Sunday, September 29, 2013

Step Seven: Spiritual Principles

We Humbly Asked Her to Remove Our Shortcomings

Have I accepted my powerlessness over my shortcomings as well as my addiction? Expand on this. I suppose the gamut of all of this is that if you cannot practice something in moderation, don't practice it at all.  Powerless is not helpless.  Nor is it an excuse to act on these shortcomings.  If I keep thinking the way I have been, I am doomed to relapse.  If nothing changes, nothing changes.  I have to change the mode in which things are perceived, which is a shortcoming in and of itself, and once I challenge that, everything else falls into place.  I cannot change anything by using old modes of thought.  I am not helpless to take another path however.

How has my surrender deepened?I'll say.  Trust in my Higher Power has come leaps and bounds.  I feel I have been put through a lot these past four and a half years in order to show me that playing with fire will get you burned.  I have to trust that things will pan out, with or without me.  I can participate and influence things in my favor, or run away and let the path of least resistance prevail.  Oftentimes, that path gets very dark. The fool learns from his mistakes.  The wise man learns from others' mistakes.  But who, in the end... is truly wiser?

Do I believe that my Higher Power will remove my shortcomings or grant me freedom from the compulsion to act on them? Do I believe that I’ll be a better person as a result of working this step? If I have learned anything from meetings, it is that She will remove them on her own time.  Sometimes it helps to recognize a shortcoming and maneuver around it.  This grants better understanding of the self and the situation at hand.  She'll take them if I let her.  And if I find them cropping back up, it is because I haven't let them go fully.  I'm ready to grow, so yes, I will be a better person for it.

How does my faith in the God of my understanding become stronger as a result of working this step? You can't give yourself completely to something without trusting it implicitly.  Trust is a rather large issue for me, and learning to do so -- getting burned or not -- is a process.  The first of which, is of course, the Goddess and the God.  To trust Them is to surrender.  To surrender is to be free.

Where have I had opportunities for growth lately? What did I make of them? Peter is trying to take my little girl away from me.  I thought I had until she was at least 18 in order to find a reason to do this for myself.  If not for me, then for her, right?  Wrong.  I need to do this for me now, and do so before I am forced to.

Do I believe that only my Higher Power can remove my shortcomings? Or have I been trying to do it myself? I'm queen of solitary confinement.  I don't need help.  I don't want help.  Fuck off if you offer.  But little by little, bit by bit, I know that I cannot do this alone. And to have a little faith means being humble enough to admit a need for help.  There are ample opportunities my Higher Power throws at me.  She can lead me to water, but she cannot make me drink.  I need to know when I'm put in a situation that may be painful, but necessary.  The more I try to control it, the more it squirms out of my grasp.  Minimal force needed.  Let it happen while not standing idly by.  A tough balance to strike, but mastery warrants happiness.

Have I become impatient that my shortcomings haven’t been removed right away, as soon as I asked? Or am I confident that they will be removed in God’s time? Confident is not a word I'm familiar with on the regular, but it comes down to trust.  I'm already seeing my humbleness in droves, and that I am capable of that is inspiring.  What else am I capable of? I am inclined to question.  And I intend to find out.  Patience.

Has my sense of perspective been out of proportion lately? Have I begun thinking of myself as more significant or more powerful than I really am? I wish.  If I want to power back, I can always take it, and all the weight that comes with it.  Each step makes my burden a little lighter.  I am not the center of the universe.  Not everybody is out to get me (only a select, deranged few).  There is no conspiracy.  I'm a drop in the bucket, wanting to be the drop that makes the bucket overflow.

Look what you had to start, why all the change of heart? you need to play your part
~Ghosty with the mosty

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Step Seven: Getting Out of the Way

We Humbly Asked Her to Remove Our Shortcomings

How does the spiritual principle of surrender apply to getting out of the way so a Higher Power can work in our lives? I was told at a meeting once that you can either let go and let it happen or hang on and get dragged along.  Also if you are not moving forward (or at least sideways), you are sliding backwards.  I have done nothing a lot and caused a lot of damage just by standing still.  Like stubbornly crossing my arms and saying, "nope, you can't make me."  Pride and stubbornness were my downfalls.  The Serenity Prayer has been my saving grace lately.  I must change the things I can, but not rage at things I cannot in a futile fight.
If things were meant to happen, things will happen.  But I have to participate in my life, not idly watch it go by.

