3 Truths Recovery Taught Me ~ a guest post by a Recovery Rockstar ~ Rose Lockinger

   When I first got sober the only thing that I really wanted was to figure out how to stop drinking and get my life back. It was the driving force behind entering into treatment and if that was the only thing that I got from sobriety that would have been enough. But sobriety has offered me so much more, so much that I didn’t know I was going to receive.

 

Being sober and involved in Alcoholics Anonymous has given me a new way of life, with new principles and a better understanding for who I am in relation to the world around me. And it has taught me some important truths that I probably would not have learned otherwise.  Recovery has also helped heal from trauma that haunted me for so many years.

 

The first major truth that being sober taught me is that I do not have to be perfect. I am not sure if other people learn this quicker than I did, but for me perfection was always the goal, whether conscious or not. I’m not sure where this need for perfection stemmed from but my ability to accept my failings as a human being has always been lacking. For most of my life, I have been extremely hard on myself, and anything that did not measure up to the level of perfection that I was seeking was deemed a failure.

 

This thought process is not unique to me, and one of my favorite principles of the program is that  of progress not perfection.  This has helped me combat to some extent this type of thinking, but accepting this was always difficult for me. It is one of those strange dichotomies of being an addict or alcoholic that doesn’t seem to make sense. In one regard I ruined pretty much everything during my addiction, yet I always sought to be perfect. If I couldn’t be perfect I didn’t bother trying at all. Once I got sober and learned that seeking perfection was a fool’s errand, my attitude changed.

 

I learned that all that I could expect of myself was my best effort and that if I could honestly say that I tried my best then the outcome was good enough for me. This is not always easy for me to accept but being sober and understanding that I am not perfect has helped greatly in this aspect.

 

The second major truth that I learned in sobriety was that I actually am a good person. A little over two years ago you could not have convinced me of this, in fact, for the most part, I thought I was one of the worst human beings on the planet. I felt as if I could never be forgiven for the things I did. This changed however once I got sober and I began to see that many of the actions that I took during my addiction were not me, they were uncharacteristic for the person that I actually am.

 

Learning this truth took some time but when I finally began to see that I actually do care about people and their feelings and that what I want most out of life is to help people and see them succeed, I began to reevaluate my own appraisal of myself.

 

This was a huge truth for me to learn and going from thinking I was the worst, to thinking that I was actually a good person completely changed the way that I interacted with myself and with others. I found that I no longer berated myself as much, although I still can from time to time, and I also found that I was more forgiving and accepting of others as well. I don’t always operate in the mindset that I am a good person, but for the most part, I am aware today that this is the truth.

 

The third major truth that I learned from being in sobriety is that I, of myself, am enough. I don’t need to pretend to be anyone else, I don’t need to try to please you so that you will love me, and I don’t need to feel less than every other person on the planet. When this truth truly entered into my understanding my entire world changed.

 

For most of my life, I felt like the outsider. I felt like there was something wrong me and there was some fundamental lacking that I had to make up for through other’s acceptance. No matter how much I tried to acquire the knowledge that I was enough through other’s opinions, it never brought me the fulfillment that I craved. It was only after I came to realize for myself that I am enough that I began to be at peace with myself.

 

If you think about it from a logical standpoint, being enough with what you currently are makes sense. I mean why would God, or whatever you choose to call your high power, create a being that was not enough? What sort of cruel joke would that entail making a person, who locked within the essence of their being was not enough for the world? When I realized this, I realized that I no longer had to strive for approval and while I could continue to try to grow as a person, my growth was not contingent on my ability to be loved.

 

Behind almost all of these truths is the fear that I was not someone who could be loved. I believe that it is most people’s greatest fear: that they are too terrible, too broken, or too lacking to be loved. Getting sober showed me that none of this was true and above everything else I was worthy of love because I was worthy of love. I didn’t need to be anything other than Rose and understanding this, took some of the pressure off of me that I felt throughout my life as I tried to figure out how to be someone else.

