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July 13 • One New Brain to Go, Please

Day 735

I am beginning to believe that I have a role in my recovery that goes beyond what I thought, and maybe what I wanted to think. Somewhere in all this, I thought — or assumed — that if I did the Steps, went to meetings, did my meditations, and talked to my sponsor from time to time that the rest would take care of itself.

Without a doubt, all those things have helped me get to the mark of two years sober, but it doesn't seem to be enough to move me on to the next level of recovery. I'll keep doing those things, but I suspect this is a classic case of moving forward or moving backward; not moving is not an option.

Standing in my way for this better state of sobriety are probably more defects than I have identified to date and a few that I've seen but not yet written down into my program. Some of this is still developing in my mind.

At the top of my list is changing my brain — and I do think it will take a re-wire — to ease or eliminate my resentment of people who don't take the hint that I need them to change. It is not their job to be the person I want them to be; it may not even be their option, and I want to be grateful for who they are without worrying whether this is as good as it gets. Every few months, I think I've made significant strides on this front only to later recognize those strides as mere baby steps. When this all started, I would have bet a large sum that I had no resentments. Fortunately, no one offered that bet. It is challenging coming to terms with how much I've let this self-disappointing egotism dictate how I feel, especially toward those I love.

Surrendering to my Higher Power has been harder than I thought. I am quick with the words but slower with the reality. I was able to let go of my acting-out, but I know there is much to do because my defects keep dragging me back into the old thinking. Surrendering is not a point in time — it should be that easy and I wish it was, but contrary to the exhortations of TV preachers, it is not. I'm not denying God's ability to miraculously remove burdens of any kind, I'm just saying I've not seen a lot of evidence that He's ever done it that way. The process has its own benefits, and I'm convinced God wants us to have all the blessings that are available through the struggle, not just the clarity of a sudden change in behavior. I know that even if I'm able to surrender what I'm struggling with today, there will be more to let go as the layers peel back.

I feel like I've been mired in the mud of the process for the past few weeks. There have been some sick days, stress days, and a few understandably 'off' days, but it all adds up to me letting some bad habits in the back door, and I need to address why I've been doing that.

Regardless of the reason for my addiction, I am responsible for my recovery. The more I've taken on that responsibility and done some of the hardest work, the more progress I've made, and the better I've felt. I think I've taken an unscheduled conflict break just because I was weary of the work. I need to find again that spot of fear that is bigger than my fatigue and get to it.

And then there is that voice from some of the wise ones in the meetings reminding me that sometimes I'm woking on things I would be better to just release instead. Yeah, I'm working on that, too.




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