I wish I had a more tangible solution, or soul-ution to what I am facing, feeling right now. But, as I am today, I find myself lost. Maybe not lost, stripped of formerly held absolute belief systems is more accurate. The question of “What is my Purpose” hangs over my head like some sort of Sword of Damocles. And I suddenly find myself right back where I started about a year ago when I turned “1.” You see on June 9 I’ll have two years clean and sober. In some ways that seems like forever and in some other ways that seems like a nano-second. Two years ago when I started this journey, I had no idea what I wanted, where I was going or how to achieve the serenity and success of those I shared “the rooms” with. So I did what I was told (for the most part) and “kept coming back” all with the willingness to believe that the ACTUAL willingness to achieve would come. And it did. But not before I tore through my behaviors, those character defect-driven mental programs and habits that I had learned and hidden behind for, well, forever. I cleaned out my HEAD and my past and “my side of the street,” or at least began that process. After all, as I have been shown through my experiences, it IS a “process not an event.” I worked Steps, I began to know and love God and therefore myself with a worthiness World-view that exponentially expanded outward to my fellows and to the fellowship of man, itself. So Far, so good, right? Right.
Then, the day after I turned “1” I awoke with a hangover unlike any I have ever had. Not a hangover of my body, but an “emotional hangover.” I realized I had expected (aha, “expectations ARE planned resentments ” after all!) getting sober to cure me. Of what ailed me, what failed me and to answer all the “why do I do/think/act that way?” questions I had about myself and life, itself. Alas, no, that was not the case. Instead, I now faced the demons I had never wrestled with but had simply anesthetized with Jack Daniels and Humboldt County green and now those demons were wakening and those defenses which had long served me, were gone. I made a commitment to myself and to the God I now serve, that I would continue digging until I unearthed the reasons behind the reasons I was a drunk and a drug user. Because the way I felt that day? No, that was not going to work. So, I sought therapy for the first time, joined another Program called Adult Children, started on a mood-stabilizer and generally and genuinely sought solutions from men and women I respected and admired. Most of them told me simply “You need to feel what you are feeling, they are only that, feelings, and they won’t hurt you but NOT feeling them as you have in the past, might hurt your chances of staying sober “…and therefore, all your progress and the process and journey you have undertaken will be for naught. So, I did that, or tried to, to the best of my ability… not perfectly, not by a long shot. I did pray for God to remove these blocks to my feelings and dealing with them and what the world threw my way, and then I turned the page.
Looking back, I realize I ended up doing everything I could to defer those feelings by throwing my obsessive self into new behaviors (for me, at least) like shopping and Pinterest, tumblr and ice cream, and some not so new ones like music, films, books, McDonalds and of course, Men. If you have read this blog in the past, you’ll know that Men play a big part in my story, at least up until now. Ironically, in my life I have always lead with my heart, so to speak, often not knowing or wanting to know, what I was thinking about. My thoughts bedeviled me, but my HEART? I could always count on it for comfort and clarity. Or so it seemed. I was under the mistaken belief that if I could just find “the one,” the man of my dreams, the one my heart ached for, my soul-mate, all would then, finally, really, be right. And then I found him. The “One” was gifted to me by my Higher Power. He was shot of of a cannon in a complete surprise, just as people said he would be, when I least expected it and in the most unlikely package and place. All true. Check, check, check! I saw my future wrapped up in a bow, hand in hand with My Poet, My Captain. We wrote letters like Shakespeare and Neruda and created a bubble world away from the reality we no longer believed in or wanted to be a art of. But, that reality believed in us.
And then the strangest thing happened. All of those feelings I had been running from via those outside-validating habits and behaviors? They came crashing down, like my Ego had in that first year. Lo and behold, God did for me what I could not do for myself and in fact removed them from me, just like my obsession to drink, just like my fellows and Program promised. But along with that came the end of my relationship with “the One.” Without warning I realized that no man, no job, no experience, drink, drug or habit could fill my heart and fulfill my destiny, my “Soul Purpose.” Only God can do that. I was free. Sad, but free. Alive but free. Aware of my feelings but free. So that’s a good thing, right? Right? But the funny thing about freedom, for me at least, is that I now find myself….rudderless. Adrift. My obsessions, my reason d’êtres, the “why I get up in the morning” are now gone. And while I love myself, my life and my Higher Powers’ intentions for me..and I have found my own worth and validation from WITHIN for the first time ever, no small feat for a man of 47, I am once again at the bottom of a mountain looking up. Towards what, I don’t know. But I can see this, the big question, the if all those other things, people, places and behaviors, habits and obsessions are not “me” then what is? What am I? WHY am I? What is my SOUL-UTION?
Simply put, I don’t know. The one phrase in a Program of acronyms and phrases, in this paradoxical world I inhabit, keeps popping up in my head: MORE WILL BE REVEALED. I am clinging to that phrase like a life raft, which, it is. I am anxious, I am definitely feeling a whole lot of things. And the uncomfortable factor is sky high. But, I keep hearing to be patient. Even the biblical definition of love begins with “Love is patient…” And that “More” I speak of? It’s not when “I” want it to be revealed, alas, that is not how this works. I wanted, ne expected (I know, I know!) that as soon as the old ways of thinking and the folly of those heart-habits were washed away, new perfected ones would be actually already be in place, having only been hidden from view.
But, no, whenever my God is good and ready, when “He” knows I am truly ready, and can handle more of His will and plan for me, will the more part be revealed. I keep seeing signs, Universal pop-ups and signposts that I am on the right path, not to give up, to “keep coming back” and be still, know that “He is God” and that He loves me and will not foresake me. Grace…what a impossible deal. What a blessing. So I get up today, each day and pray my humblest prayers, thanking God for all that I have. And that I might once again, have the willingness to have willingness, to believe I can achieve what I cannot yet see. That He and the Universe will reveal, my SOUL-UTION. That I shall be what He has seen for me to be since I first came to believe. And know what? When I start into year 3 in a few weeks, I’ll be ready for more. More love, more questions, more tears and laughs and ice cream and films and music and questions. And answers. Yes, I say yes, to more.