I’ve been told I’m bossy – that I want things my way – that I am trying to tell people what to do – all since I’ve been sober. I’ve come to terms with the knowledge that the way things work out – life, in general – is beyond my control. I know that in the grand scheme of things I have no control over the outcome. Maybe that’s why, as of late, I’ve become aggressively insistent that the small, inconsequential things follow my design.
I’m willing to think differently – I think. I am trying to be willing, but it’s tough. I know that for a long time I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t believe that I could decipher between right and wrong because for so long all of my decisions and instincts led me down a path that ended up in lonely, bitter, drunkenness. Having a couple of 24-hours of sobriety, I am beginning to see that as I rely on my Higher Power and follow my newly regained instincts, I can make the right decisions. A few days ago, after snapping at my partner not to use the decorative pillows on the bed, for the millionth time, he retorted “Stop trying to control me.” He was right. The pillows weren’t important – but they were one of many things that I hyper-focus on in order to feel like I have some control over something. It’s a way I’ve come up with, somewhat unknowingly, to cling to that defect of mine that let’s me still hold the reigns, even if it’s over something absolutely ridiculous like pillows or blankets. These inconsequential things may not mean much, but the actions I take surrounding them – getting irritated, angry and being rude to people I love – that is the real price that is paid for my defects. I hurt other people – I resort back to my selfish behavior, to make myself feel better in some way. The only difference is that now, I know better. And I want to be better.
There is a balance in this situation that I can almost feel or see, but I just can’t seem to grasp on a daily basis. I thrive in the routine of my work, the regularity of a steady job (which I could never hold for the decade I drank) and the reliability of the life that God has designed specifically for me. And then something happens – a bump in the road, a hitch in my plans or a blow to my routine – and I am reminded that my goal is acceptance: to accept and live life on life’s terms.. on God’s terms. Not on mine. And when I live my life listening to the guidance of my Higher Power, I know that snapping at my loved ones, getting frustrated over minuscule household things, resenting those who hurt the people I love .. they are all ways that I am trying to hold onto my defects of character. I am trying to work through them and I find myself back at a place that has begun to feel comfortable – I am praying for the willingness to have the willingness.
I cannot change myself – I cannot do it alone. But I have faith, today, that if I ask for help with these things, God will guide me on the path to the person I am truly supposed to be.
Maybe tonight he can sleep with whatever pillows he wants. Maybe tomorrow I won’t have as many apologies to make for not holding my tongue. I can’t tell – but I can pray and ask for the willingness to try.