Well, I went back to ARP tonight, for the first time in 2 weeks.
I'm so glad I did. I need that program. I am an addict that needs to overcome my addiction.
Tonight's meeting was especially packed; I was nervous because I never prepare a head of time what I'm going to 'share' when it's my turn to share; I want to be completely honest. I'm on step 5- I took the Thanksgiving week off and didn't do any of my bookwork. Step 5 is Confession.
It's funny, because when I first saw step 5 a few weeks ago- I thought it didn't apply to me. What did I have to confess? That I like sugar? Addictions in my meeting range from self mutilation to alcoholism to sex addiction. Sugar seems trivial on the scale sometimes, even to me. I know that sugar is not a trivial addiction, but sometimes you can't help but feel it when, all the sugar addicts in the room are women. And all 3 break down in tears almost every time it's their turn to share. And all the 'tough' addictions never seem to cry.
Confession. It's not like I did something horrible- I didn't rob anyone or kill anyone for some sugar (although there were times I wanted to). But after reading over the message again tonight- I realized that I was so blinded the first time I read it over. Step 5 says so many wonderful things that pertain to me being an addict.
It starts out talking about how- when you're an addict, there are so many times when you feel like you don't fit in. It talks about the isolation we feel; maybe not physical isolation, but emotional isolation (a lot of times it's physical too though- we purposely keep people away). We isolate ourselves because we don't want people to know what we "really do", or who we "really are". We're ashamed, or embarrassed, or heartbroken by our behaviors...and those feelings make us feel vulnerable. But then, as we finish step 4, we begin to "throw off the shackles of our isolation" and secrets, because we begin being honest (step 4 was the inventory step). We start being honest with God, and then with ourselves. Step 5 is about being honest with another human being about the nature of our wrongs.
Here's the quote that really hit me: "We started to understand our tendencies toward negative thoughts and emotions (self-will, fear, pride, self-pity, jealousy, self-righteousness, anger, resentment, unbridled passions and desires, and so on)." It may not seem like a big "realization" sentence- "we started to understand our tendencies toward negative thoughts and emotions"...but for me it rang so true. If there was ever a truer statement- this was it. I have lived my LIFE tending towards negativity and doubt.
Step 5 goes on to explain seeking forgiveness, and then finally letting peace come into your life. Another line I like, "They are always confessing but never finding peace"... I feel like this has been me a few times in the past. I do need to take Step 5, and I've already begun. I sent an email to a friend/bloggy buddy this morning- confessing some things that I've done recently. She knows who she is. I've also talked to my mom (although you're not supposed to talk to your family members about your 'wrongs'). I feel honest tonight. Hopeful. And as always, strengthened.
The best part of the night? At the end, when I was leaving- someone leaned over to the meeting leader and said (pointing to me)..."she's on a good path." The leader nodded and said- "she IS on a good path." :) Made my night!