Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sucking Too Hard On My Lollipop!

I've been pretty low lately. I couldn't put my finger on it. As I pondered things on this Sabbath Day, having already been to church and having listened to Les' inspiring lesson, my thoughts began to collect in some sort of coherent form.

I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I still haven't put things back together since the flood that destroyed our basement. I tackled the repair on my own because we wanted to move the stairwell. Interruption, followed by set back, over shadowed by life has practically incapacitated me. When I want to do what I'm inclined to do, the unfinished basement haunts me. When I tackle the basement, more important things get neglected. The usual result is that, overwhelmed, discouraged, confused, I do nothing. I have a hard time setting priorities. Too often, I choose the wrong thing to do out of some sense of demand. I spend too much time concerned about what I assume others consider to be my priority, instead of doing what my heart directs. The consequence of this is that I'm unhappy, unsettled and stressed.

I shared my dismay with Sweetie, who listened empathetically, without judgment or duress. Thanks Sweetie for that. I told her that I didn't want to have this hanging over my head for what appears to be forever; but that I couldn't see a way out from under the problem.

It was time to take Kate to her Singles Ward. On the way she had me listen to a couple of her favorite songs. They were nice. After dropping her off a third song came up on her CD; Sucking Too Hard On Your Lollipop by Mika. It's a lively, fun, enthusiastic tune and I just plain enjoyed listening to it. I couldn't understand the words. When it was finished, I listened again, and again, and again. I began to pick up the lyrics.

I went home and moped some more and watched a little TV. Then it was time to go to 12 Steps at the Detention Center. I listened to the song a couple more times on the way. I skipped up to the door, to the beat of the song and rang the buzzer. Dorothy unlocked the door and I went on in bopping down the hall to the control booth to sign in. Amused, Dorothy asked me about the spring in my step, so I sang the chorus to her and explained that I loved one of the lines, as it applied so well to some of the love struck girls who've been incarcerated there. Something about how Mama says to "live your life 'til love is found or love's gonna get you down." Suddenly, Dot began to tear up. When she collected herself, she thanked me saying, "That's just what I needed to hear. It not only applies to love, it applies to life. I've been sucking too hard on my lollipop!"

Nobody wanted to come to 12 Steps today so I turned right back around and headed home. I bounced into the house singing "sucking too hard on your lollipop" and Sweetie exclaimed, "What's happened to you?!"

"I've had a paradigm shift!" I told her. And I had. Over the course of a couple of hours this afternoon and especially, with the help of Dorothy, I discovered that I have been suckin' too hard on my lollipop. I've been trying to force my life, just like someone who's trying to force love. I need to just go on and live my life or life is going to let me down. Its so characteristic of addictive behavior to be trapped in a vortex of "shoulds", "ought tos." In my insecurity due to the choices I've made I am overly concerned about looking good, about appearing normal and in control.

Once again, the process of my recovery has revealed an undiscovered facet of the nature of my condition, my mortality. The more I take control of my life the less control I have over it. Once again, I have to admit I have a problem over which I am powerless and my life has become unmanageable. Time to work the steps again! Just like my addiction, this problem is too big for me, I can't lift it alone. But, also like my addiction, God can free me from the bondage I've got myself into, but I've got to quit trying to rescue myself and give the problem over to He who can.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a paradigm shift changes everything; my mood, my clarity, my purpose, my faith. Talk about God's tender mercies. Suddenly, I know what I'm about and the direction I need to go. Finally, I can give myself permission to go there. At last I can enjoy my lollipop and quit sucking so destructively hard.

Thank you, Les, Sweetie, Katie, Mika, Dorothy, Darwin, Dr. Bob, Bill W., John, Bonnie, Kim, Heavenly Father, you are all so helpful and kind.

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