 

I know that if you get sober you will find your own truths and that these truths will transform the world that you live in. This has been the case for all of the people that I have met during my sobriety and I am excited to hear what truths a life of recovery will bring you.  
 

Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.
 

You can find me on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rose-lockinger-6a0a23109?trk=hp-identity-name), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/rose.lockinger), & Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/rlockinger/ )

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I just had to spread the word about a brilliant app created to help kids find someone to sit with at lunch, thereby reducing the likelihood of their becoming a target for bullying.

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Too many of us grew up being bullied, and those scars don’t go away. Thanks. My Tribe is the best. ❤

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The life-changing events of my time living in Europe

As a young Midwestern girl, I dreamed of living in Europe for as far back as I can remember. The countryside was far greener, the people more friendly, diverse and interesting, and even the architecture was amazing when compared to the cookie-cutter neighborhoods to which I’d been accustomed. It looked to be just about Heaven, as far as I could tell.
My friends and I sought to expand our knowledge and understanding of the (small but hard) world around us via copious amounts of weed, alcohol, and acid, while dreaming of our eventual lives -doing all those same things, of course- overseas. Heck, I was young enough then to believe in the dreams of my friends, if not my own.

Listening to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, The Lizard King, and of course, The Wall, we gathered our ideas of what was, and what had been, and what could be…
So, when I found myself in a position whereby all I had to do to get to The Promised Land (Europa) was get my live-in boyfriend, who was signing up for the Army, to marry me, I somehow made that happen. As young as he was, I’m pretty sure it was via bedroom intimate private “negotiations” that he was easily persuaded.
After he left for boot camp, I spent that period and the 6 months after that smoking, snorting, dropping and  drinking everything I cound get my hands on.
The codependency and depression of my youth exploded, and I went into a pretty fast, downward spiral. Then, to my in-patient “hospital” stay. It was more like a spa, I suppose, than what I’d imagined a psychiatric place to be, and I remember feeling relieved, somehow. Within those walls, I could Just. Be. Me.
After a week to get “stabilised” (I supposed that was the intention, or maybe just supervised detox) on antidepressants, they cut me loose. I hadn’t felt it necessary to talk about my previous chemical intake, and as I left, it felt like an aside when someone suggested  I check out Alcoholics Anonymous.

Meh. That wasn’t my problem! That was my solution!!

Soon after returning to my little studio apartment, I realized that the medication was causing me to blackout sooner, so of course, I nixed the Prozac. (Duh.)

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The house where I lived. Gotta love Google maps!!

Upon arriving in Frankfurt, my husband took me to (of course) one of the usual bars in Saxenhausen. I had a really large glass of Pils (German ale), and a hit of acid. (Right about now was when the music began playing from when Dorothy discovered the Emerald City)

I had effin arrived!!!

It was in most ways, every bit as magical as I’d imagined.
The experience of living in Germany and seeing bits of France (and Amsterdam of course) sealed in my heart a longing to return, which even 24 years later, hasn’t subsided. It would be tres interesting to go there clean & sober, no?!

The short story of what comes to my mind when I think of how that year & a half changed my life forever is this:
My Dad took the opportunity to come for a week (or two?), during which we did some site-seeing…the experience of his driving on the auto-bahn left me with a quote I’ve not yet forgotten. We were headed toward France at the required break-neck speed (so it seemed at the time), and decided that we weren’t necessarily on the road that we wanted. Dad quipped “Well, I’m not sure where we are, but we’re really making good time!” (It may have been more hilarious because I was HIGH. You can be the judge.)
Dad had put together only a few months of sobriety at this time, and in hindsight, I’m positive I was set-up; maybe not by Dad, but nonetheless. He “needed me to help him find a meeting” in Germany. He knew I wasn’t ready to quit, yet. But he needed to get to his safe place, and I know he wanted to share this new fanily with me.
I left that meeting feeling confused and somehow hopeful.
That was one way my life was changed. My first AA meeting, in Frankfurt, Germany.

A few months later, the other life-changing event of my time in Europe.

I discovered I was pregnant.

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Blessed and confused

Posted from my cabin in the mountains.