Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Starting an adventure ...

I've decided to embark on a journey -- or maybe life has dictated it, and I just want to convince myself I have a choice to go along for the ride. The journey is one of recovery. For me, right now, it's from an eating disorder, but that's just the latest permutation -- the new and improved insanity, if you will. And no matter what the struggle is or has been (over-eating, under-eating, over-analyzing, under-feeling, over-doing, under-being, etc., etc.), seems that two common themes have popped up. One is that I need to get to the root of things, and two is that the 12 steps would probably be a good way to get there and be able to come back in one piece. Conundrum is, though, that once I make headway in the one trouble spot at whatever given time with whatever particular road signs I've choses to observe, the chaos jumps from that struggle to the next one, then to the next, and the next, and the next, ad infinitum, and ad nausume to be sure. Just a little frustrating to say the least. That said, I've decided to take a look at the 12 steps with a little wider field of vision -- one that doesn't so narrowly focus on living with an addict, dealing with food issues, or all the rest; but one that focuses more on the forest than the trees ... one that really attempts to "apply these principles in all our affairs."

I don't mean to say there's anything wrong with those niche groups. I'm just saying it hasn't worked well for me because I get so micro-focused that I lose track of that larger, underlying mess that is clearly the elephant in the living room but that remains consternatingly undefinable and unsinkable. I'm also not saying that I hope to discover some magical key to the kingdom or some mythical potion for figuring out where I got logjammed, and that I then expect in a nano-second unlock the door or apply the elixer to poof myself into a "cured" human. Recovery from anything is a life-long process. After all, the need to recover didn't pop up overnight, and neither will the recovery itself. What I am saying, though, is that I believe there are some common themes in the plethora of 12-step variations, and I hope that finding those commonalities as a basis for recovery work might get me a little closer to where I need and long to be.

So why am I rambling to you about all of this, then? Because I don't think my experience and my frustrations are so uncommon. Maybe in some of what I share, you'll see something of yourself (you poor, poor thing!!!! :-) ) Or maybe you might have some tremendous insight because of the path you've already taken that could serve to bring just one or two readers a little closer to their hopes and dreams as we all yearn to move from the "what the hell has happened," to "OMG - look at how far I've come!"

So, here's the plan. A step a month. I'll throw in my two cents worth of insights, and want you also to feel free to post as you feel moved ... hmmmm, sort of like a message-board meeting, huh ... about your own experience, growth, and hope with each step. Consider it sharing lessons from the school of life that can bring us further down the road, and maybe help someone else avoid the potholes along the way. You game? I hope so, and can't wait to hear what you have to say!!!

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