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Working my steps again.....question?

Old 01-19-2017, 11:21 AM
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Working my steps again.....question?

I'm going through my steps again, this time with a new sponsor. I am on step 3 and while I was working through my recovery books and reading, I found myself starting to cry. Not even sure why I got triggered but it obviously needed to happen.

I told my sponsor that I was afraid to work the steps again. Afraid that I would re-evaluate my life, like I did when I was living with active alcoholism, and come to find out that I failed again or that I made a bad decision again, etc. I literally have been dreading doing any further discovery work about myself. I know my assets and my liabilities, isn't that enough?

So, today, I realized that, even though I feel great and life is good, and that I'm ready to take my licensing exams again and feeling much more prepared for them this time around, I am feeling resistance within myself.

My son has his first job and is doing well. He's the captain of his tennis team and he's running the conditioning camps. My bf and I are getting along well and his youngest is in a good place lately where she's not rebelling or acting out with anger so much right now, either.

In other words, things are fine. Life is good and I'm managing. But, working the steps brings about fear and anticipation of something to come, a dread that I feel deep inside of me, that I really can't put my finger on. It was painful the first time around......and now I'm going to do it all over again? You'd think I had lost my mind. I also feel like I'm wanting to detach from people, especially my bf. Kind of like I'm preparing myself to end the relationship because who the hell knows what will come to me while I work the steps again, so I might as well detach and pull away now. I want to run but I have no place to go. It's like an oppressiveness that comes from within. I look confident, feel good about myself, I'm working out, and I honestly do feel good physically and mentally.......but emotionally and spiritually is a different story. It's those deep things that I hide from and I also think I'm afraid that if I face them myself, that I will in some way, bring them to my bf. Whether it be with my attitude, my character flaws, or my detachment.......I know he will sense something because the man is the most intuitive guy I've ever met. He knows things about me that I sometimes won't see or admit to myself. I've never had anyone, other than my sponsor, know me this well.

So, maybe it's my fear of being known? Not only being known by others but also to myself?
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Old 01-19-2017, 12:03 PM
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you might wanna see if you can get your hands on a copy of Ernie Larsen's Stage II Recovery book. while his primary focus is addiction, the recovery "bit" is the same for anyone. i think it speaks to where you are right now.....

i also found it valuable to pick a topic or target for step work beyond the first few go-rounds. this isn't about trying to find out just what a wretch Liz IS......but to uncover the habits and belief systems and coping mechanisms still in play that are self-defeating.
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:06 PM
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Lizatola-

I have had phases of recovery.

During the initial phases there was an frenetic energy about my recovery. Once I finally let myself realize I needed it I threw myself into it and did a ton of growth, spent a lot of energy on recovery, read voraciously, steps, therapy etc.

This was in place for a bit.

More recently as the frenetic, emergent energy is calming down I am finding that my recovery deepens and becomes about older, deeper ways of being.

For me in this circumstance my recovery might be ABOUT examining the feelings you describe. Where did it come from? How long has it been there? Why am I "blaming/shaming," myself for feeling this way. Why do I feel like I have to always "figure this out." I did a lot of crying. Good lord I unearthed a ton of old anger that I had never let myself feel before. I had some old physical symptoms surface.

I thought initially this was all a sign of failure of my recovery. As I settled in I realized that this was a settling in of my recovery. I had room to feel what I had not allowed myself to do before. I need less recovery "tasks," for myself now and more "being in recovery," and honoring what nourishes me.

I found with more space in my recovery deeper things rose up and that things like step work or therapy might cover similar topics but was unearthing much different things.

I am sure I have written this before, but my recovery has been like an artichoke. I come up with similar topics but the deeper the layer I am at the closer I am getting to the heart of me.

My two cents but you sound like you are right on track.
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I will be sure to check it out, Anvil.

I do have a 'target' for my working of steps 4-7 right now.

I know I'm dealing with anger issues, mostly at myself. I've had a lot of talks with my son about what is going on with his dad and I'm so sorry that I didn't leave sooner, that I wasn't brave enough to branch out on my own, that I had allowed myself to become dependent on him and fearful.

I remember being young and full of hope and big dreams and having all kinds of confidence. I lost all of that slowly through my marriage to my XAH. I'm dealing with a lot of grief, anger, and just basically feeling agitated regarding all of this.
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:40 PM
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can i make one suggestion? go back and start over with Step One and your "focal" point. so that you have continuity in your thoughts and feelings and assessment of the situation.

i also hope you are writing out EACH step.......not just reading and saying yeah yeah got that, next.
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
can i make one suggestion? go back and start over with Step One and your "focal" point. so that you have continuity in your thoughts and feelings and assessment of the situation.

i also hope you are writing out EACH step.......not just reading and saying yeah yeah got that, next.
I did. And, yes, I do a thorough written journal with my sponsor. She's not going to let me get off easy, lol!
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:25 PM
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excellent!

i'm old school recovery...back in the late 80's.....back when you went shopping for the perfect pen and notebook and got busy.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
excellent!

i'm old school recovery...back in the late 80's.....back when you went shopping for the perfect pen and notebook and got busy.
Me too! But, I just tried to do some step work via a word document and I couldn't do it, lol! I really get so much more out of it if I write stuff down.
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:34 AM
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I find that my recovery work cycles around a lot of the time too Liz. It's not a failure in my process or in the work that I do but that as I continue to grow & learn more & have more knowledge to apply, it changes the way I look at things. And as I get healthier & more confident I am capable of handling more & more.

It puts me in mind of that saying, "when you know better, you do better". If I find more to examine in an issue it isn't necessarily because I shortcut the work involved, but that new tools & new insights help me to have better clarity than I had previously.

As long as I'm not wallowing (moving in to my Wound Territory & setting up camp, refusing to do anything but examine it over & over & over & calling that "healing"), these re-visits help me make new headway. My best friend & I refer to it like a spiritual "cleaning" & marvel at how you sometimes have to go back into some "rooms" over & over & over to really de-clutter them fully. Sometimes you can't GET to all of it at once because you have to break things down in layers & accept the pieces & parts one-by-one.

I remember a convo we had a couple of years ago where I was lamenting finding myself retracing old issues over again & how I was just not expecting to be walking back in this circle again. I told her I felt like I was all geared up to clean out a hallway closet that had been ignored but when I wrenched the door fully open to examine the insides, I found a hallway leading to another entire wing of the house full of emotional damage I hadn't even realized was there because it had been sealed up tightly for so long. I couldn't have known it was there because it took me *that* long in my recovery to clear away the boxes & cobwebs & old crap stacked outside blocking the door. I hadn't even known there WAS a door there until recently, ya know?

Just remember to cut yourself some slack Liz, you can be really hard on yourself! Don't worry about doing it "right" or "perfectly" or any of that noise - just do "you" honestly & whole-heartedly & everything else will fall into place around you, I'm sure of it.
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