Thursday, January 14, 2010

Addiction, My Shield and Buckler

I don't usually post two days in a row but I learned something yesterday and I want to make sure I understand it and don't forget it.

See yesterday's blog as to the efforts I am making toward recovery. One of the efforts was to go and get my darn hair cut and colored. This I did. My beautician is also my massage therapist. She is multifaceted. As we were sitting and visiting while my hair processed we talked about living life. Sheri does a lot of stuff. She is way involved with her family, her spiritual journey, and physical journeys. She is a great traveler and has been all over the world. Our conversation wandered far and wide as usual because I am intensely interested in her experiences in foreign climes, both physical and spiritual. I told her how brave I thought she was. This label seemed to stump her. "Brave? What does being brave have to do with it?" Now I was stumped. "Well, being willing to take all the risks involved with doing something totally new."
"What risk" she said "I want to live my life to the full. It is a God given privilege to be able to savor all the different experiences it can offer. I am motivated by the opportunity to feel and learn. Why else are we here?" Why indeed.

I most emphatically am not motivated by first hand opportunities to feel and learn. In fact I want to be shielded from opportunities to feel/learn. And this is addiction in a nutshell. The addict wants to be once removed from life. We do not want to experience it raw. We want to know it from behind a buffer. For us each new day only offers new opportunities to be hurt. We strive for the muffled life. My muffler happens to come with powdered sugar. Yours might come with olives or needles or a charge card.

Her response continued. "Do you really want a colorless life with nothing new happening.?"
"You betcha. I want a life I can control." By now she was up and taking the papers off my head. She stopped in her tracks and looked me full in the face.
"Do you really think you can control anything that happens to you?" She was incredulous. "We control very little of what happens to us. All we can control is our response to it."
The synapses in my brain shorted out and I just sat there. What did she mean I couldn't control what happened to me? I am my own worst enemy. Of course I control what happens to me. I have made my life shit. If I had made and did make better choices my life would better. I am completely responsible for everything that has gone wrong in my life.
She patted my hand, "You sound like my teenagers" she said.

What the hell??????

I was and am lost. I have been thinking about all she said since she said it. I don't understand what she meant. And that is addiction. The inability to comprehend/accept the difference between a self controlled life and a God controlled life.

Is this surrender? Response-able only? Is it really that simple? I give up my belief I can control anything?

If I can't control anything is the muffler pointless?

Please God help me to grasp and apply what I heard. Amen

Love Bea

13 comments:

Cindy...154 said...

I smiled when I read the part where she said you sound like her teenager..I can relate because I went to a lecture on the adolescent brain and it sounded like my brain.. I know what she means and I know what you mean. I really can't control what happens TO me but she's right, I can control how I respond. I want to keep repeating that one over and over. What a great post. Food for thought..

Anonymous said...

As promised I LOVE YOUR POST!! Something to think about- PLEASE try to look at the metamorphosis you are embracing not so much of a challenge but something that is so beautifully emerging from within the very beautiful person you are. Interesting your name BEA? Or is it really BE :) I think so! LOVE YA!!

Annimal said...

post to ponder. That's what I'm going to do before I say another word.

altopower said...

Love this - words of wisdom and insight often come at unexpected times and places. Sheri sounds spot-on to me, though it's not something I usually remember when things are not going well.

We can't change or control anything but our own responses to events and situations - and those responses, in turn, can change them by giving them less power, change directions because we respond in different ways.

Instead of berating ourselves for not exercising last week, we can respond to the awareness by exercising TODAY. Which should make it easier to do TOMORROW, which changes the pattern.

Thanks for posting this. Good reminder for all of us :)

A Canadian Reader said...

You might find this article useful: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/opinion/17kristof.html?em

To quote from the article:
“The most selfish thing you can do is to help other people,” says Brian Mullaney, co-founder of Smile Train, which helps tens of thousands of children each year who are born with cleft lips and cleft palates. Mr. Mullaney was a successful advertising executive, driving a Porsche and taking dates to the Four Seasons, when he felt something was missing and began volunteering for good causes. He ended up leaving the business world to help kids smile again — and all that makes him smile, too.

Bea, you seriously need to look outside yourself.

Annimal said...

Since my unemployment in October, I've "removed" myself from the world. I hadn't looked at it that way until I read your post and realized what you described was me. To lose one's job is a loss of identity and self-esteem. It also opens opportunities--if one is willing to risk them.
That's where I'm stuck. the risk. I'd like to do some volunteering, but I don't know where/how to begin, plus I guess I am just viciously guarding my once-in-a-lifetime "me time".
I get a sick feeling in my gut when I look at the employment ads and realize I'm not ready to look for a new job.
I have to trust in the future and I HAVE to get off the couch and get to the things I always dreamed of doing "once I had the time".
Now. How do I get started?

Anonymous said...

In my humble opinion.....this is what i heard when I read...your earlier posts....ok, you read the book and your reaction was very posotive-you made appt with therapist and contacted your Pastor to put in place the steps of creating support, for yourself and others,....BUT your reation to the Pastor's encouragement was negative you retreated becuz your addiction felt THREATENED.....Look at your reations and seek the Lord...maybe creating the support group was the Lord using you to bless someone else....
I love your posts,and appreciate your ability to share...
May He be Glorified

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