On Sunday morning I was getting ready for my niece’s first birthday party, listening to music, reading my morning meditations. Suddenly I had an overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame come over me. It was so oppressive all I could do was sit at my desk and cry. I cried like a little baby for a while, a long while. It was really strange. These were feelings I have not felt in a while, not since the fall. I felt so guilty for all the shit I had done and the person I use to be. It was almost as if I was afraid that my little niece would somehow, some way, see through all my progress in recovery and see the person I use to be. Maybe she could see the raging drug addict inside me, kicking and screaming to get out.
Tonight, the meeting I went to was about all the times we had said we were sorry for all the shit we had done when we really did not mean it. I thought about all the times I told my parents I was sorry for running out of money and that I would never do it again. Or all the times I was late to work or too hung over to get the job done. Maybe, I had apologized for disappearing for days upon end not letting anyone know where or how I was. I said I am sorry so many times for so much, and I knew I was lying. I was just trying to get myself out of whatever predicament I had gotten my self into and needed help getting out of. It was all bullshit. For all the wrongs I committed, I have made my amends. I have admitted my wrong doings and asked how I can fix them. Today, those amends are real and sincere. The difference is now I have action behind the amends. I work diligently to be a different person. I show up when I say I will be there. I don’t lie like I did before to the people I love. I honor those amends by keeping my word and changing my life. Today, I admit when I am wrong quickly and try to bring resolution to the situation I have disturbed. Today, I examine my part in everything that happens in my life. I try hard to own up to my actions instead of playing the blame game. For now, there are no more empty apologies.
Something else that this episode of guilt, shame and remorse, has caused to resurface is the fact that I have not fully forgiven myself for the way I treated myself. I have not fully forgiven myself for the financial situation I have put myself in. For all the money spent on school and still not having my degree. For allowing myself to be hurt over and over by people that are bad for me. I have not forgiven myself for the damage that I have done my body from excessive consumption. Today, I realized that I have to go to the doctor. I am having serious weight issues, and this has come about from years of cocaine use, lack of exercise and poor eating habits. I cannot blame anyone else for any of these poor choices. They all rest upon my shoulders. They are my mistakes and I have to own them. And like the any other relationship, I can no longer make false apologies for my actions. What I must do is everything I can to make amends to myself and continue to live in a healthier, responsible manner. Today, I am all I have, and without that forgiveness, I will stay out of God’s light and continue to spin the wheel. My friend shared tonight that his ego can burn him on both ends. His ego makes him think he is better than or worse than those around him. But only through humility and keeping the world at eye level, will he continue to move forward. You see, I am no better than the gutter drunk, and no worse than the billionaire on the yacht. Through self forgiveness, I will find my way.
Tonight, when I shared about my breakdown on Sunday, I shared about the blessing that my niece never has to see me intoxicated. The reality is that as long as I stay sober and continue to do the next right thing, that old devil will continue to fade into the past and even though my memory of him will burn bright for survival, he will never have the chance to haunt her.