Part of the hurt we carry around with us shows up in the form of broken trust.
As addicts, we don’t trust anyone. We have been hurt, disappointed, neglected and abused. We carry the shame of past trauma and disillusionment. We can’t trust anyone. And as our addiction has hurt others, we have broken the trust of our loved ones.
Let’s face it: we are control freaks! How? By trying to meet our own needs, without relying on anyone else. We use whatever we can get out hands on; any substitute will do.
We are also escape artists. We spend most of our time in isolation. We don’t enjoy the company of other people except to use certain individuals to get what we think we need. And when they get too close, we disappear – we escape – into isolation.
Everyone who is in recovery is learning to trust: Learning to trust others; learning to trust God; learning to trust themselves. And in addition to everything else, we are learning to trust the process. The Big Book tells us that entering into recovery was scary:
“We could not see the path ahead, except that others had gone that way before. Each new step of surrender felt it could be off the edge into oblivion, but we took it. And instead of killing us, surrender was killing the obsession! We had stepped into the light; into a whole new way of life.”
We are learning to trust this new way of life. Our needs are being met, and we are “learning what none of the substitutes had ever supplied. We are making the real connection…”
As we continue to recover we learn to let go. It’s a question of faith if we are willing to give up control. As we learn how to trust, we let go of cynicism. We are open to receive grace from God; and we’re open to receive support from our fellows in recovery. We have the freedom now to think more optimistically, and create a better future for ourselves.
And one of the reasons we can trust God is because we now know what it means to live “one day at a time.” We have everything we need right now – today – in this sacred moment. We’re learning to be grateful, focusing on what’s good in our lives – the things we have, not what we don’t have.
As we continue to pray the Serenity Prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” we continue to make progress in our spiritual growth. Part of this wisdom is being able to make the distinction between reality and fantasy, what’s real and what is just an illusion. Our understanding of reality changes as we continue to see more clearly the enormous grace of God, and the abundance of the world in which we live.