..you eejit.

      Never saw the 4th one yet at all either at my hall, wasn't supposed to be all that grand, so I've heard.

      Nope the cat never ever feels bad for anyone, too much work doing that haha...and we had thunder and lightening here today, still alive, guess he isn't mad.

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  2. Well first of all a huge congratulations on completing your step :) Good luck with the other steps too. I don't think you should interpret that literally (but I don't want to tell you how to do your job). God won't, and can't, change things for you. He can help you on the path though. Life won't ever hand you something you can't handle. It is your job to fix yourself if you think there is a problem. God can help, but he can't solve your problems yourself. Good luck changing what you want to :) Remember always "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Some things make you who you are, and shouldn't be changed.

    P.S I replied to your comment, in case you didn't check for replies, even though you have full conversations with people in your comments :)

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    1. Thank you for the kudos, Mark. I love that you know the Serenity Prayer. I am a firm believer that life won't give us more than we can handle and it's why I've been able to survive through so much in my life so far. I need to figure out what I need to change versus what I want to change. I think that's the key...I think..I haven't quite mulled it over in my head just yet. I'm going to give my brain a break this weekend. Then pick the step back up on Monday.

      I'll take a look at your blog in a bit - I was so tired last night - my brain was just mush, I didn't go back to any of my comments...

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    2. I don't know it totally to memory yet, so I have to keep looking it up. It is one of my favourites though :) If everyone had that, we'd all be a lot happier. It's tough to work out what needs to be changed. I'm not a major fan of the ol' soul search myself.

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    3. Do you know that I read the Serenity Prayer all the time and still fumble with the words...crazy, huh? Soul searching is so difficult! It's just about to kick my butt LOL

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  3. I bet that was quite a relief, it's just nice to have someone who listens sometimes. Good luck with step 6, I think you have a good point about the "defects". :)

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    1. Thanks, Matt! It is such a strange and good feeling.

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  4. It may be your job but it is a job you can share with God it should make it a bit easier........ I agree our "defects" of character are part of what makes us........us........

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    1. I'm definitely leaning on God for clarity on this one. That's why I had to put it down for a few days and give my brain a rest. Very unlike me. Normally, I push through until it's worked out but I couldn't wrap my brain around it....

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  5. Maybe I am in denial but these sound too hard and too complicated. Elsie you are pretty brave. Some defects do make us who we are. No one feels perfect. If they are perfect they cease to exist.

    But love your narration and the experience you share.

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    1. I don't know about being brave, I think I'm just determined to figure out what makes me tick LOL

      But, I agree - no one is perfect. We aren't designed to be prefect. We strive for progress, not perfection...and I'm struggling for that =)

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  6. Sure, it's your job. But, there's nothing wrong with a little help. I agree with you about "defects," though. They actually are "features" to what makes you you.

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    1. I like that angle, Al. Features vs. defects....hmmm. I'm going to use that as food for thought.

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    2. for me i think the defect will evolve into the greater more improved version of that defect. Like a little ying and yang. Like the opposite version of our defect is it's corresponding strength? does that even make sense! it made sense in my head! lol

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    3. Kinda sorta?? For instance, I hate to ask for help so, I put out there that I need help so that's an improvement, right? Or, I admit that I am angry that am sick with Migraines so I work on focusing on being healthy from other diseases...right??? Am I at least on the right track here??

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  7. There is a difference in knowing your flaws and giving them up completely. I'm like you, I believe my flaws make me who I am and I'm ok with me.

    But I do try to at least keep them in check. I've worked hard to develop habits that counteract some of my most glaring flaws.

    While I think the wording is a bit, errrr, strict, I believe the idea behind #6 is more in trying to change than in waking up one day fault free.

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    1. Another good way of looking at it, Monkey. A way of accepting my flaws and keeping them in check...like I know I'm a coke addict so, I don't do things that would put me in situation where I would do coke again. Ok, that's the extreme but same type of "flaw"....

      Again, aiming for progress not perfection...

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    2. The idea isn't to reach the top of the mountain, it's to try climbing it knowing the top is unattainable. Knowing it is unattainable helps us dust ourselves off after a fall and resume climbing, getting as high as we possess the strength and endurance to go.

      And sometimes, it's even ok to find a nice safe ledge and sit for a bit as long as you don't make it a permanent residence.

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    3. I like that outlook on it too, Monkey! Especially taking time to just sit for a few and breath for a bit...I've been working so hard on my fourth step maybe it's okay to take a few days and just RELAX!!

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  8. Hi Lovey . . . I reckon even IF "we were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character" . . . it wouldn't happen "poof" ;-) like that, or be so simple . . . Otherwise all those having completed step 6 would be perfect . . . And WE know they're not!
    I think you're dealing with any negative traits (pride etc) very well with God's help. Just admitting to these things is more than most folk are prepared to do.
    As always, impressed by the amount of work you put into self improvement . . . You must be nearly perfect by now! ;-) With love x

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    1. Lovey, I am so far from perfect! I almost burst all my Coke onto my keyboard when I read that! =)

      You bring up a very good point. It seems this is going to be an ongoing step. A real work in progress. A constant step that will have to visited over and over again. Constantly reexamined.

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  9. there's nothing better then finding a small or big catharses, ELsie it's like being born again in some way.

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    1. It was definitely a cleansing. It was like I had been purged somehow, if that makes sense?

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    2. a little bit of spring cleaning :)

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  10. I can understand your dilemma try to rid yourself of things that make you who you are today. I hold onto everything, both good and bad, as a reminder of what has made me into the person I am now.