What might be the benefits of allowing a Higher Power to work in my life? My best thinking landed me here.  We smart addicts think too much, and we get in our own way a lot.  My dad says we're the worst kind.  I couldn't do it on my own.  Time to let someone else guide me.  I'm still in the drivers seat, I just need a different map.  A GPS. Stop and ask for directions.  You'd think I was a man or something (snort). 

How do I feel, knowing that a Higher Power is caring for me and working in my life? A lot of people might say 'relieved' or 'inspired.'  Fuck that.  I'm apprehensive as hell.  I'm so used to being in control that letting go is a very scary thing.  To trust the Higher Power of my understanding is to admit defeat, which is what I essentially did in step one.  If She can get me this far, she can put me in opportunities I never thought possible.  Challenges that are coming at me when I think I'm down and out for the count are forcing me back to my feet in ways I never imagined I could do.  She keeps me on my toes I guess.  I find that introspection for myself is quite difficult, but then again if it were easy, that would be an insult to my intelligence or complexity, wouldn't it? har har har.

I'm running out of places I can hide from this
~Ghost out

Step Seven: Asking to Have Our Shortcomings Removed

Humbly Asked Her To Remove Our Shortcomings

How will I ask the God of my understanding to remove my shortcomings? I had a ritual in mind, involving the seven gates that Innana passed through in her hubris to challenge her sister Ereshkegal, Lady of the Underworld.  At each of these gates, she had to leave something behind.  Ereshkegal struck her down after she was led through naked on her hands and knees and Enki had to come rescue her.  Going back through, she gained aspects of wisdom after a hard lesson learned (her sister pretty much kicked her ass).  This myth is congruent to the challenges of life.  We as humans face an average of seven in our lifetime (though by no means is that number set in stone).  Each time we come back stronger, or at the very least changed.  I want to recover with grace, not be deformed by the very madness that makes me myself.

Can other recovering addicts help me figure out how I’m going to ask? Have I asked them to share their experience, strength, and hope with me? Have I asked my sponsor for guidance?  Elaine is pretty oblivious to Pagan thought, though Camilla might have some insight.  Unfortunately Camilla lives in Millerton, about two hours away, and is very busy caring for her deathly ill partner.  She doesn't return phone calls often, and is one of the only other Wiccans I know within the program.  This may have to be a solitary ritual.  Elaine has offered to help, though her lack of knowledge in the area has proven quite and obstacle.  I can't keep putting this off.  If I have to do it by myself, then so mote it be.

The more we change, everything stays the same

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Step Seven: Preparing to Work Step Seven

We Humbly Asked Her to Remove Our Shortcomings

Which of my attitudes have changed since I’ve been in recovery? Where has the overblown been deflated, and where has the healthy part of me been uncovered? I have acknowledged that not only reality exists, but must be respected, honored and lived.  The pain of life is no different, no less despair inducing and oppressing, but it is not a reason to go running away screaming.  I don't have to so vehemently reject it, fear it and ultimately discard it.  The want in me is slowly being replaced by motivation.

How does humility affect my recovery? HUMILITY: noun, the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance or rank.  Being realistic about my attitudes and beliefs in myself has given way to realistic expectations.  I am not god, but I am not helpless.  I am manipulative, lazy and cruel, but I am also empathetic, passionate and intelligent.  I must use these qualities to healthy ends, though I will not delude myself into thinking that I will use them for purely good.  I am human, and I make mistakes.  Even acts that are selfish or intended to harm don't have to be viewed as mistakes on my part -- simply steps taken in an attempt to live, experience and relate to other human beings.  Once I can be real with myself, I can be real with the world.  Which means facing it, for better or worse.

How does being aware of my own humility help when working this step? Being open to the idea that a Power greater than myself has the wherewithal to remove something from me, anything really, is a humbling thought in and of itself.  Trust comes into play.  How do I know that once I turn these things over that She won't take something else of mine that benefits me? Would it have helped me in the first place? See Step Three.  Faith and Trust are two completely different ideals.  I am dealing with the Faith aspect of the spectrum; having faith that this entity will open avenues for me to follow in order to rid myself of my addictive and harmful qualities.  The opportunity is there.  Now it's up for me to do the legwork.  Well fuck, there goes lazy.

How has my understanding of a Higher Power grown in the previous steps? How has my relationship with that Power developed? Well She has certainly gained a good amount of trust upon answering 'prayers' offered in desperation.  When I remembered, "Oh yeah, what ABOUT God?" things just fell into place, though through my eyes the answer has been tenuous at best.  I still worry about what is going to happen next week.  I still obsess over what happened last week.  They say "one day at a time," and it's beginning to make more and more sense by the hour.

