August 5

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 5: “Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” ― August Wilson

We are looking at a lot of dark parts of ourselves in Steps 4-9. A lot of them. And many of us will justify, explain and rationalize these dark parts as being part of our addiction, or blame others for how we developed these defects and dark parts.

The truth is this: all of us have these. Some are more glaring than others, but we must take full responsibility for our actions and attitudes, because they are OUR troubles, not the troubles of others. We have done some terrible things to other people, but the true damage is done when we continue to blame and point fingers at others for their part in our problems.

There is no recovery in staying stuck in old patterns of belief and behavior around here. It really is not about the drinking or drugging. If you find yourself having trouble with the same person more than two times, it is YOUR problem, not theirs.

When we keep repeating the same patterns, over and over, and do not address the old ideas behind them, we are not recovering. We are dry. There is no difference between a wet drunk and a dry drunk, except the idea that not being a wet drunk is an improvement. It is not.

When we cling to old ideas, thoughts and beliefs, our actions are the same without cocktails or drugs. So what? There is no recovery in that.

I am not sure that angels are singing anywhere because we recover. I do believe that an honest desire to recover and this work makes the spirit that we have been destroying, inside us, begin to sing. I have seen so much evidence that tells me that when we set the intention and take steps on the road of recovery, we are given all that we need to actually begin to do so.

Without that, the word recovery, as well as the word sober are total BS. They do not exist without the changes wrought by the work of  the 12 steps. Nothing else will do this. Nothing.

Many people will talk about their dark places and name them off like badges of honor. But no changes are made, and they are the same miserable folks who crawled into the rooms. Sad, but true. It would be wonderful if we truly embraced the idea that we can stop all of that when we are ready to do this work. It is amazing!

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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