- "Here are the steps we took..." (Today)

"Here are the steps we took..." (Today)




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

"Here are the steps we took..." (Today)

Postby garden variety » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:28 pm

Howdy All,

I'm joining you today with something I feel the need to share. It was how working the steps took shape in my life today. I'm sharing this as a reminder that there is a lot I have "achieved" in sobriety, but one thing I haven't achieved is the ability to walk on water.

Today I made the 3rd step decision: I made the decision to turn my will and my life over to the care and direction of God as I understand Him. Plain and simple, I "consented" to let God have His way in my life today.

Well, this led me almost immediately to step 7. You see, a funny thing happened to me at work this week. Some men would wonder how this could be a problem and how it is a shortcoming.

I supervise a staff of 7 people. I been a supervisor for 11 years. I had a disgruntled guy ask for a transfer to another department. This left me with a vacant position. On Monday, I got my new employee. I have never in my life had to be in this kind of a position with a young lady who is "drop dead" gorgeous. She is also single. I have to be close to her every day to train and develop her for some time. My own supervisor - also a woman - told me "don't say or do anything STUPID" meaning commenting to the lady about her fine appearance. I told my boss, "Whoever did this is totally unkind."

What the situation did is meet me right where I am ugly - on the inside. I knew instantly this was "unkind" because my "instinctive" reactions and desires would ALL be wrong right from the start. Instantly, after 24 years of work at this place, I get into the biggest struggle (with myself) I ever had at work. What an order!

Back to step 7 and today. God showed me my fault, my "shortcoming". Plain and simple "lustful indulgence". Even though I didn't even spend a minute obsessing about this lady, my mind had her in the sack with her clothes off, of course with "yours truly" being "Prince Charming" and a little more. All this went off in my head with no conscious effort at all - it was just like an alarm clock. It just happened and I could not stop it. I was most powerless for sure.

Well this step 7 leads me to step 5, today. Now this is to the ladies here on this forum. Honestly, I'm just as disgusted with myself as you are probably thinking I'm disgusting. I have a wonderful and just as attractive lady friend that I'm in a realtionship with. I wouldn't trade her for the world and she is crazy about me too. This is just one of those times when "suddenly the thought crossed my mind." This is also why we have this fellowship.

So today (and yesterday) I found myself doing step 5. I admitted to God, to myself, and to another human being (a bunch of other human beings), the exact nature of my wrongs. There you have it. I'm a man who is some times pretty disgusting when it comes to thinking right about women. The exact nature of my wrong is "Egotistical and disgusting man-like thinking that makes attractive women into sex objects." Add to that "lustful indulgence".

So I did step 7, and it was hard to "be willing" or "entirely ready" to have God remove this shortcoming. I could spend some time thinking pleasurable thoughts about this girl. I could go as far as take actions on these thoughts. This is not a shortcoming like having a bad habit of cussing out cops to their face. That would be painful and I really would want to get rid of that shortcoming. But this is the subtle kind of defect that many men would "like" to hold onto. It's the kind you can take into your secret hiding place and entertain yourself with. You can actually go out and plan and take actions too - it would all be "pleasure". Not like getting cuffed and the crap beat out of you.

But I did humbly ask God to remove this. I love my lady friend and wouldn't ever again want to betray someone that I'm intimate with ("again" means that yes I did it before - while drinking not in sobriety). I also love people, men and women, and my real "desire" is to learn how to love everybody the same way that God loves them. I owe this to you in the fellowship that taught me how to be a decent human being. I owe it to God who gives me Grace and Mercy. I owe it to my friends, loved ones, and co-workers. I owe it to myself to be true to myself.

Now I come to step 10, boy this is all so fast. To those ladies here that might be offended, or if this stirred up some bad memories for anyone, I am sorry. And if there is anything you want to suggest to me to make amends, please let me know, either private message or post it here live.

Well that's how I started my day today. I'll probably have to do the same thing tomorrow. I think this is one of those shortcomings that needs to get removed every day like a bad weed. Thank God that's all I have to do - ask for Grace and Mercy one day at a time.
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Postby anniemac » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:50 pm

No offense taken at all, Paul. And it's evident that you desire to be a much better person than I do. :oops: The past year or so I have become quite aware of how many good looking young men there are in this world -- 'young' meaning 20-25 or so (I'm 47, as of yesterday). And honestly, I'm loving that I have become aware of this; I find them beautiful to look at. Now, I don't plan on becoming another Mrs. Robinson or cheating on my husband; yet I don't find it disturbing that these men cause my head to turn. Actually, I'm pleased that a part of me that had felt dead for years has reawakened to the joys of life.

Guess I still have a lot to learn; I'll just keep coming back.... :roll:
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Postby rockingchair » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 pm

Happy birthday Annie! I don't know - :roll: personally I don't see anything wrong with enjoying the view :wink:

It is when we act on those thoughts - when we say things -- and do things that we get in trouble. :shock:
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Postby garden variety » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:32 pm

Yeah I agree that admiring a person's attribute is most of the time a nice momentary pleasure, definitely not worth loosing any rest about.

But this situation is a little bit more intense. Over the next several months I have to work with this lady very closely at least 8 hours a day. Right next to each other and face to face. And I have to be a "neutral" supervisor to her. WHich means I also have to be sure my other staffers are getting the same kind of treatment. That translates to spending more time together with her than I do with anyone else, including my girlfriend (we don't live together). Being "professional" has never been this hard for me.

