When I was little I loved doing those connect the dot pictures in colouring books. They started out small with perhaps 10 dots to connect. The really hard ones went up to 100. More than once I couldn't find one of the numbers only to get to 100 and see the missing number and the role it played in the whole picture. Sometimes life feels like a connect the dot picture with missing numbers and the whole picture very blurry. Some days I want to call my life a connect the dot Mystery. I'm sure some of you can barely contain yourselves at times as you try and shout out where I can find the next dot on the picture.
This morning was one of waking after a night of wretched choices. This morning I also made the connection that if I wanted to be free of the things I seem to run to rather than run from, I needed to want the freedom more than the false safety of shitty coping mechanisms. Want to feel the feelings more than I want to numb them. Want to feel alive more than I want to be walking around unaware.
I stood at my livingroom window and admitted to God the whole sorry story. Figured out for what seemed like the zillionth time that I couldn't make this about perfection. That I had to be willing to take a step and trust that if I tripped God would pick me back up again or at least be there when I decided to stand up instead of rolling around in the muck forever. I asked for the courage to feel. I told God how absolutely terrifying it seems to ask for that. I asked for the courage to stop going down tangent road X, Y and Z for comfort and safety and stand up and fight for the freedom which was already mine. I asked for the strength to get through this day without numbing my feelings.
I admit I've never been much of a Satan watcher. Early in my spiritual journey I experienced many people seeing Satan behind every tree, behind every human action they didn't want to own up to and I got tired of paying him any attention. I would much rather spend my time looking for Jesus. But this morning I basically told Satan to fuck off. I have no idea how Satan works. And I'm not real interested in finding out so if you have it all figured out don't enlighten me. I just know I want the courage to stop making choices that are death dealing to my soul. It's time to stand up to the bomb thrower. Father Charlie asked me the other day how long was I going to let myself be bullied before I started fighting back.
So after I had this conversation with God I went to take a shower. I get in there and say outloud, "I can't do this on my own." Hearing myself say those words was like connecting a dot on the page. My next thought was, "Duh, Hope, you couldn't stay sober on your own so why the heck did you think you could face any other addiction on your own?" It was a Step One all over again. As I admitted I couldn't do this on my own I realised I have been making this battle more about will power than I have been making it about God and grace.
I don't know why I feel like I have to apologize for being here on the journey other than I feel like I've been here before. Some days I feel like I am travelling through life in a speeding car and that every so often I catch a glimpse of Truth and I add it to a tiny pile of Truth that sits on the seat beside me. Sometimes I try and write it down here because I am scared I will forget these little glimpses.