It Took Sobriety to Hear the Birds Singing

Imagine a little girl lost inside a book, playing the piano and always alone but feeling safe. Her world brought her happiness. What was happening around her? Sometimes being in the moment it felt too full of other’s expectations, never fitting in, always different from what she saw on the outsides of others.

She hadn’t heard the word lust and even if she had, she wouldn’t have known that for her it meant staying in her head. Wishing that she had friends, for that something that would make other people like her more. Lusting and wanting to be lusted after. She believed she could turn the magical ideas into something real. After all, it worked in the books she read. Music and playing the piano soothed her and allowed her to pound out her frustrations and anger.

In case you didn’t know, that little girl is me. At an early age, I learned all about manipulation and control and of course, learning how to be passive-aggressive. After all, you weren’t supposed to be angry at anyone because they might get upset. It was OK though to find a way to get back at them. Through elementary and high school, I never fitted in completely with any group. I wanted to be one of the “cool” kids, instead, I was one of the band geeks. Always believing I had to do whatever it took to make someone like me and want to be around me.

It was the first day of college when I realized I could be the real me. I didn’t have to let my parents or anyone else decide who I had to be. That wasn’t completely true, because those old messages were still deeply ingrained into my being. Even though it was an illusion, it was an amazing feeling. I met my first real boyfriend and just knew we would get married and have a family. However, after 1 ½ years he broke up with me because he said it seemed the only thing I wanted in the relationship was sex. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with that. What it did was awaken my lust and I began dating lots of guys.

I married quite young and thought that would fix all my problems. Wrong! I still craved someone or something to make me whole. So, I started some emotional affairs. That was the beginning of my thinking that at least someone “loved” me in my magical world for a period of time.

It seemed fun at first, but then I realized the men didn’t really think this was a “relationship” with continuing times together. Rather, it was just a one night stand and I began to feel sleazy. It didn’t stop me. I just changed the rules of my game. I had to find some way to keep my fantasy alive.

The addict part of me wanted more and more. It was like our reading—this produced guilt, self hatred, remorse, emptiness and pain, and we were driven ever inward, away from reality, away from love, lost inside ourselves. Our habit made true intimacy impossible. (SA 203)

More men, more dangerous places, more lines crossed. It was never enough; however, guilt and shame began to take away the fun of acting out. I wanted to control and enjoy acting out but instead, it was controlling me. I didn’t know where to turn but finally went to a therapist who told me about SA. I finally got up the courage and when I walked into the meeting it was a room full of men. At that point it didn’t matter. I was terrified but then someone read The Problem. Suddenly I felt like there were actually people who knew what it was like. I kept going back to meetings, got a sponsor and the real work began. I began to feel some of the heavy load of shame begin to lift.

I started working on the Steps. Somewhere deep inside, I believed if I finished them I wouldn’t have this terrible shame and guilt that was debilitating and I wouldn’t have lust come up. Wrong! My brain was still crazy but when I listened to members share, I realized I wasn’t alone. What I did find was people sharing the “truth” of their day to day life and found out that’s what intimacy was and how the Steps helped them “One Day at a Time.”

I thought that once I began the Steps all my fears, guilt and shame would immediately disappear. Of course that wasn’t true. Once I got sober I started having anger and resentment come to the top. I gossiped, judged, was prideful—I could go on and on. I was technically sober but my emotional sobriety was a mess.

About three months sober, I walked out and heard birds singing. What a surprise. It was beautiful and at that moment I realized I had lived in my head for so long that I hadn’t really been in the present. Those birds had always been singing, but it took sobriety to let me feel and be present.

I have been sober, one day at a time, since February 7, 1993. I talk to God throughout the day. When someone is driving me to distraction, I just say, “God, I give this person to you because you know what is best for them.” I don’t know how it works, but it does. Somehow I continue to remember that expectations are resentments just waiting to happen. Acceptance and gratitude are what make so much difference.

Today, I have choices which used to elude me. Today, I want positive sobriety. And today I want to stay in the now and be connected with God.

Priscilla C., Tennessee, USA

Total Views: 82|Daily Views: 1

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!