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Senaste inläggen som handlar om steps

2018-08-31 14:24 - arlona
step #12 - pay it forward

this blog has been my diary for the past 10 years, so if you've read it, you know more about me than the last 12 steps. however, when i see the number of people who have read (and still read) my posts but never leave a comment - i wonder - who are you people who read this blog in a God's forgotten corner of the internet?

i love bragging about my new life. i really do. but what feeds my ego is what destroys me. so truth shall set me free.
alcohol was so much fun. some of my brightest ideas were ignited by rum or wine, some of the funniest and most remarkable nights happened under influence. crazy adventures, some even dangerous, breath taking, intoxicating, ridiculous and unforgettable.

but i have only fucked up life really bad when under influence.
i blindly followed impulses, some of which very endangering ones.
i skipped responsibility when drunk.
i had no consideration of others, myself or consequences when drunk.
made the worst decisions.
made even worse decisions.

and i could not stop.
i started my tries to quit mid january. and it took me 4 months of denial, anger, fall-backs, tears, sweat (literally), desperation, disbelief, bargaining, mixed with hope, restless tries again and again to finally say "no" without looking back (and i still must remind me every day that my sobriety only comes one day at a time). i told myself i didn't have a problem (i did). i told myself i can handle it (i couldn't). i said i didn't need help (i did). i said i was not like them (i am, and it's awesome!). and the biggest lie - i said i can do this on my own (i couldn't).

my only options were to seek help or give in and die.
i was lucky i wasn't alone (although let's be honest, i wasn't a good listener and a humble follower of suggestions).

if you feel like you have a problem with drinking or your friend or family member is suffering, reach out - this is not an illness a person can deal with alone. this is also nothing one should be embarrassed about because nobody chooses to be an alcoholic.

i cannot cure anyone but i can gladly share my story in detail or answer any questions about my recovery to people who really need it. once upon a time this blog was sometimes read by some people that know me - if you still do - either i'm an amazing writer or you genuinely were interested in this journey. either way - thanks.

if you have any further questions feel free to scribble a line to: arlona.bloggis at gmail.com
you are not alone.

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what others think, do or feel is none of my business. i cannot nor should i control it, influence it or worry about it. freedom.

instead i am busy with fulfilling my own needs and following the path of Higher Power. my shortcomings are no longer a proof of a failure, they are crumbs to be dusted away one by one.

i no longer have to worry about the day or it's outcome, i rely that everything, each person, event or happening is sent by Higher Power, so there is no point worrying.

forgiving myself. forgiving everyone else. letting peace, joy and faith take over.

today and everyday i ask God to let me rely on him through every hour of the day. whatever news i might receive, let me accept them with harmony and conviction that it is God's will. lead me and teach me how to pray, believe, hope, forgive and love.

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it is time to face the next addiction and illness: sugar and anorexia/bulimia. my ED and weight have become critically dangerous to health and survival so this cannot wait any longer. a human body doesn't need sugar for survival. it needs carbs, not sugar.
looking back, i never had a sweet tooth, this appeared only when i started drinking more often or tried to quit. but once again it sums up to all the other addictions and the behavior as such. anyhow, sugar must go.

after analyzing my finances for several months, i realized i spent around 500 eur per month for booze, cigarettes and "unnecessary food".

i am going back to a 5th grader's thinking - i have pocket money - how do i spend it? what do i really really want that is worth saving up for? do i really need this?

from strict self discipline i went to allowing myself anything - go inside a store and take what i want. what gluttony is this? how would i ever teach a child to be economical and rational about spending when i act as a kid who has gotten allowance and is running to the candy store. everything is so accessible - new tv, new clothes, new trips, everything - one barely ever saves up and even takes credit cards. we make money to pay for what? - our other addictions!

there are many people who can enjoy comfort without getting obsessed with it. i am not one of those people. i am an addict, meaning that once i get "into something", i cannot stop. it was around 4 years ago i started little by little giving up discipline and giving into small comfortable things - taking a car instead of biking, going to gym less and less, drinking and smoking more and more, getting emotionally drunk on negativity and addicted on all kinds of emotions. i had suspicions i am an alcoholic around 6-8 years ago, i guess that is when my mind was still sane enough to be able to diagnose myself and see the danger i'm about to be swallowed in if i gave in.

but oh well, no one is to blame. the illness is what it is and it acts out and consumes me if i do not treat it. getting into the addictive comfort is easy, getting out of it - that is a challenge and a struggle.

today i ask myself: what can i do today different from yesterday? how can i step out of useless, destructive, boring routine that is no good for me?

and most importantly: what is good for me today?

