One Step at a Time

rear-view-mirrorIn a backwards look it is relatively easy to see how my life moved from one point to another even thought back then forward momentum seemed to be straight into fog. Everything ahead was obscured and I gave little thought to what I was doing or how my actions were shaping my future life. In a way I was like the fish who did not know he lived in water, except my pond was a lake of dysfunctional behavior.

I was dripping in pain, loneliness and self-induced delusion when I wrote “Alone”. It’s interesting that a man wrote it but the feelings are those of a child begging to be loved echoing within.

I am alone now,
No one to talk to but myself.
All others have gone,
or else forsaken me long ago.
I look inward,
But only a hallow do I find,
Love inside,
But no one who wants it.
Why am I never good enough,
Why don’t I get loved more?
Why do those who say they care
Hurt me so much?
I cry alone…..

Over twenty years ago “Mistakes” was an partial and incomplete list of the mistakes I believed I had made to date.

I choose the wrong parents or else they choose me.
I grew up wanting love and getting little.
I give too much in my desire to be wanted and loved.
I married the wrong person.
I should have stayed single till much older.
I am too troubled to have a relationship with most people.
I am too good at my work and capable at little else.
I choose the wrong career.
I live in the wrong place.
I have driven away the love of my life.
I am sick because I did not take care of myself.
I managed money badly and had a car repossessed when young.
I was deceitful with women.
I have long loved someone outside marriage.
I have lied to have time with the one I love.
I have denied relations to my marriage partner because I love another.
I have stayed married.
I have a job I am good at but don’t like much.
I like more money than is healthy.
I am weak and need others for strength.
I need the one I love too much.
I express my love too openly to the one I love.
I should be stronger and more silent with love.
I stole a camera when I was 17.
I have not made a difference in this life.
I have been too self-centered.
I have expected too much of others.
I have been too selfish.
I have hurt others In business and messed up lives.
I failed the one I love.
I destroyed what the love of my life once felt for me.
I feel sorry for myself too much.
… Mistakes…
only a few of thousands…
oh, to have time to do it over again and right the wrongs…

These days I find myself wishing I had journaled or kept better notes of my thoughts and feelings of my 20s and 30s. However, am grateful for the random files I have found in the last few days that I wrote back in the early to mid 90’s. Seeing flashes of my old self mirrored through time illustrates how well recovery can work. “It works if you work it” is the saying often spoken at the end of 12 step meetings. As flimsy as that might initially sound to many, it’s true beyond what an uninvolved person can grasp. One step at a time, one day at a time: it works.

Happy trails to you,
until we meet again.
Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride
the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.
From the song “Happy Trails” by Dale Evans