I won’t lie. I’ve been drifting away from recovery over the past few days. In fact, I received a phone call from my sponsor on Saturday asking me if everything was okay (Remind me sometime to divulge my thoughts on the concept of “I’m okay”). I’m still sober, but okay? I expressed to him that I feel like I’ve gone brain dead and I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I am now three weeks (22 days, in fact) away from my last beer or if I’m feeling anxious over the shut-down orders in my state. I am just not sure how I felt. But I also have not done two tasks he asked me to do, and as I indicated one of those tasks in my last post, I’m feeling a little disappointed in myself. I haven’t done either task and I’m feeling ashamed of myself – regardless of the fact I once said I am done feeling shame. Well, I’ve decided I can keep feeling bad about it, or I can do something about it, so here it is…the other thing my sponsor asked me to do: List the things that I feel powerless over or the things that make me feel powerless, etc. But I’ll be honest – it makes me feel like a control freak or like a wuss that can’t stand up for himself.
- My wife. I can’t even begin to discuss all of the ways I feel powerlessness in my marriage. There are so, so, so many. But ultimately, I know, deep down that my primary problem is that I focus on how my behavior, thoughts, and feelings make her feel bad or good. I find myself doing things that keep her happy and not what is best for me. I find myself trying to predict how she’ll react to something I do. For example, doing Zoom AA meetings at home, makes me feel like I have no privacy. And it makes me feel like she’d walk in at any moment and that she has a right to know anything I may or may not discuss. This, of course, is only a small example. There is so much here, I don’t even know how to divulge everything (Although, I am on the verge of starting a series on my marriage in my S.A.R.D.). One of the biggest impacts in this situation too, is that I always question myself, second guess myself and don’t understand if I’m right or wrong in a lot of situations.
- Employers/Employment. As many of you already know, considering I’ve had blogs previous to this one, I have struggled with lay-offs and financial problems, beginning slightly over 5 years ago. Within my mind, I felt like a lot of the problems I experienced were preventable by me – i.e. I must have been a horrible employee if I got laid off. I believe I have finally come to the realization that I can only do so much. I can present myself in the best light possible and still not have any power over what someone else, who does have power, can say or do concerning my employment. Five years ago, I got laid off during one of the biggest down turns in the oil & gas industry in history. It hit so many people so incredibly hard and I took it extremely personally.
- Relationship with my children. I don’t typically discuss my children online, namely because I spend a lot of time talking about deep personal issues within myself and I have never wanted anything I do or say online to impact my kids in any negative way. But the one detail I’ll offer is that 2 of my 3 children are adults (and the last one isn’t far away) and there is now little I can say or do that could impact their behavior, ultimately, because they are becoming responsible for their own decisions in life. I often find myself frustrated when they make mistakes or do things in a way I wouldn’t have done something, for the simple fact that I don;t want them to have to struggle in life the way I have struggled. Nothing terrifies me more with my children then if they were to lose respect for me.
- My sexuality. I’ve discussed my misgivings with my sexuality ad nausea. Truthfully, I used to think that sexuality is a combination of nurture versus nature. But I also believe that behaviors can be controlled. Maybe the feelings one has cannot, but the decisions made based on those can be controlled. Being married and choosing to be monogamous, has put the power of decision in my hands, but I struggle with my own sexual identity and how life would be if I were to be out in some way. Would it even matter at this point in my life?
- Politics. Yeah….I know, completely asinine to think I have any iota of power over politics, but it has certainly been a trigger a time or many. I’ve listed it anyways.
- Etc. There are probably more I’m missing at the moment, but the above are the ones I think of on a whim.
Even as I write this list, I’m beginning to see a little bit of a pattern, and it comes from the explanations I put in each item, but it is quite obvious that there is so much I have no power, but my decisions, the things I can choose to form a reaction, are within my power. I’m just not sure how to get there…
Today is my 22nd day without drinking and I will not drink today.