Have you ever heard that recovery cliche, ‘turning it over’? It means, taking all that you’ve got going on – the worry, the fear, the significant other, the landlord, the boss, the bills…and handing it over to God.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘Oh no, this is one of those, religious fanatics.’ Well maybe I am, or maybe I’m not – doesn’t really matter does it? You’re here reading this so maybe, just maybe this is something you’ve been guided to read.
Avoid. Mask. Pretend.
I got sober a number of years ago. I’m in recovery from a massive addiction to booze and drugs. I did almost everything you could think of. I did it so that I didn’t have to feel, so I didn’t have to face life on life’s terms. Avoid. Mask. Wish away. Run. Pretend. I will tell you that a lifestyle such as that can bring about a shit-ton of misery.
Lying, cheating, hiding, carousing, manipulating, twisting and turning my soul inside out. For me, the game came very close to being GAME OVER, many times. I did however try many different avenues before actually admitting to the fact that I was an addict of morose and epic proportions. Once you say those words to yourself you can’t really take them back. They are out there, in the Universe and they will echo back at you any time you remotely consider wishing them away – or pretending you didn’t mean it. ‘Oh no Universe, I meant to say, I’m good, really good, I got this…come on, you know me. I joke sometimes. I was only kidding’. HA, the Universe is like NO F’in way. We are in this together and it’s time for a serious script flip.
Well, for me, thankfully that is part of my story. God and the Universe were there with glass in hand and ears pressed to the proverbial wall. They were not having me take back my words. When I think back to that time, I’m overcome with gratitude, and am so intrinsically thankful they were listening to my cries. My soul was finally pushing its way to the front of the battle ground and taking charge. My soul said, “I’ll handle this, I believe she’s just about ready.” It took a little prompting and a LOT of pain. That time, in my early sobriety, I was a bundle of confusion, much like Twilight Zone. I had no idea which end was up and which was down. My emotions were completely out of whack. My head and my heart had been in a war for what seemed like forever and I wasn’t sure that I would ever be different than I was.
Turning It Over
Once the spin of booze and drugs were removed, I was standing for the first time in my life, on steady ground. I remember thinking, “okay, this isn’t too bad. I can do this.” It’s like the first time you put roller skates on and you stand still for those few seconds before the wheels roll out and you fall on your ass. I was feeling just good enough, floating just perfectly on that ‘pink cloud’ and finally committing to doing things a different way.
There started the journey into another dimension. A sober life!
Living in sobriety is truly a trip. You are present to everything! It was as if I had new skin and was high on “feel” alert – defcon five people! Now I was alive, fully present and just learning to walk. Getting honest, telling my story, forgiving myself, prayer and meditation, confronting past behaviors and actions, making amends. There was work to be done and I got to do it. All of these new feelings and references made up a new life. They culminated to wisdom, maturity, humble confidence and acceptance in being able to see who I was, and setting out, one day at a time, to be a better version of myself.
“I Wouldn’t Change A Thing”
I love my life today. I’m 10 years sober by the Grace of God and the fellowship of AA. I’ve lost, and loved. I’ve crumbled and ascended. I’ve failed and I’ve succeeded. So much life has happened and I have been present to it all. Some of it hurt so bad, I feared my heart would actually break, but most of it has been just a normal day in the “Life of Me.” A good portion of it has been blissful, pleasurable, astonishing and monumental. A blessed life made up of all variations of feeling and experience.
I wouldn’t change a thing from the seat that sit in today. Not the pain and suffering of being an active addict and alcoholic, because it was a bridge to a life beyond what I could have imagined. Not losing both parents, because I had them as loving, compassionate, generous and wonderful parents. Not finding love, to lose it or have it not be what I expected. Nothing…I would change none of it because I AM all of the things that I had imagined for myself as I sat on a bar stool attempting to create a life in a drunken haze only to forget all about it in a blackout.
I wake everyday thankful for everything, all of it – the good – the difficult – the heartache – the friendships…ALL of it. I’m living a different life than I believed I would, but it’s a far better life because I was able to turn it over. And that in itself is a recipe of God’s will and Grace.
Written by Gina Andreano, a recovery coach based in Hoboken, NJ. Published in Sober Nation on May 13, 2019. View the full article here.