Tag Archives: Charlotte Kasl

New Stories

Standard

82 days ago I started telling myself a new story.  I began my story with the firm statement that I will not drink or use no matter what.  I repeat this statement to myself daily, sometimes several times a day, in writing and out loud.  I haven’t had a compulsion to drink or use and maybe my statement is part of the reason why.  Maybe I really am just finally sick and tired of being sick and tired.

No matter.  It’s working.

I ran to an AA meeting because it was the only place I knew people would understand and I’m glad AA and the meeting were there.  I thought maybe my new story would be one of returning to that fold and it finally working for me.  But in about 3 weeks of daily meetings and talking with a sponsor,  I knew in my heart this was not to be the case and I am finally alright with it.  When I think of the rest of my life in AA all I see is grey.  My new story is vibrantly colored – alive with magenta, violet, gold, chartreusse, indigo, fuschia.  It is a very bright impressionist painting or an exploding nebula.  It’s Venus dancing across the face of the Sun.

I’ve been making good use of some of Charlotte Kasl’s 16 steps to empowerment, but I don’t know if that will be my story either.   Charlotte’s steps appeal to me a lot more than AA’s twelve, but in some ways it just feels like the same old story in a different outfit.

I’m after a brand new story.  One that is not numbered 1-12 or 1-16 or 1, 2, 3.  I’ts a circular story and so far it consists of this:

I don’t drink or use no matter what.

I believe nothing.  I entertain all possibilities.

I don’t drink or use no matter what.

I connect with other sober people in any venue.

I don’t drink or use no matter what.

I follow anything that feels life-giving, affirmative, empowering, rich and fun.

I don’t drink or use no matter what.

As you can see, this is not necessarily a “we” program (gasp!andgodstrikemedown!).

Thank you for visiting Eclectic Recovery.

 

Advertisements

Venus Dreams

Standard

We’re living in a time of revolution.  Nothing is more reflective of this time than Venus’ transit of the Sun today.  The goddess of beauty and love will infuse the male energy of the Sun with the grace necessary to bring forth manifestation of our deepest desires.

Venus if a very important planet and goddess in my life.  As a first-house 5-planet Scorpio, Venus on my ascendent is the saving grace of what has otherwise been a rather difficult chart to live out.  She’s having a long sit-down with my 5th house Chiron right now and because I’m sober, I’m able to work with this energy in a powerful and positive way.

Chiron instructs that wherever lie our deepest wounds, there also lies our salvation.  Addiction is the defining issue of my life.  I have absolutely no business being alive today; no business being sober; no business being happy and excited about sobriety.

My time sober since my last drink, 81 days, is not indicative of all that I’ve learned in the past 18 years of strivng for a lasting sobriety, getting sober and then relapsing again, learning more, trying something else.  It’s not indicative of the 6 years of sobriety I had from 1988-1994 – good sober years but in a program not suitable for me, a program I had no desire to return to, a program that left me with no life raft when my addiction was reawakened.

I have this crazy dream.  I have this dream that when an addict desires sobriety, there is a meeting in every city of a program suitable for that particular addict.  There is a Lifering meeting for those who have no need of steps or a higher power.  There is a 16-step meeting for those like me, who need to build a healthy ego and empower themselves; there is a spiral step meeting for pagans and other nature-based spiritualists.  There are meetings I can’t begin to imagine now because they haven’t been created yet.

If there’s one thing in the entire world I’m absolutely sure of it’s the creative genius of most addicts.  It’s time for this genius to be unleased, to create new forms, new programs, new meetings.  It’s time for us to follow the lead of Bill Wilson, Charlotte Kasl, Martin Nicolaus, and Renee Bledsoe and get interested in our own recoveries.  It’s time to be unflinchingly honest about what does and does not work for us individually, for us to know what we know, see what we see, and feel what we feel.

It’s time for us to be committed to each other rather than to a particular form.

I’m willing now to back up my crazy dream with commitment.  By this day next year, not only will I have one year and 81 day’s continuously clean and sober, there will be a Lifering and a 16-step empowerment meeting in my town.  I’d also love to see an Addiction Alchemy model available here.  With Venus as my grace, guide and witness, so let it be written, so let it be done.

Woo Hoo!!!

 

Know What I Know, Feel What I Feel

Standard

I was in an AA meeting the other day and a woman was expressing how she’s relapsed twice:  once after the 4th step and once after the 9th.  Instead of questioning whether the steps were appropriate to her and her recovery, she, of course, questioned herself, berated herself for not doing them properly, and was getting a new sponsor to begin going through them once again.  I felt so badly for her because I’ve been there, too. 

It’s taken me over 15 years to finally realize that I was just practicing the wrong steps for me.  It’s taken years of involvement with people who use no steps at all and no higher power, but manage to obtain a full sobriety anyway.  It’s taken soul searching, relapses, trying different things, reading and re-reading Charlotte Kasl’s book to finally begin to trust my reality and daily affirm that I see what I see, know what I know and feel what I feel. 

Thank my creator, gods, goddesses, spirits and allies for Charlotte because I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out on my own.  It’s an especially hard road sometimes for those who have no affinity with the 12 steps, who are not ego-driven, but ego-broken, who always blame themselves anyway with absolutely no help from outside influences, who are not in denial just desperate. 

So glad to be here and be sober today.

Thank you for visiting Eclectic Recovery.

Piecing Together a Personal Recovery Program

Standard

I’m 45 days clean and sober today because I’ve made up my mind that I’m not going to drink or use no matter what, one day at a time, for the rest of my life, however long that proves to be.

In order to make my sobriety as joyful and painless as possible, I’m employing a variety of techniques which I’ll be sharing on these pages.  My hope is that they prove helpful to someone else starting their sobriety journey or to those still struggling to make the best decision they will ever make for themselves.

Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D. and author of many books including “Many Roads, One Journey” and “Women, Sex and Addiction” has had a profound effect on my life and the way I’m choosing to approach my recovery.  I’ve decided to use her 16-Steps to Empowerment model because it deeply resonates with me as a woman, an addict and a person who was emotionally repressed at a young age.

I appreciate the fact that her steps are not set in stone.  She recommends changing the wording, using them out of order or using some and not others as seems appropriate to the individual.

I attend AA meetings for group support and to be around other recovering addicts.  I do not subscribe to much of the AA program, but what I do believe in is the value of one addict helping another.  I also attend an aftercare group at a treatment center where I was a patient and it’s proving a valuable addition to my meeting schedule.  There’s no pressure to conform in this group and I’m able to be honest in a way I can’t in the AA meetings I attend.

I participate daily in an e-mail list through the Lifering Secular Recovery program.  I’ve been involved with this group for many years and find it an invaluable part of my recovery program.  I’m also using the Recovery by Choice workbook written by the founder of Lifering, Martin Nicolaus.  This workbook covers everything a recovering addict needs to think about and begin to address.  It’s an incredible piece of work.

I’ve created a weekly recovery inventory where I look back at the week and list what I’ve been doing, how it’s been helpful or not, and plan recovery meetings and activities for the coming week.

I express gratitude to my higher powers (I’m pagan so I get to have lots of them) on a daily basis and request guidance in my life and recovery.

I journal several times a week and read some type of recovery literature daily.

My program is flexible.  I fully expect it to change as I obtain longer sobriety and take on more challenges.  I’m very excited about my life and happy to still be alive to live it.

Thank you for visiting Eclectic Recovery.