Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ashes

I got drunk for the first time when I was 16. I got drunk for the last time when I was 31. For 15 years in between there I had more black outs than I can count, puked in more places than I remember and did things I am completely ashamed of.

There were two instances in particular that weighed heavy on my heart. Black scuff marks on my soul. Deep pits of ugliness that could consume me on any given day if I let my mind go there.

Long before I got sober I knew I would have to deal with those things at some point. I knew I'd have to eventually tell someone, or go crazy trying to hide it. When I asked BW to be my sponsor in June she said she'd only agree if I agreed to work the steps. I told her I was a scared scared chicken, but I would give it my very best shot.

7 months later I finally worked step 4 and 5. I wrote down in my own words the things I was hiding. I put onto paper the ugliest ugliest part of me. It was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done. Harder than not drinking at Thanksgiving. More difficult than going into my first meeting.

I wanted to quit. I cried. I texted a friend who asked if I really had to do this. But I knew I did. I trusted BW and I trusted the program.

So I wrote the words.

The next morning, early in the dark, I read the words out loud. I had to sit on the floor, my back to BW. I read quietly. I paused several times. I honestly thought about just giving her the paper to read. But I finished what I started.

I read the words.

And funny thing is, lightening didn't strike me. I was assured that I was not the only person to have done what I did and experience what I experienced. And I was also reminded that if I needed any more proof that indeed I had a problem with alcohol, those two incidents confirmed it.

BW found some matches, we moved over to the fireplace and she struck a match. I held the paper and it lit on fire. I silently watched the paper burn, tears streaming down my face.

I burned the words.

While I had given those things to the Lord time and time again in my head there was something so cathartic about actually writing, reading and burning the words. As my sponsor said, I acknowledged my past, owned it and moved on.

I am forgiven, washed white as snow. {Isaiah 1:18} And while there will always be earthly consequences for my sinful actions, my Jesus remembers none of it. I am a new creation to him {2 Cor 5:17}.

I am not that same person. I am sober. I am forgiven.

Are you?
Happy Thursday~

3 comments:

Kim A. said...

You have shared today in such a simple, honest, and deeply heartfelt way. Thank you for sharing. I can't add one more word since words just aren't enough..are they?

Namaste

Anonymous said...

I love this J!!! It made me tear up majorly - I've been thinking about my 4th Step a lot lately and this just proved to me that I can get through it.

Thanks & Hugs - Annette

Robin said...

A few days ago (and for several weeks prior) I had been stressing about something in my past. Since I am new to finding Jesus, I was terried that what I did was so bad there is no way he could forgive me. But after talking to some people, I realized that Jesus knew what I had done when he saved me, and forgave me then. Nothing has changed, God doesn't change. This was a big realization for me, and I am so lucky to have God in my life. I think I am about ready to move on to step 4, now that I have miraculously found the answers to steps 2 and 3.

Thanks for sharing this, it put a lot of what I just went through into perspective. I love how the AA steps and the relationship with God are parallel. Like, if you do the work on one side, you're also addressing it on the other side, without even knowing it.