The Recovery Group

A Personal Recovery




12-29

hi all,

Growing Pains:

It has been a traumatic couple of days for me as my "growing pains" remind me that there is pain and discomfort in this process of living and trying to pass on usable knowledge to ones children.

The agony of making a tough decision and following through put me in a funk yesterday. I realized in talking with my sponsor about a situation with my daughter that I actually was able to articulate my feelings about it, recognize exactly "what" the situation was, "knew" what I felt was the appropriate action to take, but because I didn't feel 'good' about that action, (which was to restrict my daughters outside activity) it made me feel like there was something yet to do, something that would make me feel "okay" about it.... but there wasn't, and it made me sad that I was going to have to deny her something she loves as a consequence of her actions.

This thought, that everything "right" or "appropriate" is suppose to make me feel good, was an amazing realization to me... doing the "right thing" is sometimes amazingly difficult and the cause of such inner turmoil that the stress it creates drives me to seek some immediate relief, and in the past that would have been food, and my immediate response to the talking over of this situation with my sponsor was that I got a knot in my stomach as we spoke of it, and I even said to her, in the past I would be eating over this because I don't want to have to feel this way.

I was looking for a way out of this situation, some way to teach my daughter the value of sustained effort, without having to make this decision, without enforcing the consequence of her actions.... same way I spent years trying to lose weight without altering my food intake.. :-) I didn't want to be fat, I just didn't want to have to give up the food to accomplish it. Surely there must be an easier way! Not!

Laws and consequences rule our lives and in most cases (for me at least) it is the fear of the consequence that influences my behavior. This is a negative way of looking at life, but it's where I am most of the time. I am finding now that there is 'some' joy in knowing that the laws work no matter what my motivation for following them. I can choose to perform random acts of kindness with my motivation for doing so as pure as possible, to give joy and comfort to another soul, or to be good to myself and eat in a healthy fashion because it is good for me to do so, and the "consequence" is that I will become more healthy spiritually and physically for doing it... or I can follow my food plan and go to meetings and make calls because I am afraid of continuing to be fat and unhealthy and miserable, and the result is the same - I will be more healthy and receive much more positive feedback from my fellow journeyers, and THAT will "feed" my spiritual development.. the law works, period!

My mind can sometimes fool me into thinking that "just a little" of a particular substance is ok, but my body will react to it as it has been programmed by my genetics to do, doesn't matter that I "think" it ought not to react that way, it's a law of the chromosome combinations and NOT what I conjure up in my thinking. I may even be able to "tolerate" small amounts of it, but I have to believe, and I do, that any amount DOES HAVE AN AFFECT of some kind, so my threshold for dealing with life may be raised or lowered by how much I'm willing to "push" that limit... how much am I willing to tolerate in order to be what I consider "normal".

As of right now, 10 months into my working this program, I am not willing to test those limits, my fear of returning to the way I was keeps me working this program everyday, keeps me NOT looking for new tastes and new ways to fix food that might prove more exciting, more diverse, it just is not worth it to me right now. That may change as I continue working this program and continue to mature a bit, but that is not for me to decide. When and if that time comes it will be my Higher Power leading me to a new place, and of course I won't just take my own perception of it as the truth, but share those thoughts and talk it over with my sponsor so that I can be sure of the source of the thoughts before taking action on them.

If there is one main thing I have learned, it's that I can't trust myself, I must seek outside help to 'check' my thinking and problem solving abilities, left to my own thinking I spent 10 years trying to rewrite the 12 step program because "I" knew how to do it better for me... ROTFLMAO (that's "rolling on the floor laughing my a** off") How arrogant I was, - and wrong!

well, this morning I sat with my daughter and talked over all these feelings, beginning by asking what her perceptions were for us having her do chores, her answer was very insightful and in my mind she grasps, intellectually, the purpose of parenthood, that of preparing her for living without us, and then I asked her how she "felt" about having to do them, she again was very articulate and told me that it depended, but most times she felt she didn't do anything well enough to please us because we are always correcting or giving addition ways in which it could have been accomplished better.

Our motivation may be pure, but the perception is one of her not being good enough, and that certainly wasn't my goal, it's how I was raised and so I can identify with that all too well, and though I make a conscious effort to balance the praise with the "corrective information", it seems it's still coming through as disapproval. We talked about this, we both cried a bit about it, but we "talked" about it, more than I remember doing in 'my' childhood. My parents simply "laid down the law", and there was no discussion, there was no room for me to feel anything about it, "you just do what you're told because 'I said so' " was the typical response.

The old tapes are hard to overcome, but I must begin making new ones, I can't continue to use them as an excuse for not changing my behavior, no matter what the "reasons" are for past actions, "I" am responsible for what I do, and of course that makes the consequence "mine" also.

Stay Strong!

love and hugs,
me


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