September 18

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 18: “When we awaken to our truth, we realize we are free.” ― Kristi Bowman

I did not know the level of freedom I would receive when I got through with Step 9. I could breathe! I did not know I had held my breath for so long. I had lived in a world that held so much deception and subterfuge that I never realized how it felt to stop living that way.

This was over a year into my recovery because I could not clear up the warrants for my arrest until I got all the cases into court. When these things were done and all my major amends were made, I was FREE! It was amazing. I feel like that when I get into a space of doing something that is not in accord with my beliefs and values. I am not breathing well until it is all cleared up.

I don’t want to carry your shit on my back. I don’t want to carry my shit on my back. It is okay with me if others don’t understand who I am and how I act. That is not it. It is when I know I have been someone who is violating my beliefs that I need to clean it up with you. I don’t want to walk outside my integrity.

This happens from time to time, but my clean up is much faster than it was in the old days. And I step out of line less and less frequently.

My personal credo is for me, alone. It may not please others, but that is not my purpose any longer. When I lived my life to keep others happy, I was in hell. That alone was the source of so much of my own unhappiness. Today there is little I do that is just on behalf of someone else. I do what I do because I believe it is the right thing to do. Sometimes I have to stop because I have made a mistake in thinking I was able to participate and clean that up. All of these things are fluid and my learning is in process at all times.

They say in recovery meetings that “the road gets narrower.” I am not sure that is the most accurate way of stating things. I DO believe it is true that I am more and more in alignment with my own heart and values and less and less inclined to do things for popular approval. I stray less often off the path of my heart, which means I do what feels right for me, not others. What a wonderful world it is when I am living in this kind of freedom!

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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