I Did It!!


I have REALLY diversified by approach to emotional recovery in the past few years… Really. I began going to Alanon and AA meetings probably 3 years ago…sporadically at most. Then a friend introduced me to Codependents Anonymous… Then she introduced me to ACA…And in the past year and a half I have been doing all or a couple of them at any one time…

I have learned that I like to get the lay of the ground before I end up committing to something. I also like to get an idea of what I already know, what I think someone else can teach me, and then decided where to go from there… I claim myself to be a fairly shrewd operator… πŸ˜‰ But of late I have thought also that I may be a tad…audacious…thinking sometimes that something or someone just may not be ‘up to’ the task of accommodating me…worthy…me…(?)

Well, I have stuck with going to these 12-step meetings and all because I have not been able to find the kind of gentle, accepting place to be, express, suffer…me… For…ever, anywhere. I have sought help inside myself, from friends, from therapists, and waited for the kinds of support from my parents that I thought would eventually come. Until the pain and suffering inside me was overflowing like both a sewer system and volcano were erupting from the same crevasses…

I have kept on going, and doing steps little by little, and waiting on myself to soften up, and waiting on the change, waiting for signs…and wow, does it come in curious patterns and moments. There has been no way for me to know what to expect from day to day…Until a little more recently. I have found some reprieve and healing in meditation and yoga too… And the spiritual awareness that 12-step and meditation has been helping me to find, and the physical awareness that yoga and mediation have helped me to find are beginning to be tangible.

I have not only begun to recognize my feelings, in even the slightest ways, as not ‘me’ but as separate from me and who I am, but I have also been able to consciously and effectively respond to and ‘treat’ them on a couple of separate occasions… For example, I got so angry/irate that I went and screamed in my pillow…so lonely and self-loathing that I went to a meeting. So frustrating with writing or working that I got up and went to the park, and I didn’t make dinner. Instead I went and bought it because I was tired. I am not perfect!!! (making myself dinner EVERY night to keep to a budget)… But I have fed myself.

Anyway, as I am gaining a spark of prowess in giving my feelings some of the attention that they deserve AND doing something to allow me to process and not be trapped by them, I have noticed myself allowing them to come up more…meditating and trying to stay with them more, thinking about them more, wanting to talk about them more (like here on wordpress)… But I also began to notice that because the newly developing recovering Shantelle is only a beginner, she gets a little wobbly sometimes, gets scared of all of that true emotion, and then angry, suppressive, resentful, bullying, profane, unaccepting, workoholic… Those demonic Shantelle voices start to pop up and hurt my feelings…and scare me, and try to stuff my already stuffed feelings back down… It is me against me. I need a referee, or something.

After all of this time in 12-step programs I have had 2 kind-of “co-” sponsors, but not a full-fledged guide who has done it, and has a lot of years behind them…someone who I can and must defer to in moments where my arrogant, angry, bullying Shantelle tries to spoil the recovery party and I just shrink down to a speck and slink away… Finally I discover more clearly something I need real help with, or more than one thing πŸ˜‰

Tonight I approached a woman at my Alanon meeting… I first saw her at AA meetings months ago probably. And her ‘self’ just shone to me. She has a shining smile. And an open heart. Happy eyes, and loving shares. I can almost taste her humility, and she does not despise herself anymore… That last thing is probably the biggest thing for me. She trusts herself with herself. I want to learn how to not despise myself any more, and I want to be around someone who does not despise themselves…I want to watch and listen to and talk to someone who trusts herself with herself. This woman has been at this Alanon meeting for about 4 years, and has many more years than that at AA. Last week when I saw her at the meeting I was happy to see her there, but it was not the moment to approach her for some reason. And this week…The topic was tradition 4…Autonomy and the greater good of the program – My mind went straight to my participation in the program, and how me being there benefits other people…And to the fact that my being there and benefiting other people will only be limited if I only go half-way. Luckily my insides have been crying out for help these past few weeks, and I had the emotional wherewithall to listen and respond to my own sweet self…

