It’s clear that my addict brain is completely bonkers. I am an insane person when I listen to it. There is really no other way to put it.
My insanity says that I am so special that everyone should bend over backwards to give me what I want. It says that I am entitled, that somewhere along the line I have become an exception. On the flip side there is the toxic shame that says that I am so small, insignificant and downright lowly that if I am hurt or abandoned or in dire need of attention and connection that I don’t deserve a helping hand. So which is it?
The reasonable answer is clear and when the fog lifts thanks to sobriety I can see it shining like a beacon of hope. The truth is that both are complete lies.
“You are not big, but you’re a big deal.” – My counselor
Yesterday during my weekly therapy session I was given a bit of tough love from the Jedi Master. When I told him about last Friday he grimaced. The hectic day that began with Pearl refusing to take me to work and then randomly discovering a remnant of my past in the form of a Korean Starbucks card. Yeah that day. The day I would fly to Florida to attend a wedding.
So I am barreling through the story in order to get to what I thought was the juicy part (the grieving on the beach and then hearing a song that enhanced the feeling). He stops me almost immediately and forces me to go back and repeat the part about the Starbucks card. “Let’s talk more about that,” he says leaning back slightly in his chair. So I obliged and honestly thought I would be praised that I sat in my sadness for a time before trashing the card. Instead I got this question: “Why did you throw it away?”
I had no answer.
He went on to tell me that those things which I view as little (such as finding a Starbucks card from Korea) are not little at all. They are huge. They are huge because anything that affects my heart the way that that card did has to be viewed as a big deal.
“When did you talk to someone about the card?”
“I don’t even know, I think the next day.”
“You need to call someone immediately and reach out to connect.”
He is so right. I don’t think I need help (pride) but also I don’t think I deserve help (shame). Both have convinced me that I am alone and that managing my life is completely within my control.
I am indeed growing, learning, improving, surrendering more, etc. I am working my program but surely have a long way to go. I am getting through the steps but at a snail’s pace. I am making calls but not “checking everything in” like I need to in order to be free from the disease. I am grieving the big things but not realizing the importance of grieving the small things too. I am learning that since I am a big deal, so is my heart.
What I know about myself is that I need others. I need God. And I am worth helping.
If I am a big deal to God then nothing about recovery is small.
It’s kind of a big deal too.