August 20

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 20: “Yet, in the face of evil, to sit silent is an even greater evil. Complacency is ever the enabler of darkest deeds;” ― Robert Fanney

I feel this way about Step 8. I believe we MUST do what it states, become willing to clean up ALL the messes in our lives. We must see our side of the street and keep it clean; no matter what.

If we are keeping someone off our list because we believe they are more in the wrong than we are, we must be willing to be honest with a trusted advisor or sponsor. Someone who knows what this step is all about, not an outsider who is unfamiliar. Rigorous honesty is just that, rigorous.

No loopholes in this one. I had some rather challenging people to deal with in this stuff. They were not people I could hope to maintain long-term relationships with, even though they were the only family I had ever known. I knew, in my heart, that I needed to put them on the list and be willing. But, I also knew I would not make direct amends to them for a long time.

I asked (prayed) for the time and the place to come, without me having to figure it out for myself. There is a great deal of honor I have for that Promise of “Intuitively knowing how to handle situations which used to baffle me.” I KNEW I would be led to do this in the proper place and time. I had some shit I was not proud of there. But I also knew how challenged I was to move into the drunken and abusive situation without being ready.

So, I prayed and became ready for that to be revealed. It took a really long time…27 years. Meanwhile, they remained on my list for that period. When it was time, it was time. Today, I am grateful for every moment of that time, because it gave me all that was needed not to be hooked back into their web or shamed or guilted into doing things that do not feed my spirit. I was right to leave so many years ago. And I was right to stay away for so long. It was taking care of myself.

There is nothing in these relationships with these people to feed my Soul. And that is just the way it is. Some people have amazing recovery with family. I have amazing relationships with family in recovery. It is different, but I am here to learn to feed and nurture my Soul, not my (or anyone else’s) Ego. They are completely different creatures.

In this instance, complacency would have been to allow this to continue for so long. To remain silent and not have my needs for family met in more appropriate ways, has been challenged by a lot of people who think they know my journey. I am graced with a sponsor who has never questioned what I needed to do. She gets it. And has been in awe of my commitment to healing. I have not been silent with what happened in this family setting, with them or anyone else. It was and produced harmful outcomes. I am blessed to be the only one who has been able to fully heal these things. A long road, but it begins with the absolute willingness I have to face and walk through all situations to not just stop drinking and using, but to HEAL. My message is powerful and strong, because I walk this path, no matter what!

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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