I didn’t make the time to study or write yesterday but things have been miraculous.
Night before last, my parents got here to surprise Caleb for his birthday. Both Beck and I were a bit nervous about them coming: I don’t really know how to cope with the feelings that come when they are around, and often times, I don’t know what feelings I’m really feeling.
But, they came and this is what happened:
We were talking on Wednesday night about Caleb and his friends and what’s going on in his life. We shared about the note he wrote to his neighbor friend, Haley, and how cute that whole story is.
Then we talked about one of his other friends, Colt, who tends to have a bit of a temper and competitive attitude.
I wasn’t planning on sharing anything with them, but the opportunity to talk about negative emotions came and I took it.
I started by sharing about the Addiction Recovery Relationship: how A = B and B = C. I talked about how that was so true in my life as an addict. Everything starts with the debilitating negative emotions.
As I talked, the words just came. It wasn’t awkward, it wasn’t blaming or shaming, it was just the truth.
Some of the main points that came out that I was grateful for were how I would feel fear, anger, anxiety, loneliness, and would then isolate and act out as a way to numb feelings. I talked about the Bishop experiences and how we never talked about what was going on in those situations.
I mostly shared about how we are living in recovery today, how we’re focused on rowing our own boats, and how we really want our relationship with them to be a positive one.
I talked about how, when they come, I have the tendency to go back to the old normal of fear: fear that I’m not good enough, fear of what they might say, fear of the contention they can bring, fear of so many things.
The experience was miraculous.
Mom asked a few questions, but Dad didn’t say anything at all.
When Becky and I went to bed, we were both pretty shocked at how well the conversation went.
But here’s the catch…
Yesterday, the day after this great talk, we celebrated Caleb’s birthday by taking him to lunch. Before that, Mom and Becky went to the SAL meeting together, which was another miracle – Mom went. I stayed and worked while Jayden and Dad were out in the living room watching Word World and reading.
This is where feelings of anger, resentment, and fear crept back in. Jayden came a few times asking me for help while I was working, which I have no problem with if we are here alone. But, in this case, Dad was sitting right there reading. In addition to that, I don’t believe that Dad said hardly anything to me the whole day, especially about our conversation the night before. He didn’t ask any questions, he didn’t share his feelings, nothing.
I know expecting this to happen is where I can change. Expectations are a tool of Satan. If I expect other people to do or say certain things, that can be an ingredient to fall back into self-pity mode and live the old normal.
I feel that’s what happened yesterday afternoon. After Caleb’s surprise lunch, we went shopping. Shopping with Mom has always been a trigger for me: she doesn’t let me row my own boat much – she makes things a lot harder than they need to be, at least in my eyes, and I get those fears of what other people are going to think, if they’ll feel I’m spoiled, etc.
Dad was there, but wasn’t present at all.
And these feelings of discontent and anger grew on me throughout the day. The tough thing was that I didn’t know why I was feeling the way I was until last night as Becky and I did our AEIOU’s. As she shared some things, the lights seemed to click on and I realized what I’d been feeling for a lot of the day.
I felt so grateful for her sharing and for the emotional connection we felt after a long and busy day.
I’m grateful today to be able to write about these feelings and understand myself better.
I’m grateful that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can and does help me with these feelings as I ask for the help and surrender them to Him.
I’m grateful that today is a new day – a day in recovery and surrender to God.
I look forward to making the day a productive one.
That’s all for now.