I met with a new sponsee for the first time last Tuesday. We talked about being in treatment for addiction, what got him there and how he’s coping. I asked him to start reading the Doctor’s Opinion in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
During our meeting, he mentioned a book called Everything Happens for a Reason by Mira Kishenbaum. The title intrigued me so I downloaded a sample. I was immediately hooked.
One of the things that got my attention was her idea that whatever happens to us is the Universe’s way of trying to tell us to let go of fear, resentments, the past, to start living the life we have been so afraid to lead.
She talks about ten reasons why this happens. I’ve already mentioned to let go of fear. Another one is to accept ourselves completely, warts and all. One more is to help us feel at home in the world. And the fourth, to bring us to a place where we can experience forgiveness.
I hated my alcoholic upbringing, all the chaos that brought me and how it robbed me of my childhood. Funny how things work, I became addicted to another drug, but just the same I hurt myself, my partner and the people around me.
I had to experience addiction so that I could completely understand that my father, stepfather, uncles, did not drink because they were evil but because like me, they are addicts/alcoholics.
I had to experience addiction to realize that I cannot achieve perfection or control people, places or things. I am powerless over their actions but I know now I’m free to choose my response.
I had to experience addiction so that I could finally go through what I was most afraid to realize that I could survive it.
I no longer live in fear. Yes, I can still get paralyzed with fear but I now have spiritual tools to keep me going. I no longer have to put a brave face and pretend I know it all. I am content with being an imperfect, fallible human being.