July 4th. Independence Day. Let freedom ring while we eat a variety of barbecued unmentionables and enjoy pyrotechnicians creating art in the sky. I hesitated in writing about this because I don’t want my blog to be a venting space, but I realized the eclectic nature of my posts are what make it uniquely mine.
Backstory: Getting through the spring trimester seemed insurmountable because on March 2nd, a gentlemen, presumably heading to work just as I was, failed to look in the direction he was driving and smashed into my car. My car was totaled and the base of my thumb was crushed by the airbag.
What was hurting me most though, was the resentment I had over this injury and the recovery over which I had no control. And when you are an alcoholic, resentment has the power to destroy, and I felt very powerless over letting it tear me apart. I barely got myself out of bed on weekends and paid little attention to my daughter and husband. I ignored emails from my mom and shut myself out from letting her help me. I lashed out at people on Twitter, both overtly and in subtle ways. I pushed away friends and neglected relationships, some of which I may not be able to recover.
Step Ten of Alcoholics Anonymous states, “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.” I’m thankful that I am a teacher for a multitude of reasons, and the summer off is giving me the time to find clarity and strength to rebuild what I have broken down in my state of depression. Since school has ended, I have gotten myself out to visit with the three dimensional people on weekends, and I’m working on interacting more positively on Twitter. I’m trying to repair broken relationships with people I pushed out of my life especially my mom, who I know always loves me. And I’ve spent quality time with my child and my spouse. And I am happy again. Genuinely joyful and self-accepting. And free form the burden of resentment.
I went to an AA meeting recently, and someone made a reference to a paragraph in the Big Book on acceptance. I marked it, have read it many times in the last few months, and am going to end this post with it:
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.
Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, Chapter 16, page 417