Day 238: 5th Step — Holy Fucking Shit

I’ve talked about expectations, but, man, there was no expecting this: 5th Step.

I tried to go into today with no expectations. Not only because I really had no idea what to expect, but, because, I really wanted to have an organic experience. With myself. With my sponsor. With God. So, therein lay the expectation, that really, I expected nothing. And, perhaps this was a good thing, perhaps not.

I had no expectation of today’s reading of my 4th Step providing relief, but, I had that hope. And, after the epic journey of writing out my 4th Step, which in and of itself was a relief to complete, I thought that reading it–just rattling it off–would be a cinch.

Au contraire mon frere. Au contraire.

Today was a new kind of low. A low where I had a safety net built in, but, a low so bad that the net allowed me to sink in, more than just a bit, to taste and feel the murky waters of my past. It was extremely hard for me. Hard for me to look at the damage that I’d done to myself, but, also, that I was responsible for in other’s lives.

While writing my 4th Step, I could see my character defects. I could even see that they came up more than once. I started to see the patterns I had formed, starting from a very young age. But, writing all these things down was not even the half of it.

As I read my 4th Step out loud to my sponsor, as we stopped and talked about behaviors and patterns, I was completely astonished. ASTONISHED. Appalled, devastated, saddened, hurt, confused, and truly upset by the consistent behavioral patterns that dominated my life. Cruel and damaging. And, I so easily justified it all, even in writing my 4th Step, I didn’t see how I’d made all that mess “acceptable.”

I won’t go into too much detail, because the filth is mine to live with, and mine to wash away.

As I walked to my car after completing my reading, leaving my sponsor, I felt as if I were covered in dirt from head to toe. A feeling so weighty and gross that it seized me like a thick layer of dried mud that would never shower off.

When I did shower, before heading out to see Lars’ band play a show, I tried to understand this feeling. I tried to figure out how this conception of complete demoralization and regret would ever go away or benefit my growth in any way. But, I could make no rhyme or reason of it. And so, I did only as I know how to do, trust that the program of AA works, and leave today behind. On to tomorrow.

I stood at the music venue and let the deep, resonating tones of Lars’ bass fill my chest. I let myself and the day go. I wanted to feel anything other than the way I felt. And so, I let myself feel the music. I let it all go…

Today was so extremely powerful. I still am so unsure of what I just experienced.

All I know is that tomorrow is another day, and it will require another shower.

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