I found this bracelet yesterday and it reminded me of my last year of drinking. My best friend had started buying me jewelry that had HOPE written on it. What does that tell you? On my 55th birthday I actually had told her that I’d lost all hope for myself, that she would have to hope for me. Thus, the reminders in the form of necklaces… bracelets. Hope. It eluded me.
It seemed, actually, that the more I realized I was hopeless the worse I felt. Unlike discovering the nature of a problem and being able to find the answer, I was dipping deeper and deeper into despair. Hopeless.
On March 7th I wrote My heart is sad today. I am reminded of the saying that to be disappointed in one’s self is to have hoped in one’s self. I cannot see the way to stop it. The hope in me is rank. All arguments and hurt rise from that stench. (melodramatic—I know) I want to be done with it. But I must not really want that or it would be so…I get so discouraged that I feel self-destructive. The pain in my heart is so great that I want a physical pain to focus on. One that has the chance to heal or at least distract. I am done with crying aloud.
About 10 days before I found AA, I wrote in my journal, That proves it once again, I’m a nobody. I was feeling so much depression, so much anxiety about life. Having reached middle age, I realized that at least half my life was behind me. Suddenly, it seemed that the second half was not going to go anyplace close to what I’d envisioned for my life. I felt like a nobody. Worse. I felt like a stranger in my own life.
I’ve already explained how successful my life looked. But I was suffering a great deal of emotional upheaval and the self-medication (alcohol) was only compounding the problem.
The real problem was that I felt unloved. Don’t we all? The irony of being loved, even if we are, is that we tell ourselves if anyone really knew the real me, they’d quickly reject me. So there is no way to feel loved even when we feel we’ve earned it. Maybe there is no way to really feel loved. Period.
No way, apart from God.
He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom. ~ AA page 62
As I am 4 years into the program of AA, I’m starting to feel the love that I felt when I played house with God on the moss-speckled rock in northern Minnesota. As a child, I seemed to grasp the truth of my heavenly Father’s love far better than I could as I grew up. I don’t know what happened to that simple truth..the easy faith in His love that I had when I was a child.
Does it really matter? I think that what matters now is that I share what I’ve found to be true. My God does love me. I am His child and because that’s true, I’m finding the freedom on the other side of that triumphant arch Bill talks about. It’s so simple. I am a child of His. Because of who He is (not because of me) I am loved.
No matter how people see me. No matter how often I fail, or whether I ever do anything worthwhile in your eyes or mine… I am loved. I know it. That’s my hope today.