I called my new Al-Anon sponsor for the first time. I walked in the door from shopping, picked up the phone and called her before I could come up with any excuses to not call her. I told her that I called her before I could chicken out again.
Trust is such a difficult issue for me even today. Right now it is even difficult to find the words to express my thoughts on the topic of trust.
In Al-Anon, I used to pre-think what I was going to say when it was my turn instead of listening to what others say on the chosen topic. Recently I called myself on this and as a result I often seem to stumble (at least to me) through what I want to say. I want honesty rather than perfection and approval. This is one way that I am stretching to trust myself and the group. I want what I share to come from my heart rather than from my store of knowledge. I don't want to continue to hide behind my knowledge.
I have to trust that when my sponsor asks me how I am that she really wants to know or she wouldn't ask. My automatic response was that I was doing fine. I know I am lying when I say the word "fine" anywhere in relation to my feelings. I learned in Al-Anon years ago that "fine" means (Pardon the language coming up.)
When I first heard that, I thought how true when I am in the middle of my emotional garbage. So when I tell you that I am doing fine, that is what I mean. When I am working on my incest issues, this is how I really feel when I can admit it to myself. That is the honesty that I want to have with myself and my sponsor---to be able to admit what I am really feeling.
As an incest survivor, for years I used the illusion of control in my life to feel safe. I have to trust my sponsor not to do or say anything that will hurt me. On an intellectual level, I can talk myself into sharing my issues with her. On a feeling level, sharing is more difficult. You would think that writing on this blog would make that easier but it doesn't. Sharing with you is different than sharing with my sponsor on a one-on-one level. Anyone with a therapist probably knows what I am trying to say.
My sponsor has me reading an Al-Anon book called Paths to Recovery - Al-Anon's Steps, Traditions, and Concepts. In working Step One - "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol---that our lives had become unmanageable." - I can easily say that I am powerless over alcohol. I can admit that my life has become unmanageable. Asking for help has been the difficult part for me. When I have to ask for help, that need brings out shame. Some part of me says that I need to be in control all the time, that I should be able to fix my own life, that I should be able to protect myself without help from anyone else. All of those thoughts come from shame and low self-worth. Some part of me equates powerlessness with being out of control.
Am I still talking about trust or has my ego steared me away from what I don't want to talk about. The bottom line is always how much do I trust myself. If I don't trust myself, how can I trust anyone else? I really want to be committed to doing this work rather than going to the kitchen and stuffing myself with food to get back into my comfort zone. I have been overeating this past week instead of facing my feelings head-on. That is something that I very much want to change. I will move forward through this one step at a time.
I hope that what I have written here makes sense. Right now I am too close to the feelings to know if all of the words are what I intend for them to be. Am I making sense to any of you?