So, yes, in these past couple of weeks the idea of asking someone to sponsor me became more clear in my mind. Before even deciding who to ask for help I reached the next step!! I actually feel some relief… I am willing to be led. I am willing to hand myself over…I think I have handed my life to my higher power, to a degree I did not know I was even capable of… But I never dreamed I could ‘really’ ask for help and allow someone else that role in my life (except for maybe the boyfriends I have handed it over to…ha.). Not that asking for help did not immediately freak me out. When tonight’s meeting ended I tried to find a way to look ‘occupied’ while I waited to see if I could get the chance to approach this woman. I looked at a pamphlet, I put people’s chairs away, I small-chatted with a couple of people… Then, finally, I saw my moment. My heart felt about 2 cms wide but just started to beat like a snare drum…that quick. I shared during the meeting that the idea of ‘asking for help’ kind of puts me in some kind of crisis mode… Like Alice who just fell down the rabbit hole – I go from 4 feet high to 3 inches high…I have a rush of…every feeling…including a need to fight or flee…But tonight, I went up to her. The tears came as soon as I did. Tears of vulnerability, tears of fear, tears of resentment, tears of hating myself for having to ask for help with ‘anything’… Tears of fear of being rejected, no breath… a feeling like I had jumped out of a plane without a parachute… That is what it felt like in my chest. And then she agreed! She said yes…!

It is unreal the mixture of good and bad feelings that arose in me. The mean and nice thoughts that arose… As I am more and more able to look at myself, have that little space between me and all of those things going on in my head, I am amazed sometimes at the voices that sound like my ex, sound like my mother…the voices I have been subjecting myself to, and others to…in my head. I have a real barrage in there. I think I have a real sense of wanting to be kind and gentle and love unconditionally, but on the other side of the coin a built up ammunition of fear, resentment, hate, ire, for all of the times I have done so with people who did not feel the same way…

This asking for help tonight, in itself was like one of the 112 exorcisms I have to perform on my defective behaviors… It may only be like #2 or 3 out of 112…but it was a powerful stirring up…I definitely ‘poked’ one of my demons down there…deep inside… I antagonize him…? Yeah, maybe. Well, in any case, hopeful little Shantelle, who I have been trying learn how to take care of…is super giddy at this new turn I have taken. Yeeeehaw…!!! Onward my Love!! My road continues from here. Congrats for crossing that scary bridge… xo

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About wonderfulshantelle

Journey To My Wonderful Self

Posted on April 11, 2014, in 12-step, AA, Addiction, Adult Children, codependence, emotional abuse, emotional sobriety, Inner child, Meditation, recovery, Relationship, Uncategorized, withdrawal. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Shantelle, I’m so happy for you and I enjoyed reading every minute. We share the same demons. I made a post tonight, but nothing as detailed as you’ve provided as I haven’t found answers yet. But, you keep posting and I’ll keep reading and maybe I can get an idea.
    Teela ❀

  2. Teela! So nice to (read) from you πŸ™‚
    Yes, I think we definitely do have demons in common. I love your post… We don’t have answers…But I am warming up to the idea that they are delivered to us once we realize what kinds of answers we are looking for, and then when we consciously keep our senses pealed, exactly for that answer…

    Your metaphor is fantastic. Starting to use that trust muscle…so weak from mis-use or lack of use altogether…I’m going to have to start doing that too, now that I have chosen to depend on someone else for this kind of ‘real’ help… I felt my fear, distrust, and protective shell start to come back up even while I was talking to my new sponsor tonight… Even while she was so open and ready to have me come into her life. I felt it. I hated it. Then as I was hating it I realized that I noticed it. Before I would have ignored my distrust and passed it off as something ‘not quite right with ‘them”! Nope. It was me…

    I hope we can participate in this trust-muscle workout together.

    Today I celebrate that I can trust myself to make a scary decision – to help ME.
    Given all of the ‘excavating’ you are doing, I celebrate that you may actually trust yourself to do the same.

    It is ourselves that we must trust first anyway…

  3. Yay!! Such a scary thing, not just reaching out for help, but actually accepting the guidance we receive. So happy and proud of you! The more you put into recovery, the more you’ll get out of it. Putting our trust in another human to guide us through the steps is a big thing that gives way bigger rewards than you can imagine. Super excited for the wonderful journey ahead of you!

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