Power and control. This is the third item on the list in the talk given a few weeks ago at the meeting I attended. It can lead us into addictive and dysfunctional behaviors.

For me, power and control was my drug of choice. Forget alcohol, or mind-altering substances. I loved, no, I thirsted after power and control in any situation. I used any wile or guile I could to win over a situation to my advantage. I immersed myself in the raw sensuality of power over men in the cat and mouse game of sexual attraction. The game always being more fun than the actual prize itself. I started this practice in my teens, having watched my mother play it out again and again, without the maturity to realize the emptiness and pain it would leave in its wake.

Control always felt like a given. Of course, I needed to have control in any situation. It was how I fooled myself into thinking I was safe. Control, along with my lust for power also fueled my dysfunctional behaviors and I dove deeper into the fantasy and self-pity that had become my life. I fed on this and it soon warped me into doing things I would never in my right mind, have done. Until recovery, I had no idea what an integrated and honest life looked like, much less felt like.

And, to be honest, this was all in the undercurrent of being a good, churchgoing, card-carrying Christian lady. An example of the compartmentalized life personified. As long as everything stayed in its sections, much like a TV dinner’s food compartment separators, we’re good. That is, until the gravy from the Salisbury steak slops over into the dessert, and you betray those you profess to love.

It is from that bottom, that complete spiritual and emotional bankruptcy, that I found recovery. Not everyone has to end up on their back, face up, feeling like there is nothing for it but recover or let life slip away. Some get different wake-up calls. But the important thing to remember here, is that it doesn’t matter how we find recovery and hope, but that we find it, and then, that we pass it on to others.

Such is the nature of recovery. It is a circle. We start at the beginning, with the barest glimmer of hope, finally admitting powerlessness. That we have no control over anything, other than our response to the world. We are guided along and finally, arrive back at the beginning again, ready to help someone else as we were, hand extended, with grace. And things will continue to bubble up. Because we’re human and we keep experiencing pain and struggle in new ways. But what encourages me, is that with my tools, I don’t suffer the same amount of confusion and fear as I used to. I understand that I can and do have options. And that nothing is the end of the world except the end of the world.

So grateful tonight. Much love. ❤