11 April 2011

Drinking was just a sympton...

The sixth promise of ACOA says, "We will enjoy feeling stable, peaceful, and financially secure."

All my problems as a young adult stemmed back to my drinking and drugging. Stability and being at peace were far from my life. I lived one drama to the next. I lived everyday wondering if I had a job or would I get fired. I wondered if I did something during a blackout that would land me in jail.

Stability and peacefulness took the form of paranoia. It was not a fun life. Emotionally, everyday I was committing spiritual suicide. I had no feelings for the future or anybody around me... all I wanted was to stay numb... and die a little more each day.

Sobriety began to change my attitude on how I viewed life. Slowly the feelings that I buried began to come to life and after I dealt with the pain, guilt, and the shame of it all... I did begin to find some stability... but I still struggled with peace.

But the longer I stayed sober, the more I began to see and understand that alcoholism was just the tip of the iceberg with me. I needed to look at my childhood and come to grips with what had happened. For years I tried to bury the trauma of it and act like it didn't affect me. But it did.

For me, dealing with the past is like walking a tightrope. I need to look at it... but I also can't live in it... or I will forever remain a victim. The peacefulness came when I was honestly able to look at my past and realize I wasn't responsible for my childhood. I was an innocent child whose life was in the hands of two alcoholics. My mom was out of control, my dad was out of control, and they were in control of me. Pretty scary thought.

So how did I find that peacefulness that I so much needed and wanted. I found it, by pampering the little boy in me. By at times, spoiling that child, but also teaching him the right way to treat others so at the end of a day I can look in the mirror and find some respect for myself.

I'm still learning and teaching myself on how to become a better child, who someday will become a better adult. It is a process and unlike a college education, I will never graduate but will continue to learn.

The part about being financially secure used to baffle me. I always looked at this promise as one that means I need a six figure income and have seven figures stashed away. And that stole part of my stability and peacefulness because it was a goal that was unattainable.

Financially secure for me today means that I am living comfortably and my needs are met. If my needs are met, overtime with very little effort my wants will also be achieved.

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