spent saturday driving to the middle of absolute nowhere to meet my sponsor to give my step 5. we live about four hours away from each other, so we split the difference and met 1/2 way. we sat at a place called "the million dollar view" and it was beautiful. my family drove with me and sacrificed a lovely saturday trying to find something to do in the middle of nowhere. god bless them. we really had no idea it was so far from anything. they are good sports.
as i sat in her car, this woman who is committed to me, but nearly a stranger - i felt safe and assured that she was the right one to hear this. it is the fifth time i have done the fifth step. each time scraping away at the debris as i climb this spiral staircase known as the 12 steps. each time i pass by the familiar parts of my life - sometimes i have to face again the similar things because they still cause pain or i still have resentments. but surprisingly each time there are things that no longer push that button or pull that puppet string like they used to. and i am amazed. in awe of the process. things that used to baffle us....
it was a totally new process this time, really well done, charts based on the big book wording done in such an intuitive, nearly inspired way - i made connections this time through that i have never made before. it was a really good process.
i did have to face the crap from these past 2 years though and i did not like that one bit. face first in the refuse pile is not my favorite place to be. i had to admit my part in my community falling apart. i had to face my pain and resentments toward those who had hurt me so badly and i had to own my own desperate need for attention and approval and know that in these next few steps there will need to be amends made and character defects given to god.
it was grueling at times. face first. god help me. admitting my greatest character defect, my desperate need for approval and attention from spiritual men in authority (whatever the hell that means - and yes, i am untangling it) - mostly my dad - and the lack thereof has torn off a piece of my shielding and left me so vulnerable.
as i spoke with liam this week i acknowledged that there could not have been a more "perfect cocktail" prepared for me than the person i struggled with for the past two years. it truly has very little to do with him - but our velcro of needs pulled us together in a fearful way and it leaves me scared that it could happen again. we have not had any meaningful contact in ages. but the fear remains.
his wife means so much to me - she is in my recovery group and the hardest part of all of this has been my desire for absolution from her. i know this probably will fall into that place of 'more harm than good' - she is in great denial of this whole process. i am not the only woman her husband has sought out - this is far greater than just me - but for my part i truly want to look her in the eyes and apologize. having to admit that i wanted to "beat her" in the competition for his attention (to even the score on all of the great and wonderful things she has that i do not) was absolutely the lowest point in my recent history. i wanted to wretch when i had to first write it down, and again when i said it to god, again to myself, and thirdly to another human being... so i'm writing it here now too - hoping against hope that it will lessen it's shame as i truly don't know if i will ever be able to make direct amends.
i know that amends are 3 steps away - and wisdom and strength will be given when the time is needed, but today it still holds so much power over me, and i want it gone for today. i feel so weak, so needy and nearly desperate to fill myself back up. i am shaky, physically feeling wrung out and wanting to isolate myself in a deep way.
i have an hour or so left of reflection before i move on to step six. i will be spending time with god and the big book and looking back at the process and answering a few questions. my sponsor has also given me a mantra. 10x a day when i wake up and 10x a day before i go to sleep. it's only three lines - but i am having a horrible time remembering it. i can't even type it from memory right now - so i am searching for where i wrote it down.
i am capable
i am competent
and i am worthy.
couldn't remember competent. those words choke in my throat. i know that one day i might believe them. today i am turning them into an art piece to place next to my bed so i won't forget or have an excuse. i also found a sheet that has prayers for each step from an old OA newsletter. this is the one for step 5:
my inventory has shown me who i am,
yet i ask for your help in admitting my wrongs to another person and to you.
assure me, and be with me, in this step, for without this step i cannot progress in my recovery.
with your help, i can do this and will do it. amen.
i am capable
i am competent
and i am worthy.
fake it till ya make it, eh? i can do this, and i will do this. amen.