How has my work on the previous steps made me ready to work the Seventh Step? Well step six is being entirely ready, isn't it? Life just keeps getting more ironic by the day.

I memorized the words to the porno movies.  It's the only thing I want to believe.
~Ghost out


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Step Six: Moving On

We were entirely ready to have the Goddess remove all these defects of character

What do I see myself doing with the qualities I wish to attain? If I want spiritual peace, I must walk the Black Path and follow my Higher Power to higher states of awareness.  If I want to publish a book, I have to work on it.  If I want to be calm, I have to stop worrying so much about the little shit.

What will I do with my career? What career? I've blown that one out of the water irreversibly.

What will I do with my spare time? Be more creative, be more spiritual and be there for the people that love me and that I love.

What kind of parent, child, partner or  friend will I be? I can raise a daughter far better with a clear heart and a focused mind.  I will reach out to my partner instead of holding it in.  I will return favors instead of just taking them, and I will not brush off others' feelings so easily.

Empathy is my biggest flaw.  No, I take that back.  Giving a fuck is my defect here, and when it's an inconvenience to me I rarely lift a finger.  My give-a-fuck meter is stuck on "nuh-uh."  I want it at least in the "tepid" state at worst.  I don't want to be a user anymore.  I don't want to have nothing to offer in return.

Going on and on I have the future in my hands
~Ghost out

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Step Six: Spiritual Principles

We were entirely ready to have the Goddess remove our defects of character

How am I demonstrating my commitment to recovery at this point? I have been throwing myself at service work, putting myself in the center of PI and getting voted onto the panel of local H&I.

By working the first five steps, I have persevered in my recovery.  Why is this quality so vital to the sixth step? I've come this far.  I can't look back. Everything is on the table at this point, and there is no point in turning in now.  Go big or go home.

Am I willing to have all my defects of character removed at this time?  If not, why not? I am still apprehensive at this point, but willing? Yes. I may not like all of me, but its a part of me that makes me me.  If I am not me ... who am I? I'm not claiming to know myself very well, but there are parts of me I want to know.  What if those are the parts that are taken away?

What have I done to show my willingness today? I socialized.  I didn't like it, but I tried to show my gratitude and charisma to Nate's mother.  She was cool.

Do I accept myself today?  What do I like about myself?  What has changed since I've been working the steps? Of course I don't accept myself.  Why would I be on a plethora of psyche meds if I did?  I see a counselor, I take anxiety medication, I don't understand myself and the never ending quest is a source of anguish.  I can, however, accept the fact that I don't accept myself the way I am, mostly because I am not done growing.  I like my intelligence, my creativity and my ability to lose myself into music like no other.  I feel it.  I live it.  It is me, and sometimes it speaks to me. I guess that makes me crazy.  But I like to think it's the genius kind of crazy and not the psychotic kind.  Since working the steps I have discovered all sorts of things about myself that I may or may not like, and can relax a little about it.  Because just for today, it's okay.

I'm still breathing

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Step Six: Our Defects of Character

We were entirely ready to have the Goddess remove all our defects of character

List each defect and a brief description of it. Anger. I hate people. Disgust.  I hate people. Withdrawal. I. HATE. PEOPLE.

In what ways do I act on these defects? I pull away from the people I know and love; the people that care about me and want me to succeed.  I push them away to deal with things all by my lone self so no one else is burdened.  I can handle this myself and I don't need your help, thank you very much.

When I act on these defects, what effect does it have on myself and others? I get lonely so I want to use.  People think I don't care or are maliciously seeking to hurt them, when all I want to do is curl up in a corner and cry.  I don't want to be touched or talked to, but it's not like I'm trying to hurt anyone.  Just leave me alone.

What feelings do I associate with these defects? Am I trying to surpress certain feelings by acting on a certain defect? Isolation, fear, loneliness, despair.  I pull away and use so I don't have to deal with the world at large, which mostly sucks as it is.

What would my life be like without this behavior? Which spiritual principle can I apply instead? Perhaps it would be easier to trust and open up to people if I didn't put them through my tidal mood swings.  I love you.  I hate you.  I need you.  Get away from me.  You complete me.  Get out of my life.  I need to be honest with myself.  I need to be open to the fact that these people want to help me and have my best interests at heart.  I need to be willing to accept the help that they offer.

The maelstrom of my life has struck a point of chaos within the storm.  There is no eye, only hurricaine for miles.  I have to believe that the storm will subside, but be ready to arm myself for battle and fight for what is mine.  I am entitled to certain things.  Not all things, but let this be known: hell hath no wrath like a mother scorned.

