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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a work in progress

denver under construction (view from diamond hill)

part of the process of the 12steps is step 9 which reads:

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

for me this is not an easy one-two-three step. it is complicated and it involves history with people in my life who are in active addiction, it involves an abuser, and it involves my own behavior in sobriety as a result of ptsd. these are not simple items. these are very complicated circumstances for me. the lesson i am learning in my life is to really try to keep an open heart. to try- really try- to not control outcomes and to make room for miracles in my life.

i was able to have lunch with my cousin who lives in palm springs. he actually had helped me out and finally had to let go when i was spinning like a top in my tweaker costume. we didn't talk much about the horrors of all that. there's really not too much need for that. we did talk about our lives today, the way we are now, and the challenges we face. i was able to express to him that there is not a true way for me to understand how much i hurt him or how much inconvenience and pain i caused but i would definitely welcome the opportunity to set anything right.

he jumped in his seat and told me that no amount of money and no amount of favors could do as much for him as my acknowledging his feelings. he told me he was proud of me, and he told that he didn't know many people who could find their way back from hell, and then not only have the opportunities i have, but actually make use of them.

this blew me away...

the other amends i need to make with a family member went without being addressed. it wasn't the right time. that person can not hear what i have to say. and i am learning to just take things one day at a time and be completely okay with this. and try to become more willing.

and to all my blog friends in recovery, or in a state of healing, or considering either, this is added as an afterthought. indeed, recovery is a solo journey, but the truth is that it is an incredible ensemble piece. i cannot do it without the help of the people who come before me and the people who will come after.


absolutwillie said...

Thank you for this! I'm still battling with this step too - but I'm sure I'll be able to get there :0)

Marc said...

I like the way the word "amends" has within it "men,""ends," and "amen."

Sheria said...

I reeally like your characterization of recovery as also being an ensemble piece. Your inclusion of the performance from Sondheim is delightfully appropriate.

This is just a bit of personal trivia. I love Sci-Fi and I'm hooked on a show on BBCA called "Torchwood." The lead actor on the show is A tall, handsome guy by the name of John Barrowman. I had no clue that he is also a broadway actor/singer until I watched the video that you posted. Of course, this matters not one bit in the scheme of things but it made me feel excited! I know; I need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

I would imagine that this is a tough step. Particularly because how easy is it to know whether making amends is hurtful until one attempts it. I know when my Father reached this step in A.A., nobody wanted to hear his amends; including myself. In hindsight, I can only imagine how frustrating that must've been for him.

Chris said...

marc! haha. Amen to men ends, that's what I always say.

What a great post. Being in the top of the 9th as it were I'm quickly finding that the most difficult amends are also the most rewarding. I'm finding, too, that there is a right time to do them and that schedule may not be my own. Thy will be done is sometimes a bitter pill. This is, at least for me, an entirely new kind of humility and frankly I like how it fits.

But darling, really? Sunday in the Park with George? Really? I MIGHT have been able to overlook it if you were in the grips of an unnatural, but genetically predisposed fascination with Barbra, but this . . .

(pity, patience, tolerance, Chris. he IS perhaps spiritually sick like you)

oh, yeah, sorry. Nice video. Love you. Bye.

DirtyBitchSociety said...

Half the battle is to come to that point where you are willing. A willing spirit is what's important. Once you've come to this point, things begin to change not just for you but because of you. Never underestimate your own power to make a difference, even if it's slight. What I mean is that even the slightest understanding, even the slightest emotion attached to giving someone the gift of recognizing their emotions is bigger than we can surmise. Now I can't seem to say what I need to but I know it is a big step to "embrace" the thinking, the process and the presentation of ones self, humbled and giving of emotion to make such an impact.

I think I need to go back to bed, lol!

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