September 27

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 27: “Freedom is obedience to self-formulated rules.” ― Aristotle

This process of recovery allows me to formulate a set of principles for my life. They are laid out in the steps, but I get to personalize them and internalize them to fit my life.

Because I have developed a sense of personal responsibility to these principles and guide my life according to them, I have been able to access those things buried deep inside my soul that are the guidelines I came to this life to live. They are my own personal compass to the right way for me to operate and behave.

I think we all have that; call it our higher wisdom or consciousness or God-sense. I have always known when I was doing something that did not fit with my own personal beliefs. I just chose to lie to myself and say it didn’t matter. The truth is this: I wanted to kill myself because of that. I hated myself because I knew how much I had done to violate my OWN code. It did not really matter, and still doesn’t, if I do something that people may not approve of. It is MY code that I have to live up to. It always was. And no matter how much I drank and used, it was violating that code that was destroying me.

Recovery, for me, using these 12 principles, means that I live in accordance with my own set of guidelines. That I get rid of the shit that screams at me all day long and let go of the judgment of self and others that goes along with it. That I learn to honor my soul and the guidelines that live in my heart about what is right or wrong FOR ME. I cannot watch you and be true to me. I have to keep my focus on what I am up to.

And I do. When that happens, I get to live in the freedom of knowing that only ONE hand steers this ship and that it is the hand of that Universal Power out there, along with my compliance to the things that feel right for me. I am instantly aware of when I violate that today. And I have these steps and these principles (which I have practiced A LOT over these many years) to guide me along the way.

The best test I know if this stuff works is that I feel good, I love my life, and I am happy to be me. None of that was true when I got here, now it is true about 95% of the time. When it isn’t, I just do this work and pretty soon I am BACK!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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