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2018-07-23 23:33 - arlona
step #9 - amends

the well founded steps were working in the right order. the strong understanding of boundaries and uncontrollable things, leaving life up to Higher Power, moral inventory and a real, clear picture of oneself and life ahead made a logical continuance to relations with others.

some apologies i've made and some are still to come, but i wanted to share the strongest experience i've had and believe nothing will trump it.

my mother.

the last months have helped me stop denying and hating the part of me that is like her, but accept and handle it, feel compassion towards those characteristics. time has also helped me build boundaries. understanding we cannot influence how others react, what they say. and accept my shortcomings and truthfully want to recover.

i wasn't nervous about meeting her. the feeling i could describe it best was silence - there was silence inside of me. everything happening was going through the new filter and often it took time to understand how i actually feel about anything since overreaction, pseudo reaction and urge of reacting was no longer an option.

she was devastated to hear i'm an alcoholic. she blamed my man, which i wasn't angry about since understandably she needed someone to blame. i didn't get annoyed of her focusing on my illness instead of my recovery and the long path i've walked. i was honest but not aggressive or self protective. her desperate and angry words didn't hurt me, yet i still felt respect, understanding and warmness towards her. i hadn't numbed myself towards her. yet i could clearly distinguish between things answer to and things to let slide.

there was one struggle - i assumed she wanted this fairy-tale mother-daughter relationship, and deep inside i knew i couldn't give her one. she wasn't going to be my shoulder to cry on and best friend. so bewildered of the relationship i could offer her, i lay my doubts to the Higher Power, hoping for guidance.

and then it happened - she suddenly said - "you have always been a very reserved person, ever since you were born. you never wanted to play with other kids or get involved with activities, always sitting aside. i struggled trying to make a connection with you, but you never wanted to sit on my lap or for me to braid your hair." that simple. there was my answer.

i simply was an introvert who hated small talk and got even more secluded when someone tried to force a personal connection on me. i loved being on my own and only got involved if the rules were clear or if i felt safe. but i had grown up thinking there was something wrong with me. why wasn't i social? why didn't i have many friends? why don't i have close relationship to my mother? mother's frustration and desperation over the years was more than understandable, she just wanted to be close to her baby girl - who in return closed up even more, blaming everyone for her own shortcomings. and found a delusional answer in alcohol that made me chatty, social, theatrical, and desperately forcing or manipulating connections, robbing myself even more.
there was nothing wrong with me. i had always been an introvert and suddenly it was ok to be one. the frustration of trying to be like everyone else (and failing) and trying to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place was gone. at last, i could be who i was.

and there it was - i still felt respect, honesty, strength, kindness towards her - and could tell her that understanding the pain inflicted in its full volume, i still couldn't change who i was. i was an introvert person and that wasn't going to change. i would always answer any reasonable question she had and even talk, as long as it didn't overstep healthy boundaries or my values. i wasn't going to let my honest remorse transition into guilt and become a slave of my past. it might not be what she wants, but boundaries remind us that we can only be accountable for our own wishes and actions.

i had promised myself and her to be honest.
and kept my word.

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2018-07-19 13:36 - arlona
step #8 - list

only now i realize the magnitude of the harm i've caused to others, hiding in the victim's role.
and there is lots of it.
it wasn't hard to list all the people i've harmed, nor to admit those harms to myself and God.

i hope they can forgive me.
i have forgiven myself, willing to ask for forgiveness and make amends where it is possible and causes no additional harm.

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2018-07-17 22:30 - arlona
step #7 - pray

i prayed for my flaws to be removed. even went to a church and accidentally participated in a christening/baptizing ceremony, and it seemed that the words from the priest were meant for me personally.
however, then the usual service started and i left. Holy Trinity, Resurrection, Virgin Mary and Holy Church are still terms I don't understand, much less believe in them.

however.
a bit disappointing ending to something what once again was a delusional fantasy of my napoleon ego.

all of my character flaws were not removed at once then and there.
on Monday i woke up once again with the huge, demanding, hungry ego with the resulting consequences, reminding me that it is the Higher Power who is the director of my life, deciding when and how the flaws will be removed.

it is not up to me anymore.

