Welcome to the lovely, hot month of June. Already this summer is proving to be a hot one as we look at our first full week of 90+ degree days here in the capital city. And last night I came home in the 92 degree heat to a house that was 88 degrees. Yep, the air conditioning has died for the second time this summer. Good times.
Prior to the air conditioning fiasco, I had spent the better part of the day at an Al-Anon 12 Step Workshop. It is one of those rubber meets the road opportunities for those of us who know that the spiritual solution to living with those who have addictions lies in the Steps themselves. The same Steps that addicts and alcoholics have to work if they are to be able to survive with their disease.
I have worked the Steps before. I worked them with the help of two sponsors and a group of Al-Anons - some of them black-belt Al-Anons. But this time it was different. For one, I was there with a group of about 20 who were working the Steps themselves. And we were being led to take the Steps by a person with 30 days in his program. And just from talking to him, I think his program was not the kind, gentle kind, but the kind that truly knows that the Steps are the Steps to survival - failure to work and take the Steps is just a choice to die with the disease.
See, in Al-Anon, we are not addicted to alcohol. We are just enmeshed, intertwined, and mired down into the life of an alcoholic to the point that it hijacks our own lives and experiences and takes us to an ugly, desperate, evil, frantic, obsessing, miserable, dank, dark, deadly place. And drops us off. Without cab fare.
We fool ourselves and say that we are the ones who have to hold the family, the household, the household budget, and the alcoholic/addict together. When in reality, all it does is tear us down and apart.
Deconstruction at its most efficient.
And so, with the same Steps that the alcoholic/addict has available to him/her to see a glimmer of light, we can claw ourselves out.
It is clawing, because it is a fight for survival, the same as it is for the alcoholic.
I am drifting off into a place I want to do a separate blog post about....
Yesterday, one of the exercises was to do a free writing exercise after a meditation/prayer opening of asking for your God's/Higher Power's will. We wrote whatever came into our minds for five minutes. At the end of the exercise I could no longer read my own handwriting - carpal tunnel be damned. Then we read out loud the phrases that we had written. This part was so we could know if someone else had a thought that could be meant for, or used by us.
Knowing me, you know that I loved this exercise. I have been doing freewriting since I started educating myself in the craft of writing at the age 17 by reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones.And of course, being a fan/student of Doreen Virtue, I *knew* that someone else had gotten a thought I could use.
My own knockout: "Live not in fear."
The line I got from someone else: "Writing is what makes me sane."
So without further ado, I knew immediately at least some of my Higher Power's will.
I have made it thus far. WIth my current health and lifestyle, I've probably made it at least 60-75% of my current travail here on this planet. And so there's really nothing I have to fear or dread. Or as one of my friends says, "What are they going to do? Eat me?"
And there is a message out there waiting for me. For all I know, there is a message hiding in that miasma of a synapse between my brain and finger for someone else.
Writing keeps me sane.
So that's what I'm going to do.