Once we are clean and sober, we must face these awful things called feelings! They are new and we have no idea how to deal with them. This is why it is important to get a sponsor and work the steps together.
We must learn about the spiritual principle of having faith in a power greater than ourselves. We used because of our feelings and continued to use just to avoid dealing with them. The emptiness we felt would not go away, no matter how much we used. We put the substances down and now the feelings are here- staring us right in the face! Now what?! We have to learn to have faith, BUT also how to apply it to our lives. For me, I find situations on a DAILY basis where I need to apply faith. Some days I do well- other days- not so well. There are times we are faced with days of heavy feelings that are so strong that faith is the last thing we think about. So, on those days we just do not pick up no matter what. We are not perfect; but over time, we will learn and get better at applying it.
What is faith? By definition it is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. For us users, Faith is the principle we learn to help replace our feelings of FEAR! We learn a new feeling that "it will all work out" and your higher power has got this. We begin to see the evidence of faith in our life and also the lack of it.
Faith is invisible, it is something inside of us but the power of our faith is very visible to others! Faith helps us deal with situations and can be very appealing to others when they see us getting through situations.
Therapist Rob Hooper once told me he heard in the rooms, "you are holding on to a thread, when you could have a comforter." Control gave me a false feeling of faith, but I was being controlled by the situation- what kind of faith is that? The hardest part was letting go of the idea I could control everything and believe something else could. My struggle with accepting faith and giving up my control was a long battle (I eventually lost that battle). I did not gain or develop faith overnight, but it came when I was ready to accept it.
Today, I choose to call my higher power God. I learned in this process that faith without work cannot be called faith, it needs to be the way we live.
"Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this journey if you learn all the right words but never do anything about the issue at hand? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?" (James 2:14-17). This means we cannot just say we have faith, it is more than verbalizing it. We must affirm our faith in our life; faith is shown in our "works" and behavior - in our daily life. The surrender is not easy to get to, but worth the journey to embrace freedom.
Joyful Moments are Always Priceless
Some of us come into recovery and we think if we hit the lottery and get rich, we could buy whatever we want and this would make us happy. If we have the nicest car, house, clothes and accessories we will really be loved and adored. Yes, finally, we will feel good inside.
However, in my life today, it is the smaller things that bring enjoyment to my life. I love to see my son's smile when I pick him up from school because he is so excited to see me, his love is unconditional. Having my family proud of me today and not mortified of my addictive lifestyle. I am self-sufficient today and build my integrity doing the right thing no matter what the circumstances. I have discovered that in this journey of recovery as we start to get things back, the material things were not the ones that stood out to me. With the work we do on ourselves, we get back big things like acceptance of ourselves, integrity, feeling love, dealing with feelings without getting wasted- that is the lottery! The small things like someone calling me just to see how I was without any other motive except caring about me. Watching the stars with someone special or people coming to my sober anniversary to celebrate means the world to me. Today, having someone I trust to cry to and talk to about feelings- is worth more than any amount of money. I do not forget the days I could not deal with feelings, let alone talk about them! It is an amazing gift and blessing I do not have to live that way anymore.
In my journey of recovery, I learned money may buy momentary happiness, but it can NOT buy joy! It fills my spirit beyond belief when someone notices how far I have come in my life and compliments my growth. I cherish those moments and that is the biggest deposit to the bank account in my heart, my joy. In recovery, I know it is about the little things in life that add up to big things. There is a difference for me between happiness and joy. Recovery shows me more than I ever imagined. Now that is priceless. Amen!
"It's the little things that make life BIG." - Unknown