Time and time again we are in the process of working the Steps and, through the wreckage of our past, dealing with feelings. Feelings of low self esteem, feelings from abuse, feelings of anger, rage and resentment, the list of potential bad feelings goes on and on. For me, there are still things after 30 years of recovery that are hard to deal with.
Even after giving them up, praying and having long conversations with the Lord, there are moments when these difficult feelings that are supposed to be in the past come back from nowhere. Some situations are just too close to home and seem never to let those feelings go completely away. A New Year doesn't wipe them out even though we may make a resolution to let them go.
Even though we become a "new creation" when we are saved, there is still the matter of "working out our own salvation with fear and trembling" which means to get right we have to go through some struggles to get there. Some people will tell you, you shouldn't feel that way, but in the end they are your feelings and you own them, not them (the other people). You are the one that hurts if you have been abused and you watch someone else go through the same thing- some folks just don't understand.
So it may be a new year, but we must continue to sort through those feelings as they come up. The key is to not let them send you back out into a relapse, a binge or a dark hole. One of the guys here at the Toyota dealership drank heavily before the last day of the month because he could not sleep, he had chest pains and deep worry that we wouldn't "hit our numbers." This same feeling had happened numerous times in the past, and some folks paychecks and bonuses rely on the outcome.
At the point he relayed that to me, I did not give him a lecture about turning it over to God, but I just said we will make it brother, don't worry. And when we hit those numbers tonight, and he asks, I will tell him why I was not worried, but never criticize him for having those feelings.
I may also tell him there may be an alternative to staying up all night and drinking!
Happy New Year, Glenn
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.