Will you bite the hand that  feeds you? Will you stay down on your knees?
~Enraged Ghost

Monday, March 18, 2013

Step Six: ...To Have The Goddess Remove ...

We were entirely ready to have the Goddess remove all these defects of character

How am I trying to remove or control my own character defects?  What have my attempts resulted in? Forcing myself to close the distance between myself and other people has done nothing but make me want to withdraw even more.  My irritation with humanity in general grows the more I try to ignore it.

What is the difference between being entirely ready to have the Goddess remove my defects of character and  suppressing them myself? Active an passive forces I suppose.  Much like my use of drugs, the more control I attempt to assert, the more slippery and resistant it becomes.  To surrender is to let it go and not look back.

How am I increasing my trust in the Goddess of my understanding by working the steps? I have to trust that She will not take something away that I need in order to grow and develop as a person.  If I need to have something in my life right now, it will be there for me to learn from.  If I am done with it, then She will be rid of it with my permission.  I must permit Her to do Her job.

How does my surrender deepen in this step? The harder I grasp the less I have a grip on it.  I must let go in order to maintain serenity.

What action can I take that shows that I am entirely ready? I am working on a ritual with another Wiccan in recovery named Camilla.  I hope this will help curb any relapses.

All the things she said, running through my head, this is not enough

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Step Six: Entirely Ready for What?

We were entirely ready to have the Goddess remove all these defects of character

Are there parts of me I like, but which might be "defects?" Am I afraid I'll turn into someone I on't like if those parts of my character are removed? I've always gone against the grain, as mainstream culture disgusts me.  I don't want to be normal.  I don't want to be like everybody else.

What do I think will be removed? Perhaps the compulsion to use or eat constantly.  My inability to maintain interpersonal relationships.  Fear.

Do I still believe in the process of recovery?  Do I  believe that I can  change?  How have I changed so far?  What defects do I no longer have to act out on? To be honest this "recovery" business within the lense of the twelve steps seems more and more like brainwashing, giving an ideal of what can save you and to hold onto it with all your might, making your faith unshakable in something as arbitrary as God.  What happens when "God" lets you down? Blame yourself for being unable to hear Its message clearly enough? Self reprimand seems counterproductive.  I'm willing to change to a certain degree, but only in a manner that is congruent with spiritual growth and better homeostasis.  Coming this far I have found that I can be more and more honest with myself instead of justifying each act out of desperation for acceptance from others, myself and the Goddess.  Like someone is watching me over my shoulder and secretly keeping count on how many times I fake feeling sick so that I can sleep in or the reasons behind my desire for a fix.  I am becoming more and more okay with that.  I can quell  the fear of lack of communication as I seem to have surrounded myself with a group of people that are honest and easy going.  They have no reason to lie to me.  And I to them. 

Do I have any defects that cannot be removed? What are they?  Why do I think they cannot be removed? My abysmal self esteem.  It's been battered and beaten my whole life and I'm not sure it can make a true comeback after it's been crippled for so long.  I will always be insecure.  I will always second guess myself.  I will always wonder if what people say is really what they mean.

And on that note, titty sprikles.
I am the high you can't sustain (and I control you)
~Ghost out

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee

Once again I have hit a wall of insecurity upon entering a new step of change through NA.  I need to be ready to have the Goddess "remove" ALL of my character defects.  Don't mean She will, but I suppose I have to want it to happen in order for it to be possible.  

But what if my defects make me ... ME?

Every part of me is in place for a reason.  It may be jumbled and warped, but to have everything negative about me be removed?  Wouldn't that make me some bland, happy, ignorant, blathering fool?  After step four, it's pretty  clear what's "good" and what's "bad." I see my destructive patterns and despise them, but how can I ever change them?? I've been this way for so fucking long I don't know any other way to live.

I suppose change has never been easy.

I'm not entirely sure what to do with myself, let alone all the little pieces, the big picture of life or even what to do day to day.  I've been nothing but irritated with people lately, and I want to stop talking to them outright.  But that would perpetuate an old cycle, wouldn't it?  I swear to the Goddess though, if I have to hear about the same problem one more time I'm going to bash my head into a wall.  Or hers.

I suppose on this cliff I have fear, but I must move forward.  If I don't I will never change from the way I am now, which is pretty disappointing.  I was told my character defects should fit on a matchbook cover,  because it really just boils down to eight or nine asinine traits. So I filled the bastard.  And it does indeed come down to a generalization of under ten traits that we all have, they just manifest in different ways.

Here's to change.

So many dirty little faces with their filthy little worn out broken down see through sores
~Ghost out