Again, I find myself sitting in my counselor’s office, early as usual, and waiting. I don’t mind the wait most of the time, and I guess today is no exception to that, but I’ve been recalling a conversation I had with my very good friend, ZJ, from Monday night.
I’ve been finding some struggle with an issue in my life, and though I see my counselor once a week, it’s only one hour. That equates to just over two days inside of a 365-day year. Not much time – and yet, my counselor has been one of the most influential and important tools in my Recovery shed. For the sake of the conversation, let’s name her “Julie.”
Julie told me early on that when the time was right, I would find myself naturally withdrawing from her assistance. I don’t think she realized who she was talking to – I’m still seeing her once per week, after all. But then again, maybe she did. She’s been such a tremendous help to me, and I have such a hard time with letting go (imagine that) that I don’t want to stop seeing her! And yet – I think I see what she meant when she said I would “find [myself] naturally withdrawing from her assistance.”
I used to write her frantic, panic letters all of the time, my thinking being, “If I’m going to write something down, it’s because I need to talk about it. And if I need to talk about it, then I need someone to read it, because if someone reads it, then I’ll have to explain it; and if I have to explain it, then I’ll need to remember it – but in order to remember it, I’ll need to write it down!” If you’ve been following me since I began blogging, you’ll no doubt understand my take on writing-vs-verbal vomiting. Meanwhile, I haven’t written her any letters over the last two weeks! There are a couple of reasons for this.
1) I’ve been so busy with my recovery
2) My blogging has been quite beneficial to me
3) I’ve been talking to people
WHOA! -- HOLD THE PHONE!
On the matter of #1 – It’s true, I’ve been very busy working on step work. And it has been one of the best things that’s happened to me in my recovery. After going through what I am now, I wish that I had jumped on this sooner. Alas, I was so concerned about hating AA because of what “they did to my wife” that I was missing out. My wife could have enjoyed it, too, if she had been able to find her sweet spot in the program – no thanks to me.
On the topic of #2 – Blogging has been a great way for me to process thoughts and ideas. Often, I will find an answer to a question that I had, or I’ll process something that has been bothering me. I love the blogging, because it helps me figure things out, usually on my own – and equally, sadly, on my own. That brings me to …
… #3 – Ya, I’m beginning to talk more. A lot more. Not in “groups” per se (i.e.; during meetings), but to more people than I ever have. Way more! Maybe there is something to “talking to others connects us.” Thanks, Julie, for making sure that sunk in! I’ve discovered that she is indeed correct about many, many things.
It is here that I may have found the fulfillment to Julie’s prophecy, that I may “find [myself] naturally withdrawing from her assistance.” Last Monday evening, I was feeling very confused again about some non-existent issues that Left Side and Right Side have been creating. I was blast-texting ZJ about some of it (I’m not even sure how we started the text conversation), but as usual, ZJ used her magical powers of – well, I don’t even know, actually – and stopped me from my self-pitied word-vomit, saying, “I’m hungry. Let’s go eat.” Not only did that stop my head from whirling, it made me think about how hungry I was. How hungry I was – H.A.L.T. I was three quarters of the way to a possible relapse state. I mean, no, I wasn’t craving, but I was Hungry, Lonely, and Tired. I just wasn’t Angry yet. Yet. Give Left Side and Right Side a chance, and they’ll bring the Beast to my dinner – with me as the entrée.
Part of the issue was that I wanted to go to dinner with AF, but she was unable to do so. I’d been trying to meet up with her for a few days, and things just hadn’t aligned – of course, why would they, with me running the show? I had to STOP. Everything was entirely out of my control, so I had no reason to fret, nonetheless, I was.
ZJ and I met up, and we began talking – or, let me rephrase that – I began talking. ZJ being ZJ, she just let me ramble away, she could hardly get a word in edgewise. I told her a bit about my wife, and how we’d met, and the things I’d been through. Then I proceeded to explain how I felt about AF, and how silly I felt about … well, this is not going to happen yet, I’ll get into this some other day. All the while, ZJ listened as I spat it out. My point is, it was very helpful to sit down and talk to someone about the situation I was in, and better yet, to get a lady’s point of view on it. I finally caught myself and stopped babbling for a second, but not until the impromptu meeting was nearly over.
More to my point, the step-work, the writing, and the human interactions and conversations all have their important roles, and they each play a very specific and vital part in my recovery. I am, on a daily basis, in complete awe of what is happening in my life. I don’t fully understand all of it, but it is there, and I am changing.
I think Julie may be right; I may be finding myself relying less and less on her. Although I’ve got a long way to go before I won’t need her, I can feel the release beginning. “Trust the process” she said to me on days one, two, and three. At the time, I thought she meant her process. I see now that she meant human's.