The longer I’m sober the more aware I am of everything I used to avoid.
I remember once back in 2011 a counselor suggested we try to discover “who I am.” Holy crap I wanted a drink right then and there.
Who I am?
How the heck am I supposed to know?
I was just sort of along for the ride in my life. I thought I was deep and intuitive; but when it came to the serious deep down internal workings of my brain/soul stuff I always checked out, glossed over, read a bunch of books about it, escaped, laughed, made a joke or pretended it wasn’t really that important.
So, I told the counselor, “I’ll get back to you on that.”
And I immediately emailed all my sisters and close friends and asked them to please tell me who I am. They could tell I really wanted to know, so fortunately they were kind to email me back their perspectives of me.
Some of it was really flattering and some of it not so much. I appreciated the honesty but mostly I appreciated the compliments.
When Jesus’ asked his disciples who people say that he is in Luke 9:18-21, He wasn’t asking because he didn’t know, he was asking perhaps to get a read on how well his message was getting out there.
“And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.
All that matters is I’m a good person, I treat people nicely, I don’t drink and am a faithful Catholic. Right? Wrong.
As I age, (BTW, I suddenly started to age when I turned 40) it is harder to avoid facing the bigger, heavier stuff–important things like marriage and trust and finances and children… When I was younger, escaping from feelings of inadequacy in my work or insecurity in my relationships didn’t break me. But today, neglecting to face these bigger things, and having them pile up around me started to become a problem.
Sober, facing life on life’s terms now, I am working through another 4th Step with my sponsor. And darn it all these things I tried to run from are suddenly coming to the surface, bubbling over.
And that question from my counselor is haunting me, “Who am I?”
This is going to be messy—but I’m going to trudge through it. I’m not going to escape this time or dream about moving to the beach instead of facing facts about myself.
So, this morning in my prayer chair, I asked God to reveal to me who I am so that I can better do His will.
Dear God, who do you say that I am?
This should be interesting.