Saturday, October 10, 2009
Sunday 10/11/09 - "RESPONSIBILITY"
"Character --- the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life --- is the source from which self-respect springs." - Joan Didion
This little quote says a lot about my life before and after I began accepting responsibility for it. My weakness of character (character defects) led me to bend whatever way the wind was blowing. I took the easiest route around difficult circumstances whenever I could. Why? Fear and insecurity. I had very few living skills and was unable to cope with my emotions, thoughts, and the events of life. My coping skills tended to be unhealthy. Dealing with life by drinking alcohol became my best solution - for a very short period of time. This undermined what little self-esteem I might have had. The ravages of alcohol did nothing to improve my character and self-respect.
I failed to utilize the gifts God gave me. He gave me a fine mind and I was accepted into graduate school in clinical psychology. That would have prepared me to do the kind of work I am best at, working with others. Instead, my insecurity led me to drop that course of action at the last minute and get married instead. Marriage would have waited several years, but I was full of fear and insecurities.
I failed to live up to the responsibilities of a wife and mother. As I moved further and further along the road of alcoholism, it robbed me of the the essentials needed to fill either of these roles.
I failed myself. The way I behaved created a spiral down into hell. My score card read zero. My lack of self-respect turned into self-hatred.
The day came when I hit bottom, reached a turning point, and finally realized there was a very clear choice I needed to make. I was either going to accept responsibility for the mess my life had become, accept the consequences of my own behavior, stop blaming other people and circumstances, and get about the business of living a new way of life - OR - I wasn't and I would die.
That was an extremely difficult choice and without help it would have been totally impossible to choose change. I thank God every day for leading me to Alcoholics Anonymous. I give thanks always for the guidance and support I received from my sponsors and all the AA members who welcomed me into the program. They offered themselves in service to me without reservation.
I was led into the life of a responsible adult. I learned to make healthy choices for myself beginning with not drinking. I learned to accept the consequences of my behaviors. Today, I know how to make right decisions and I have a plan for correcting wrong ones.
I am able to give back to others what was freely given to me and this builds my character. I love, honor, and care about myself today. The more I live this way of life, give away what I have been blessed with, the more I respect myself.
I honor all of you out there who are blogging their hearts out and living lives of good character, giving of yourselves to help others, and reaching out to be of service. What a wonderful life we live.
P.S. Join me and other chatting bloggers on TSR (the second road) tomorrow night at 8pm. I'll be hosting and the topic is going to be "When the s - - t hits the fan". Please join me. To do so, just go to TSR, sign up if not a member yet, and then log in to "chat" at 8.