Self will is comprised of fear, ego, false pride and distrust. It was a set of armor that I had worn my entire life, or at least, until I walked through the doors of Bridging The Gap of Georgia. My self will had kept me safe, or so I thought, until I realized how sick it had made me. With much false pride, I had worn my self will like a security blanket that a child never wants to give up. I fought to keep it in my possession until I realized I needed to let it go.
I came to Bridging The Gap of Georgia on June 29th, 2010 and had only stopped using opiates one week before my departure to GA from NY. Walking through the door I had very little hope left, as I believed I was one of those that “couldn’t” get clean and sober again. I was truly spiritually dead and emotionally numb. My biggest obstacle was To make it short….I was a chronic relapser; clean and sober the first time 8 years, then 3 years, and the last time was 5 years. I felt at the time I was of the hopeless variety that time after time failed to maintain a life of recovery.
Here I was once again – familiarity with being at death’s door and hanging on to the very edge of madness. Despite my pain, I was not willing (the key really is willingness) to give up my self will. It had helped me as a child and literally had kept me sane. I had learned at a young age that it was better to depend on self and no one else because you would get hurt. Now that I look back in time, I realized how childish this frame of mind was; although as a child I had not. I was fearful of letting go of my self will. It was all I had known, but I had gotten tired of the suffering, the pain, and the constant being on edge.
It was difficult to turn my will over to someone or something else. Many people mentioned GOD to me and I scoffed at that since I did not at the time to believe in anything greater than me. I was then told I could turn it over to a 12-step program. I had not been ready to do “Let Go and Let GOD” so at the time of my “psychic” change I decided that Bridging The Gap of Georgia would be my Higher Power (including a staff member who volunteered to be my Higher Power as long as he did not have to do anything) until further notice. My mantra then became “LET GO And LET BTGG”. Many people laughed and thought I was being funny at the time but I was not; I was desperate for something to believe in and I had found something here at BTGG that made me willing to give up my self will- I found HOPE!
It was not an easy process as I had come to rely upon my own will. Letting go of my self will meant that I had to deflate my ego, my self-centeredness as well as stripping away the only life I had ever known. I heard long ago that “pain is inevitable and suffering is optional” and I made a conscious decision to give up my badge of suffering and replace it with something I did not have and that was self-love. My self will gave me permission to run my life into the ground and along the highway of destruction where I self medicated with any substance that would kill the pain.
We all have unresolved pain that, if we do not deal with, turns into a suffering that can go on forever and ever. I was told that I needed to deal with that pain without any reservation or it would continue to haunt me. When I made the decision to turn my will over and finally deal with my pain I did it without any uncertainties. I had become desperate for another way…So I began to deal with the core issues fearful if I went back I would not come out again. I had done something I had not done in a long time and that was to have trust in others and I trusted that what they were suggesting to me would keep me safe despite my fears. So I peeled the onion away layer by layer and when I got to the core of it I cried with bent up anguish and deep despair but a miracle happened! I was free! I had gone to the darkest place in my mind and faced the demons that had been haunting me for my whole life! Here I was too stubborn to give up my self will because I had thought it had protected me-what a fool I had been!
Five years later I live a clean and sober life and realize how truly free I am without my self will making suggestions to me that don’t work. I do not believe that our self will goes away but I do feel that it needs to always be balanced with the will of our Higher Power. (whom today I choose to call GOD.)