Maybe some folks can do this without blinking an eye, but I guess I'm sicker than most.

I just wanted to clarify that because I don't want you to think I'm trying to be "holier than thou" by not doing things like gawking at pretty women. This is something a little bit different and a challenge for me.

I haven't told my sponsor yet, but I will whenever he is home. He doesn't cut me any slack with girl problems. He met my lady friend. He just looks at me hard if we are having a disagreement, and says stuff like most guys would give their right arm to be involved with someone like that. I can hear him now, "cry me a river". I guess the girl "problems" he hears from me sound pretty strange. I mean who complains about working with a drop-dead gorgeous woman (or man for you gals)?
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Postby rockingchair » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:52 pm

Sorry if I sounded a bit flip about your situation. :? It is good that you are recognizing that you might be getting into dangerous waters - and believe me, office romances are definitely something to avoid. What is it they used to say - there's a slip underneath every skirt? :shock:
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Postby Dallas » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:57 pm

Paul, sounds like you've been doing some thinking! :lol: :lol:

And, it also sounds like you might be hu-man! :lol: :lol: :lol:

If I didn't look and think -- I'd probably be wondering if I was dead! :oops:

RC said it for me --

RC wrote: it is when we act on those thoughts - when we say things -- and do things that we get in trouble.


You hit me right on the head with that hammer! :lol:

Fortunately, for me --- that statement is so true! My head -- sometimes -- is constantly in motion. I can't seem to think myself into right action -- but, right actions can lead me to right thinking. :lol:

It's when I take action on my un-sound thinking that it gets me into trouble. I never got arrested for my thinking (than God for that! ) ... it's my actions that get me in trouble. I've never got into trouble thinking about saying something -- it's when I've actually said it -- that I got into trouble.

I was writing of this in another message yesterday. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Life gave us an "edit button" or a "delete button" that we could use -- rather than waiting to make amends!!! :lol:

You're one of the good guys, Paul. Take it easy on yourself! :wink:

There are way too many times when I'm too tough on myself -- and, I'll have the tendency to kick the crap out of myself over something that I thought or some mistake that I made. My sponsor tells me that I get wrapped too tight -- and, that I need to relax and take it easy.

I seem to experience these "extremes." I've sometimes let my head get in a bind that it demands that I be perfect -- and, my head doesn't even seem to think about the fact that I can't be perfect. If I don't watch it -- my head will start kicking the crap out of me over some possibility-thing that I didn't do but I might have done!

Without a doubt -- I'm sure that my head doesn't seem to like me! It would have killed me a long time ago -- if it didn't need my body for transporation!!! :wink:

Isn't it awesome -- that there is this thing inside us -- that wants to steer us in the right direction? And, this other thing -- that says "Easy does it! But, do it!"

Dallas
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Postby anniemac » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:29 am

Thanks, Ruthie!

Paul, I too didn't mean to sound flippant and to diminish your feelings. I do admire the work you are putting in to this situation as I bet it is uncomfortable. Years ago I used to work with a guy, he was my immediate supervisor, we had so much in common and were so much alike that we became very good friends; my husband and I socialized with him and his wife, he and I had lunch together all the time at work, etc. We used to "joke" that either we should be married, or that we were long lost siblings. Although I wasn't physically attracted to him, I was intensely emotionally attracted to him. I fantasized about he and I leaving our spouses and running away together. My heart fluttered when he walked in the door or when he called in from a trip. It was crazy-making for me, for years. So, although the details differ, Paul, I do relate to how it can be difficult to work closely with someone when there's thoughts shooting off in other directions.

As an aside, his wife died of an unintentional overdose and that hit home and scared me so much that I was in AA 3 months later.

Anyway, thanks for sharing how you apply the Steps to your daily life. Those examples are always helpful for me, as my head can have difficulty 'translating' things out of their original context.
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Postby TinaL » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:15 am

Hey Paul,

I'm a newcomer here and to A.A. I really love this forum because I learn so much from everyone's experiences. I have to say I am really impressed with the way you are working the steps in this situation. I've been in similar situations before when I was not sober and needless to say, I did not behave like a descent human being. But what you are doing here gives me hope. I am very new to sobriety and I know I have a long way to go but after reading the way you are working the steps I know I have alot to look forward too! I am looking forward to being Happy, Joyous and Free like you guys are!! :lol:

After reading this I agree with Dallas, "You are one of the good guys Paul"! Also, I believe your girl friend is lucky to have a descent man like you!

Happy belated Birthday Anne... you are 47 and I am 43...we are close in age... :lol:

Taken it Easy... :wink:
Tina
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Postby anniemac » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:20 am

Bless you, Tina, for considering 47 close to 43! I've never been "bothered" by a birthday before, but this one made me think that 46 can round down to 45, but 47 rounds up to 50...uh oh! It's all okay, though, as I am nowhere NEAR 50 on the emotional level!
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Postby DebbieV » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:19 pm

Paul, if all men would put as much thought into the way they looked at women and women into how they looked at men as you have in this situation, I think that we would all be doing Gods work.
Thank you for sharing and thanks for being willing to be open. You have inspired me to take a look at what I think and do and also what others may be doing and not yet realizing it.
Thanks for letting me share.
Thank God for edit button :oops:
Deb
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - "Here are the steps we took..." (Today)