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2018-07-14 23:51 - arlona
step #6 - flaws

listing my flaws for God to remove was the next step.

i feel emptied. but i also have no idea who i am.
i can no longer laugh, my jokes were venomous, sarcastic, filled with hidden resentment, envy and superiority.
i can no longer dance, play viola, do things i used to - they were done out of pure acting, tries of seduction or something that "was approved to be good" by others. even meeting friends was one big act to brag or complain. a tragically sad stand-up comedy.

without the ego, there are few joys now until i learn how to live honestly and build life from a scratch - listening to music, sunsets, wind, the smell of the nature, my dopey dog, great, refreshing sleep and shower, long walks, candlelight and a few more things that don't involve boosting an empty ego or any other of my flaws.

but joy will come.
i am ready for God to remove my flaws and take the next step.

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2018-07-14 17:22 - arlona
step #5 - admittance

writing down all my fears, angers, flaws and failures was difficult enough but also freeing.
to finally empty that huge sack of darkness i've been carrying around me for years.

admitting it to a person i trust deeply with my wrongdoings was a natural step for me. i let someone else see all that darkness. it is quite miraculous to comprehend it was possible.

every day further from the illusions.

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2018-07-11 10:07 - arlona
step #4 - moral inventory

by far the most difficult, painful and rewarding step i have taken.

listing all my angers, fears, resentments, and in the end, all hurtful actions i have caused has removed (almost) all illusion i had of myself. seeing that i am far from perfect, with many delusional beliefs of myself and others, the lack of responsibility i took for my life and the blame i put the other. and total lack of healthy boundaries.

i am no longer a victim. of my childhood, failed intimate relationships or friendships, everyday mishaps, employees, colleagues, teachers, anything.

only i am responsible for my own happiness, and my feelings and their expressions is the only thing i can and should influence. i've lost all anger, fear, resentment. but i also feel no guilt, blame, shame.
i've stepped out of the extremes of being "super awesome" and "piece of shit".

i just am. just like everyone else.

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2018-06-18 15:14 - arlona
step #3 - higher power

we are born hearing the concept of God - the ideological, biblical, religious persona, mirroring himself in various cultures all over the world, his image exploited violently and his name used in vain. no wonder so many people refuse believing in his existence.

i struggled with God's existence. raised in a christian family, religion was a part of my upbringing i so desperately tried to shake off in my early 20ties.

turns out God can be anything i believe he is. as long as i believe that there is power stronger and higher than me - power that moves forces in this world, that shows in the amazing humanity, nature, music. that makes wonders happen. God that does not have to follow any scripture or rules.

my God has saved me. i have entrusted my whole life in His hands. i no longer try to control anything, He is the Director of my life. the moment i let go of my worries and truly put my worries in his hands, i felt how faith works.

and it is my utmost duty to take care of myself and be good to myself as one of his creations.

may my road, health, life and work serve as a proof of His mightiness, love and power.

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2018-06-17 22:18 - arlona
step #2 - serenity

next task - pay attention to situations where serenity is telling one thing, yet i still do differently.

this was world changing.
it took me 2 hours to get to the first very, very plainly obvious example.
observing and listening to serenity helped me become calmer, patient, avoid anger outbreaks when something goes wrong.

simplest example - don't put a coffee cup on the couch (even if it is for 10 seconds until fetching the tv remote) when one can put it on the table.
the cup falling will only cause anger, spoiled couch and annoyance.

i'm following serenity.
it takes me to the path of peace, patience and steadiness.

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2018-06-11 08:23 - arlona
step #1 - weaknesses

every day understand and point out things that i am powerless of. things i cannot control.

this brought me closer to the serenity prayer.

at first it seemed plain, i cannot control other people, environment, and my own emotions. it became a lot more interesting when this became a practical task.
i realized there is no need for disappointment, anger, sadness, because a lot of things - a friend being late, a colleague being sloppy, a long line at the store, dog having pooped on the floor, me being in a bad mood after waking up - all of them were outside my control so there was no need for expressing the unpleasant feelings i might feel about these things.

sometimes i was powerless of my dysfunctional thinking. sometimes i was powerless of my disposition to alcohol, food, cigarettes, emotional addiction - however i could control my actions and how i behave, if i give in to these temptations or not.

i learned not to force, control, restrict myself. i'm rather feeling to what my body wants and why. is it a dysfunctional craving? am i scared, worried, tired? has it anything to do with reality? can i control it?

feeling and understanding myself honestly has been a blessing, it has helped me treating myself with greater love and care instead of pressure.

it is also easier to let go of things that i can't control.

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