Of White Knuckles and Dragon Scales…

At age 4, I was diagnosed with Leg Perthes (a disorder of the hip joint in which the ball of the femur disintegrates). Surgeries, a full leg/hip cast, wheelchair, bedpans, crutches and physical therapy followed….

I became an older sister.

My mother and father were smokers. I was an allergic asthmatic who was sick more often than not.

I entered puberty early, against my will.

My father had a heart attack when I was 11; and then he had a fatal one when I was 23.

I married a man who struggled with alcoholism.

I struggled ( still struggle) with food and weight.

I could not get pregnant the traditional way. (Was I being punished because I was horrified by the changes of womanhood at too young of an age, or, for how I behaved with boys prior to marriage?) However, through the miracles of modern science, we were blessed with our daughter.

We were involved in a pretty major car accident in which a car turned right in front of us and caused us to swerve into oncoming traffic. I was 4 months pregnant at the time. I sustained no injuries (it was truly a miracle) and my husband suffered some brain contusions and back issues.

Our daughter was always a spirited and challenging child (and she still is at age 11).

She was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety at age 6.

She was kicked in the head by a horse and suffered spider-web fractured maxillary bones, a broken nose, two brain contusions, a lip laceration and it worsened her ADHD and anxiety.

She pulls her hair and/or picks her scalp in response to her medications for ADHD.

God has been teaching me about control my whole life; but, I have been fighting it tooth and nail as far back as I can remember. Like a tug-o-war: God says, ‘I got this.”  I reply, ” No, I got this, ” or, “You’re not doing it the way I want you to,” and God says, ‘ No, really, I’ve got this handled,” and  so on…

In hindsight I can see that God has been trying to tell me all along,“Kristin, I have this covered. Trust me. Rely on me. Put your faith in me. You cannot handle this all on your own. I am here.

                                                                                                                   But I just won’t let Him...

dragon scales and aslan

I have been white-knuckling it for so many years, that it’s like picking off a layer of skin.

It brings to mind the scene in Narnia’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader in which the cousin, Eustace Scrubb, turned into a dragon. Aslan came to him and told him that he would need to remove his scales, one by one – it wouldn’t be easy, it would hurt, but it would be of benefit to him. In fact, Aslan helped remove the scales. And afterwords, he was changed.

Can I loosen my grip on my need for control?  I think I can – but I need time and help – God’s help.  I need Him to show me little by little ( scale by scale) that I can let go of my fears, worries resentments and anger.  It’s time.  It is SO time….

I want to be changed from the inside out…how about you?

 

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Grace and Step 1

We must start at the very beginning...it's a very good place to start ( insert Julie Andrews singing voice!)

We must start at the very beginning…it’s a very good place to start ( insert Julie Andrews singing voice!)

I am engaging in a process called, “working the steps.” And, yes, there happen to be twelve of them! { DISCLAIMER: This is my personal journey through the Steps.  It is in no way offering professional opinion or direction.  Please see my post on Addiction for links to help for you or a family member}

Right now I am at Step One, which is probably the most important of all the steps.  I have to admit to myself that I am powerless over the alcoholic in my life. I am actually many, many years away from being knee-deep in the muck of my husband’s disease, but I recently got humble and got myself some much-needed help.

When you are in the trenches of alcoholism/addiction, this is THE hardest thing to admit to yourself because you believe( because you are repeatedly told) that you are a huge cause of the problem – ” I wouldn’t drink if you [ insert any lie here: (1)folded his laundry right, (2)cooked all his meals just right, (3) didn’t have so many opinions, (4) had sex so many times a week, (5)kept the baby from crying, (6) didn’t spend so much money, (7) kept the house cleaner, etc.].”

When you are out of the trenches, it is STILL the HARDEST thing to admit to yourself, especially if you are an anxiety-prone, control-freak, type-A personality, like myself. What do you mean I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it , and I can’t cure it?!  Of course I can, I was the WHY – wasn’t I ?!

NO.

He drank because he chose to.

He drank because he was genetically predisposed to this disease.

He drank because of his own personal demons that had nothing to with me.

Oh, so I was just the scapegoat?

YEP.

So why do I feel so awful inside – like I am going to burst at the seams with anxiety, panic, anger and even overwhelming feelings of sadness?

Because you are still hanging on to all the bitterness and lies, and you haven’t let it go. Your body and mind are still living like it’s the past.  It became such a habit, and now you need to break it.

You need to admit to yourself and to God that you are powerless over the alcoholic in your life.  (You can actually insert any issue that is causing  you pain and confusion for “alcoholic.)

You didn’t cause it.

You can’t control it.

You can’t cure it.

I am not that powerful. But, there is someone who is bigger, stronger and more powerful than any of us.  Someone who can help me lift this burden from my heart and help me live again.  Someone who gave us the very gift of grace and new life.

God.

the amazing gift of grace

the amazing gift of grace

Admitting that I am powerless over the alcoholic/addict in my life brings me a sense of release & hope.  I can control myself, and I need to expect that he will do the same.  I can choose my attitude, I can choose my actions and reactions, I can choose to love with detachment, I can choose to walk away from the situation and not get sucked in to the chaos , and, I can choose to rest in God.

Friends, I am powerless over the alcoholic in my life.  I can’t go on this journey alone. I need God, and  supportive friends and acquaintances who have been where I have, and who are unfortunately going through it now.  I need help, and I am no longer too proud to admit it.

If you are reading this and you are involved with a person who struggles with alcoholism/addiction, take that first step – go to an Al-Anon meeting in your area, seek wise counsel in your pastor or therapist, reach out –  YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Keep coming back…

Do you have something that you need to admit that you’re powerless over?  This is a safe place, let’s encourage one another…