Monday, November 12, 2012

Freedom, Goodwill, Creative Action & Personal Growth

So I am was reading an NA, yes an Narcotics Anonymous, booklet and read this paragraph, " Any lifestyle seeking spiritual fulfillment seems to demand the very things missing in addiction; freedom, goodwill, creative action and personal growth." I thought what a profound and truthful statement.

In active alcoholism and addiction I was a prisoner to my disease. I couldn't go anywhere without making sure and had something in the car, I rarely went anywhere were alcohol wasn't served. I was big time paranoid, I was always on the lookout for the police, also paranoid my enablers would pull the plug. I was a prisoner to money, needing a certain amount for my alcohol, if it wasn't there I would write bad checks or steal booze from the store I worked at part time. I was a prisoner of my emotions, any clear thoughts I had about the trouble my drinking was causing were shut down as quick as possible with alcohol; reality sucked and I couldn't allow it to interfere with my obsession for alcohol. I couldn't change my job, couldn't go to college, couldn't move from the dump of a house I lived in. Sadly this prisoner couldn't be a good parent either, same goes for son, brother, employee and friend. Because I am free, I now can do anything I want and as long as I stay spiritually fit I never enter the prison of addiction again. BTW alcohol is my drug of choice but I will use any substance put in my path to get messed up, also I have a healthy fear of my addictive nature, so if I ever have to be put on narcotics for a medical reason, I need to keep the knowledge of being an addict as strong as the knowledge of being an alcoholic.

Goodwill, how can one be practicing goodwill when we are so caught up in self. I tried to practice goodwill, I helped people out, gave a bit to charity but under this was still my main concern of getting the next drink. I don't think there is anyway a person caught up in addiction can practice goodwill because we are so selfish and self-centered. In recovery getting out of self is a life long process for many of us, for me it is a daily awareness of my actions and thoughts which are based on self. Simple acts of goodwill start to come more naturally as we change our way of thinking, become more spiritually centered; holding doors open, giving a warm smile to the cashier, allowing someone to proceed ahead of us in traffic. I do what I can for the less fortunate when I can, make sure the stuff I am getting rid of goes to a charity which gives stuff away and not just sells it. Of course we try and practice goodwill in the recovery rooms, extending a welcoming hand and echoes of encouragement, we try and give back what was freely given to us. For me this is an ongoing thing, some days I am so caught up in I forget to say hi and introduce myself to the person in the room I have never seen before. Being spiritually fit means I am thinking less about me and more about others, and more about the planet. 

Creative action is an interesting term. I am I finding creative ways to reach out to those who still suffer? Am I finding creative ways to carry the message in my service work? I am I finding creative ways in sponsoring, finding ways to knock down the walls which keep someone from understanding the steps? Once in a while the answer is yes, I do know how to intuitively handle a situation which use to baffle me. My first thought on the word creative was, artistic, something I am not, but like everyone else, I have talents which others don't , we all do. We shouldn't beat ourselves up, we shouldn't compare ourselves to others, we are all very special. When I am in active addiction my creativity was as dead as my spirit, I couldn't touch my creative self no more than I could touch my spiritual self, in recovery both are possible.

In my psyche class we read a lot about how alcoholism and drug addiction delay and even stop growth, I have heard this in the rooms for years, but here is was in black and white in a psychology text book. The book had a table in it showing where we should be at in emerging adulthood, damn did I ever miss the boat. I lacked responsibility, had no goals in life, sucked at relationships, lacked motivation and any interest in bettering myself as a father, employee or member of society. Here at almost 50 I am basically in my early 20's but it is alright. For me the steps are were the growth comes from, I see the areas needed from improvement, I do my best to trust my God, I do the footwork. I want and need spiritual growth, emotional growth and personal growth, even if it comes with a bit of pain; I want to be busy being born and not busy dying.

Well I need to take a shower and get ready for my last English class, finishing this class will free me up for other classes. Hope everyone is doing well. We are having a warm fall so far, even had a thunderstorm Saturday night. Angel is all about Christmas, mainly because the t.v. is bombarding us with commercials about toys, she is constantly saying "look papa, I want that' to which papa replies, "we will just have to see what Santa can do" to which she replies "really papa" with a big smile on her face. Papa is really glad for layaway this year!

Peace Love and Light


October O Nine said...

Great post! You lay out such a great case too.

And the funny (in a tragic way, mind you) thing is, many of us probably thought the complete opposite: drinking alcohol brings freedom, goodwill, creative action and personal growth." I know I did! LOL. I thought it freed me of my social insecurities, made me a friendlier, nicer person, inspired me to write and to bring down my guard, allowing creativity to flow and opened doors to all kinds of new situations. I'm laughing to myself as I'm writing this because it's such crap!

Like you, I couldn't or wouldn't do anything social without alcohol. And goodwill? I threw my mountain bike at my husband when we were dating and turned on people like a viper after having too much to drink. Creative action? I completely stopped writing anything meaningful and spent hours on Facebook writing opinionated swill! Personal growth? Uh, no.

Another awesome post!


Shadow said...

scott, you've got this down pat. alcohol does 'kill' all those things, the worst, i think, is our personal freedom and growth. if i think back to how i was a slave to alcohol, all the planning, scheming, hiding... never again... love ya lots, thanks for your words today!!!