Happy hopping and welcome! My theme for the Challenge is addiction because both my hubby and I are recovering addicts. No worries though. I like to keep things fairly light even when dealing with a heavy topic like this one. Want a glimpse into my world of cocaine addiction? Listen to Metallica’s, Master of Puppets. If that’s too heavy, you can try Staind, It's Been Awhile instead. Much more mellow.
It’s been said that sometimes it takes a good fall to know we where stand. Who said it? Singer Hayley Williams. While I never heard of her, she’s quite popular. I love that quote! Thank you, Hayley!
She’s right, isn’t she? A fall can do many things for us. It can challenge us by showing us how strong we are. It can be a great reminder of being thankful for all the blessings we have in our life. And it can humble us. For me, my darkest time humbled me quick, fast, and in a hurry. Well, maybe not so quick. Or fast. Or in a hurry. I am a stubborn, thick-headed kinda gal.
Somewhere along the way, my tiny self developed quite the gigantic ego. It was a great cover for the fragile girl inside me that I was desperately trying to hide…and even deny existed. It was also a great way to avoid my emotions.
My ego came through in many ways. My favorite was in expertise. I knew everything. I felt I was quite worldly. I’d been molested, cheated death several times, avoided jail, found sobriety, traveled the world, and then became a widow with two small children. I mean, to me that seemed like I had seen some shit. I had been there, done that, and had the t-shirt to prove it. Hell, I felt, I had the whole damn wardrobe.
And you know what? I wasn’t humbled by any of it. I thought I was standing tall despite what life had thrown at me. But I wasn’t. I was rigid. I was unbending. I was unwilling.
I was angry with God and He knew it. He loved me, He wanted me to come back to Him so He sent me a message in the form of an unlikely messenger. One of my best friends. It was totally unexpected and that’s what made it perfect. This guy was my bud. We talked about anything and everything for close to ten years. Except religion. So when the topic came up, he was able to help me open my heart to God again. This was a baby step towards humility.
After a couple of failed relationships with alcoholics, and then my marriage to my husband which led to the discovery of a sex and love addiction…and lots and lots of pornography…well, I was finally humbled. Eventually. Like I said, stubborn and thick-headed.
It turned out I didn’t know everything. That didn’t mean I didn’t parade into my first anon meeting acting like I did. Despite being welcomed in, even sharing a humbling encounter with a saint of a woman, I was quick to judge, quick to dismiss, and equally quick to walk away from people who had experience in something I knew nothing about.
I turned a deaf ear to their wise words because I was scared something fierce. My ego continued to cloak my inner demons. It also stopped me from getting the help I so desperately needed for my betrayal trauma. Because if I stayed in this anon group, it meant dipping my toe into the rip current of emotions inside me. I felt I could do it alone.
I was wrong. My isolation fueled my hypervigilance. It made me see things in my husband’s addiction that weren’t there. It heightened my anxiety to such levels that there were days I was unable to function because my triggers were causing panic attacks.
Then one day, I was on my kitchen floor wailing and screaming like I’d never done before. It was an out-of-body feeling. Forty-five minutes had passed and I don’t recall any of it other than standing at my kitchen sink and then collapsing to the floor in a heap of raw emotions. The feelings I’d been bottling up for so long finally exploded.
It was then that I understood how exhausted I’d become. Still, I hesitated about getting into an anon group, counseling, and opening up to my husband. Would they see me as weak?
Then I remembered that encounter with that woman in my first anon meeting. She humbled herself before me. She had no fear of judgment. She understood that she’d made mistakes, just as I’d been doing for so long, and wasn’t afraid to admit them to me or anyone else and she got help to find a better path.
So I did too. It didn’t come easily for me. I stumbled many, many times. I still struggle. Ask anyone in my weekly meetings and I’m sure they’ll tell you, my need to be wanted is still there. I don’t always keep my ego in check. My inner child still cries out.
I have humbled myself in my ways though. That’s for sure. I’m flexible. I bend. I’m willing. I’m no longer EGO: Easing God Out. I’m a sponge. Willing to listen and absorb what others have to say and teach me.
The pain brought me humility. It also gave me the gift that it gave the first person I ever encountered in an anon meeting: the desire to help others so they don’t feel alone. That makes me grateful.
Laugh of the day:
Are you a fan of Hayley Williams? Have you ever had a conversation with a close friend or stranger that was life-changing? Ever struggle with ego?
I look forward to seeing everyone during the Challenge! Click here to get to the master list sign up sheet. I'll see you all this afternoon.