April 6

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 6:

“Keep your heart clear

And transparent,

And you will

Never be bound.

A single disturbed thought

Creates ten thousand distractions.”― Ryokan

I think one of the first things I really attached to in recovery was “Happy, joyous and free.” I wanted that one really bad when I got here.

I don’t think I really believed it, but I know I wanted it. Bad. I have it today…and the free part is probably the biggest gift of all for me.

I am free of the shame I had for so many years, even long into recovery. It did not leave with the first or the 10th or the 100th inventory. It took a long time.

I am free of the guilt of my old behaviors and the way I abused and used people. I work hard at not doing that today.

I am free of the way I looked over my shoulder all the time. I have integrity today, and I live the 12 steps, so I can clean up my messes and stop looking down and stop looking back. One of the greatest freedoms of all, because it was the source of me allowing terrible treatment to become habitual in my life, by me and everyone else.

I am free of so much of my rage. It was misdirected, being the victim was my only role when I got here. That too took a large number of these inventories to achieve.

I am free of my criminal past. It took a long time to get my record expunged and I am proud to say that I have the freedom of walking in and out of prisons anywhere I want to go today. That is awesome.

It also allows me to be licensed to work inside jails and prisons and I have for many years. My licensure to do the work I do has to be approved by those agencies I used to hide out from. I have worked in courts and police departments, with sheriffs’ departments and so many other agencies who spent years hunting me down for my crazy addict behavior. I am truly free of that!

I am free of the crippling debt I had with the IRS. That took 19 years and I am grateful as hell for the mean, horrible sponsor who insisted I repay that debt when I got here. I hated her, but I knew she was right. (I really did not hate her, just that I had to send them MY money.) The reframe was that it was NOT my money, it was theirs. Oh!

I am free of the resentments, ongoing pain I caused myself by hating others who had “done me wrong” and that I carried for many years around here. I am free!

And, because of all these freedoms, I am happy and joyous…I thought it was going to work the other way around, but it is my work that creates the freedom…and then I get to be happy and joyous. Isn’t that wonderful? I believe it is!

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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