September 5

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 5: “I needed to stop being what everyone thought I was.” ― Sarah A. Allen

Yes! What everyone thought I was when I first began this step was the same crazy junkie I had been for years before I got this stuff.

We have to approach people who were happy we had somehow disappeared from their lives, if they were lucky. We get to go back into institutions and agencies who were well off without us. Some of my amends took me back into relationships with them as well.

I got to begin a 19-year conversation and correspondence with the IRS. I was broke and had to send them a monthly check for $25.00. My sponsor made me draw a red heart on the Comment line so I would remember not to send the money in resentment. It was a hardship for me for a long time. I also had to go to court and clean up all my wreckage from legal matters (18 felony warrants I had run out on.) Much of that was reduced and had gone away due to statute of limitations…thank God! I should have spent years in prison, but did not. I don’t know why. It is the story of my Step 9.

The rest of my amends were similar. I owed a ton of money to people, stolen for the most part. I had spent most of my years sleeping with other women’s husbands…yes, a lot of them. And I had to change or alter these things for the better.

We get to create contracts with these people. Some I approach and tell them how I am going to do this, others I just do it and keep my big mouth shut. I am not here to air it all out, just to clean up my asshole behavior. I can honestly say that so many were created for me, rather than by me.

Every once in awhile I am given another opportunity that I thought was gone forever. As a blackout drinker, I did not remember some of the shit I did, or to whom I did it. Then I got to just change my behavior towards the general populace overall. That did it. Then I have had people appear from out of nowhere, unexpectedly and I get to clean up with them.

One man I had been romantically involved with from the age of 17 to about 26 or 27 (in the height of my addiction!) I found him on Facebook 25 years later. I was 23 years sober. And I called him and made an amends. We rekindled our friendship and dated for about 2 years. That was an interesting time. But he was on my list because we had a lot of history together. And I did not remember what had happened the last time I saw him, which is always a bad sign…you know!

Today I seldom recognize any signs of old behavior in me. If and when I do, there is always the process that I have used here…cleaning up ME. It ain’t your stuff. If you are an asshole, I don’t get permission to be one also. You do you and I do me. That is the way I understand it. And I love it like that, because I have come to love myself and my life and the heart of the Universe that beats so strongly when I get this shit out of its way.

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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