    As you know, I'm kinda in a bad place right now and I think what you speak of here is part of my problem. I am not willing to give up my flaws. For one, nobody is perfect and fault free and for another, it requires me to make changes that I am not ready (or willing) to do.

    Speaking of flaws, perhaps one of my biggest ones is my unwillingness to confront them head on. That's what I like and admire about you. You take things head on and work towards the root of the problem. I just bury my problems and deal with them only when it shows its ugly face!

    I hope Patty can help you find the right way to work this step!

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    1. I hope so Patty can help too, Dan! I am so freaking drained right now. I mean step wise. I had a great day yesterday and today just chilling with the family but then I opened up the lap top and I'm like "crap", I gotta face that freakin' step! LOL

      I don't know where I got the willingness to face my fears from. Except spiders..that one took years to face! Even now, I'll find someone else to kill it for me =)

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    2. I had to take a little step work down time too after telling my sponsor everything. draining but freeing!

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    3. That's what I told my counselor yesterday, it was so freeing!!

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  11. This is a very brave and honest post ~ I really appreciate your sharing your journey with us ~ Congrats on your stage or step, and may you find the grace and peace that you are searching for ~

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    1. Thank you, Heaven! Not quite as eloquent as your writings, though =)

      You are such a gifted writer!

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  12. Glad to hear that you are making progress and going through the steps, even if you need help overcoming them. I know that you're rocking counselor will help you sort through everything. Our flaws are what make us who we are. You're right to embrace them instead of fight them! xo

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    1. Hey, Jax, you just pointed out that I'm asking for help!!!!! That's one of my flaws "has problems asking for help" - look at that, I'm already conquering some of my flaws LOL - see how I turned that around to make myself look good??? =))

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  13. "to ourselves" - now that was the hardest bit for me... really really hard... still is on a daily basis, "To thine own self be true", tricky

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    1. Really? I have no problem admitted to myself how flawed I am, it's removing those flaws that seem to be the problem..well, not so much removing them but "how" to remove them. I just can't fathom the whole "hand it over" concept...and I like some of my "flaws"...wait, that's what you're talking about, huh???? *lightbulb* moment =))))

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    2. Oh I knew I was flawed alright, but then it is the question to probe the flaw... it is the "Why?" question followed by the "Why?" question etc.

      E.g. I do a or b or c... Why? ... Because of whatever etc. Why? .... until you get to the "Because I fear x or y" that is the bit... then you look at that and realise that fear and your behaviour because of it is you but it is a bit of you you don't like and realise it drives that behaviour ... that is the bit where you really start admitting to yourself the "exact nature of our wrongs"... Not the - I stole a pen from the guy next to me at school in 4th grade but... "I took the pen because I felt inadequate since we had less money than that guy, I was jealous of the pen as I couldn't afford it"... etc. etc. that is the real real work of this step for me

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    3. I understand what you're saying...you're saying where did yours take root. I can see where mine took root. They are fairly simple for me. My first husband death is the big one. The need to control things around me was the result of that. Parenting like my mom - duh - my mom...etc, etc...

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  14. Well I think it would be both of your jobs to make it through all of this but I also think your doing a great job as you go through this. I also don't know anybody who doesn't have flaws. I sure have enough of my own.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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    1. I guess it's part of what makes me, me. The want and desire to "control" everything and not give stuff up. I can share with God =)

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  15. I had the same issue with the sixth step! I felt it might have had something to do with being a Catholic. What I mean is, I really wanted to talk to a priest for my fifth step, but my ex-sponsor said it was not necessary. Because she worked, obviously, very closely with me, I had already completed the fifth step just by talking to her, and allowing her to be my sponsor. So, she skipped right to the sixth step.

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    1. I'm glad I was able to talk to someone who had gone through the same things I had been through. It made it easier to say the things I held shame over doing. I plan on posting about it one day. When it's not saw fresh and raw because there are people who follow me who don't post because they want to/need to remain anonymous - they need to understand that what they did in their past is nothing to be ashamed of, that they aren't alone - I think that's important to help others move forward in their healing.

      Being a good sponsor to someone takes a lot of heart and soul. I'm glad you had a good sponsor when you needed one!

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  16. a big pat on the back and a attagirl thrown in for good measure..self inventories are very difficult and we dredge up some nasty things, but like it or not we did them and cannot remove them....what we can do however is close the chapter on them and own them rather than the other way round if that makes sense...
    good work!

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    1. It makes great sense, Dan. Great sense, indeed. I'm finally in a place where I'm not ashamed or embarrassed about what I did when my mind wasn't quite in it's proper place and I'm okay with it now. I just shake my head and think WTF?? And then know I won't do it again.

      Thanks!

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  17. Again, the pain of an exhausted scrolling finger...so many comments to read! It's it weird how were so afraid of 4/5 and we put it off for so long and when were sitting there in front of our sponsor and we read our list off we're shaking. So terrified that someone will really know us. Honestly, it was the best feeling ever and gave me such insight. If I can be free of my junk, why not mr scabs too?

    Way to go! Awesome stuff here. So hows that step 6 coming?

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    1. LOL, it's the same on your page, April, with all the comments =)

      It's because steps 4/5 take so very long and then 5 we just open ourselves up to someone like no one else before. It's just crazy - at least for me it was! And then the person I did my step 5 with was able to provide me with such insight I didn't see for myself, she really gave me some food for thought. I was really impressed with her. She even asked me to be her sponsor when she's ready. =)

      Um, yeah, I'll be working on my step 6 today. I went to my counselor yesterday but got sidetracked on a totally different topic LOL

      And, for my lurkers out there - go see April's page!! Her husband answered some great questions yesterday...

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.