A speaker at an AA meeting said something once that has stuck with me throughout my sobriety. He said that we come into these rooms with broken hearts. Not that anyone in particular broke them, it was more like we did it to ourselves. Many of us did awful things at the height of our addictions, I know I did, we had strayed so far from the type of people we had wanted to be.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in recovery has been dealing with the guilt of all the things I had done. Unfortunately too many of us have to turn to stealing and defrauding people who had never wronged us in any way to support our own obsession. We have been responsible for many a bad day for those we saw an opportunity to victimize and exploit, most of whom are likely decent and kind law abiding citizens. Due to the fact that we were so anesthetized against any feeling, except chemically induced euphoria, we were able to carry on like all was right in the world, without a care. That is until all that buried guilt, simmering beneath the surface, was just about ready to boil over and would not be contained by another hit. So we end up doing more and more, and eventually find ourselves in a desperate race to stay ahead of our own emotions…a race we inevitably loose.
Its only when we stop running away from the emotional upheaval of our actions and attitudes that we can begin to heal the wounds we inflicted upon ourselves and so many others. Through the twelve steps we can begin to see the mayhem our disease brought about. When we take an inventory we begin to see the maladaptive and selfish ideas that drove us to such destructive and careless behavior. It is only after we have done a thorough housecleaning that we can truly begin to set right some of the pain we’ve caused. After having completed our amends we no longer have to be plagued by remorse, we can be free. For many of us this is the only path that leads out of misery and despair. Unfortunately many of us never find it, but the guidance and road to recovery and freedom is available for any of us who are willing.
Written By: Mike L , An Addict in Recovery