Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Sept 13 DonInLondon Step 9 " Amends Into Action"
September 13, 2013: "the living amend: restored to sanity one day at a time even when life is good bad or ugly." I can remember a long time ago now, the friend who was a psychiatrist, and an ad hoc employer who gave me clients who could not be medicated said to me, "how do you deal with your rage?" I did not know, I didn't even know how to be angry, I was still living in the thinking world and trying to work out logically what my emotions were. A man without a clue about his feelings. And broken.
It never occurred to me that I was relying entirely on logic and thinking about a situation which required an emotional understanding of where I had got to with life and a nervous breakdown, and I was still on my way to rock bottom. What on earth were feelings? The only feeling in the blackness, was fear and a strong desire never to wake up. And yet, logic and thinking kept me alive as I took every medication offered and no alcohol as before for over a year. Exhausted, set up, bullied and broken, the one thing my friend and ad hoc employer said which was true, "you will never work there again, and it is unlikely that you will recover and be the same as you were before." Of course, stubbornness and denial persisted for a few years.
Letting go the old lucrative life, the one where I was very successful in many respects, pride and ego and fear kept me boiling along and pretending to be okay. And even though I could do some of the work logically and with my brain, I absolutely lost any desire, any resilience and any belief in my old lucrative life. And with a sudden loss of a big contract, I was truly in the mire. If I had some emotions, I would have hoped for self-pity and ego to hold me together, I didn't even have that. The amend to myself was letting go a life which was killing me and I didn't even know.
When I write about some of the past, I suddenly realise that there are amends which have not been done. And it may take quite a long while to make those amends. And the same time there is a balance which can only be seen with hindsight and makes those amends quite impractical and probably very unwelcome because I see them the self-serving rather than being of service to others who are quite well and happy where they are. We do get quite difficult memories with guilt and shame which make it all our fault. At the same time, we are simply human and sometimes very damaged. And reflecting now, I know my part in matters, what needs to be done, by who and where and when. Everything comes back into balance with an overview and not just my view today.
Do I miss the work I used to do, the old lucrative work? Actually, much of what I did in the past has applications in my present life and living. At the same time, being an open honest and willing person, and able to see the difference between how I used to be, and how I am today, I am actually unemployable as life used to be. And with a slight humorous feeling, nobody could afford to be paid the amounts charged for my services in the past, even in financial services where the gravy train still rolls along nicely. And thankfully without me. The living amend to self, my needs are met and most often these days, wants are forgotten to be replaced by other wants which I do not satisfy and so with needs met, wants become forgetful and unnecessary today.
If I had been an arrogant, egotistical nitwit, completely self-absorbed, I would never have broken into as many pieces emotionally as I did. At the same time, if I had been an arrogant egotistical nitwit, I would have continued into becoming something quite alien to me, an individual bereft of feelings, and a robot and witless instrument of power. Thankfully and for whatever reason even though I have done things which give me nightmares sometimes, I have a conscience and life can be good, bad or ugly, and conscience keeps me on a sober and emotionally balanced path today. And the power greater than me: the collective wisdom growing around me one day at a time.
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