Turning My Back On God

When looking back over the past year, I have discovered that my back had been turned on God. Oh, I talked the talk, but even I wasn’t buying the BS I was spouting. My business was failing, I was slowly running out of money, I endured a life-threatening illness, my health insurance was unexpectedly dropped, my “just paid off” car suddenly died, and the list goes on. I got through each day somehow, but if I am completely honest with myself, I see that my faith disappeared. I was questioning my God every moment along the way, wondering why He was letting all of this happen to me.

So I did what I do best. When I fear that someone is going to abandon me, I abandon them first. I turned my back on God, and walked away, an empty shell. Without even really recognizing what I was doing, I was obviously saying, “Fine, I’ll do it my own way since you are not helping me, God!” My own way just doesn’t cut it… I have proven that time and time again.

faith

I saw this saying this morning. It stopped me in my tracks. I was a teacher for years, and I remember on test day, my college students would arrive, take their test forms from me, and go to their desks in silence prepared to take their exam. I remember saying to myself, “Okay, I have given them the tools to pass this test, now it is up to them.” This is what God is saying to me daily, but I have ignored Him.

Last night, I heard a speaker tell his story. He had a traumatic childhood, and as a result, he claimed to have turned his back on God. In telling a trusted friend this story later in his life, his friend looked at him and said, “All you need to do is turn around.” That was so profound to me. God is always there, silently waiting for us to live the lessons He has already taught us. There are times in our lives where we feel like He has left us out there alone, clinging to the edge of the cliff for dear life. It is in those times, where we feel most alone, that all we need to do is simply Turn Around!

~ Paige Loveland

Accept What Is… Let Go of What Was

acceptance

 

One of my absolute favorite parts of the book that is my Bible these days, talks about acceptance as being the answer to all of my problems today. I have read and re-read that section a number of times. I even took a screen shot of it and carry it around on my phone to pull out and read when I am having a particularly rough time. This is one of those times.

When I start to feel uncomfortable, fearful, anxious, or worried, I have to look deep within to find the answers. The cause of these feelings cannot be found by looking outward. Yes, there might be someone or some situation that is upsetting me. However, if there is one thing I have learned, and learned the hard way, it is that I cannot change, control, or fix anyone or anything around me.

People let us down sometimes. Things don’t go the way we planned. But there is absolutely nothing we can do over it. We must simply accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Yeah, right!! It isn’t simple. But it is what we must do if we want to stay sober and live a life filled with joy. Life throws us curves, but it is how we react that matters. We can only control our own reactions to the things that happen around us.

For me, the hard part of that saying is the third line… “Have faith in what will be”. It is sometimes easier to shake off a failed relationship and let go, but much more difficult to believe and have faith that all will be okay and better things are in store, even though I try. Wasn’t it Yoda from Star Wars that said, “Do. Or Do Not. There is No Try.”? I cannot try to have faith… I simply must. Because to not have faith will only lead me back to the life I want so desperately to never revisit. To be sober, physically and emotionally, I must have faith.

~ Paige Loveland

Clarity in Sobriety

clarity

While drinking or using, our thinking is so clouded that we cannot see what is right in front of us. Yet, even in sobriety, we can still have clouded judgment. It is these alcoholic mind moments that should put us on guard. We have a disease which tells us we do not have it. Our minds play tricks on us in ways that non-alcoholics do not experience.

I have a clarity these days that I have not had in what seems like ages. The sky is bluer, the air is cleaner, and the moon shines brighter. I am not fooled by that little nasty voice that is chanting words of discouragement. I love my clean life. I am not ashamed to tell a new friend that I do not drink.  I am unashamed to admit what drinking did to me, and would do to me if I decided to go at it again.

Remembering what it did to me, and playing the tape through to the end as we are encouraged to do, keeps me grounded in reality. I must always remember that the girl who drank, and drank way too much, is always right there, beneath the surface. She is holding a stiff drink in one hand, and beckoning me over to join her with the other. But she does not fool me, for I know who she really is. I don’t need her, and I don’t want her. She is toxic to me, and she only wants to bring that fog back to swell exponentially within me. Today, and today is all that I have, I choose peace and clarity!

~ Paige Loveland

A Journey of a Thousand Miles…

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.

single step

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. When I finally admitted this to myself, truly believing it to the core of my being, I was ready to begin the journey. This journey involved a long path that wasn’t always smooth and sunny. Along the way, there were massive bumps in the road, boulders actually. There were storms where I had to squint aimlessly through with the windshield wipers on high. There were snow storms from where I had to shovel my way out. I found detours that my GPS didn’t recognize, sending me into a tailspin of confusion. I skinned a few knees, broke a few freshly manicured nails, and lost a lot of sleep from worry and despair.

Sounds terrible doesn’t it? Well, the truth is, it really has been a beautiful journey. Why? Because my head was free and clear of alcohol through the entire journey up until now. I took a serious nosedive, but alas, I awoke the next day ready to admit my powerlessness again. None of the lessons I learned up to this point were lost. They may have been hidden beneath the surface a bit, afraid to show their faces. But when I reached down, grabbed them by the neck, and held them up to look them square in the eyes, those lessons were right there where I needed them.

So, here I am. I admit that I am completely powerless over alcohol, that my life has, yet again, become unmanageable. Fully accepting this is a fresh start. So I am merging back onto the road to happy destiny. Wanna come along for the ride??

~ Paige Loveland

Dust Yourself Off… And Move On

Dust Yourself Off

Life goes on. Humans are not infallible. We make mistakes. Mistakes do not make us bad people. Meetings have become a daily event for me again. The truth is, though, I have been going to 5-6 meetings a week (never less than 4) since I first got sober in 2010. But meetings alone do not keep you sober. I have learned that the very hard way. I see that I was on a downward spiral for months.

It started with a surgery for which I was prescribed narcotics during my recovery. Those narcotics tickled something in my brain that made me want more. If I had taken my medication as prescribed, only when I was in pain, I might have been okay. But I am an addict. I wanted them all of the time. They helped me sleep, I justified. When the pills ran out, I wanted more. When I could not get more, I wanted something, anything, that would replace that feeling. I settled on Xanax, which my doctor happily prescribed for my anxiety. All of this was the behavior of an alcoholic completely headed for a huge fall.

As an alcoholic, I have to be aware of those things, such as prescribed (or not prescribed) medications. My brain does not work like a normal person’s brain. Mine can easily be fooled into thinking I am okay, and that I can handle a pill here and there. It is this same brain that will tell me that I do not have the disease of alcoholism.

So, in accepting these things, I am dedicated to dusting myself off, and starting over again. I want the sober and healthy life that I have begun to build over these last four years. I am excited about my future. Things may be tough now, but to that I say, “World, Bring It On!”

~ Paige Loveland