Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Do nothing 'til you hear from me
Friday, October 8, 2010
The topic of last Wednesday's Ala-non meeting was courage, as in courage to change, the name of one of the Ala-non daily devotional books. I know quite a bit about courage, or more exactly, the lack of courage; a few years ago, I would find myself gripped by fears about the uncertainty of the future. These episodes would cripple me, occupying my mind for hours. Going to meetings, reading the literature, and working with a sponsor helped me get through this difficult period. I learned several tools that helped me then and they are helping me now to deal with my CIDP.
The first tool is courage to let things go, to trust there are many problems that I’m not supposed to solve and that this is alright. I have to recognize that others have their Higher Power, who is leading them to discovery at their own pace, not mine.
Adrienne carried an unbearable burden while I was in the hospital and bedridden at home. Knowing she was doing all this hard work to help me was terrible. But I couldn't help her. Trying to do more than I was capable was not only a failure, but dangerous. I had to trust that she would see herself through this and we would both be alright.
The next tool is the courage to make mistakes. Trying something and failing was a sign of weakness and vulnerability. Therefore, it takes courage to try new things or things that I have failed at. If I stop trying new things because I am afraid of failing, I have stopped growing. I have had plenty of failures, but through God's grace, many of those failures have already turned into victories.
Writing is a good example of this; ever since I could write, I have taken great joy in using words on paper to express and communicate. I thought I was pretty good at it until it was explained to me that I wasn't as good as I thought. I could have worked to improve my skills, but instead I didn't write a thing for many years. I thought that if I couldn't be perfect, then I would be nothing.
I started writing in the hospital to pass time and help me process what was happening. I also hoped that people close to me would read it to get information about my condition. Publishing a couple of blog posts a month isn't going to make me a great writer, but it is making me a better writer.
Lastly, the courage to say I can't do it myself-I need help. Asking for help truly is a sign of strength.
While in the Drake Center, my roommate Steve and I were talking about how it felt to one day be healthy, then the next need so much help. “It's humbling,” he told me.
Humbling is right. I survived all sorts of things I never thought I would. But I didn't have to do it alone. God surrounded me with love and protection. To all the people who brought that to me, you were emissaries of God, carrying His message and doing His work for Him.
When faced with a situation where I would have responded by using unkind words, or tried to force my solution on others, or any other of my unsuccessful strategies, I pray to my Higher Power for guidance.
I seldom get a dramatic response; 99% of the time, I don't get any discernible response at all, so I do nothing. I keep my mouth shut and wait patiently for resolution to come from a different source, and it always comes.
When people want to talk about my recovery, I have to give credit where it is due and say, “God is good all the time.”
All the time, God is good.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010