Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Memory -- All Alone in the Moonlight

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

"Every man's memory is his private literature."
-- Aldous Huxley

My memory is the key to my recovery. Spirituality is about "seeing" --seeing my life as it is, rather than how I imagined or hoped it would be. My pain belongs in my life because it is mine! Alcohol always works; but does it work for me or against me? My remembering helps me answer that question today and hopefully tomorrow.


Today's Prayer: Thank You, God, for allowing my yesterdays to forge my tomorrows.



***Memory, Magic or Destiny?***

Me?

Ingrid Bergman once said, "Happiness is good health and a bad memory." Well, for me, only half of this is true.

I realize that I have to remember the mistakes in my past.

I have to remember that woman that nearly ruined her daughter's communion party. She drank all the carafes of wine leftover on the tables then in front of her relatives, gave her fiance a lap dance using his tie as bondage.

That woman driver on the Taconic, the one who allegedly was driving under the influence. The one who drove the wrong way and killed all of those people -- all of those children. Dear God, I have to remember that woman could have been me.

I have to remember, because if I don't, I am likely to repeat those mistakes over and over again.


Unfortunately, as an addict, I tend to chew on a piece of meat until all the flavor is gone. It's important to remember the past -- learn from the past, but not dwell on the past or act like a victim.

Because when you dwell, it'll feel like you're in... Hello please operator, give me number nine...

Sue

"Touch the fire -- I get burned. Touch the fire -- I get burned. Aha, touch the fire -- I get burned!"


Do you have any memories you shouldn't forget? And did Criss Angel guess your card in the video?

Learn more about the Susan/Susan Recovery Project or visit posts on Free Will, Acceptance, Change, Waste, Balance, Selflessness, Happiness/misery, or Imperfection.

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27 comments:

CG said...

that's always been the difficult bit - not allowing myself to forget the painful experiences that have taught me so much whilst trying not to wallow in the pain, grief and regret those memories bring!

Fire Byrd said...

It's the difference between being a product of your history or a victim of it. One is the way of living in the present and using lessons from the past to stay well. The other is to never move on and to blame the past without insight as to how you could change.
There is only one choice here as far as I'm concerned, but there is a choice always.
xx

A.FOB said...

I guess I could have written that post myself. That is what I am trying to do - remember all the things that alcohol cost me, remember why I cannot afford one single drink.

Akelamalu said...

There are things I would like to forget that occasionally come into my mind and embarrass me so I guess I'm not meant to forget them in case I do them again.

dark wings said...

It's so easy to fall off track, especially when relationships fail, then every day seems like an uphill battle, then we have to get ourselves in check.
Thank you for this post, (hugs)

Angela said...

I just finished reading a book where the man drank SO he could forget, not remembering all the terrible things he did. Kept 'drowning' them out.

For the longest time, my memories of the past consumed me, kept flashing in my mind, making me almost sick to my stomache the things I've done....

FREEDOM!!! That is WHO I was, NOT who I am..I refuse to allow my failures to keep me from walking in my success! Those failures have become my stepping stones towards my destiny!! An abundant life!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I can see why you need to remember these instances, so you don't do it again. I get this.
I have a few that I am trying to forget,all the while, knowing that I won't do it again.
You are such a good, deep thinker. I admire you.

Chris Angel needs an extreme makeover and I think I am just the girl to do it.
Yes, damnit he guessed my card. The freak!

Marsha said...

Good post. Accountability is difficult for all. It's easier to live in denial. I think that's what you're facing now, dealing with the consequences, the accountability of what happens when I __________.

Congratulations on reaching this.

Tall Kay said...

"If we don't remember our last drunk, it probably wasn't".

I heard a speaker explain the definition of insanity as "the complete inability to learn from ones mistakes". Working Step 1 everyday insures I never forget, and can learn from my past. Loved the Fr Leo quote.

rae said...

Good post, Sue.

And no, I thought of a card before he shuffled through. I got a different answer on the veggie one, too! I'm pleased that my brain is so independent, but sort of bummed that I didn't get to go, "YES! Krissss Angel that IS my card!"

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

Going into my past usually brings up severe anxiety which I have recently been "moving" through and accepting. I believe once you can accept and move forward you heal. Great Post!

Cookie said...

Lots of things I want to forget too... We all need to learn from the past though but I'm also glad that we are able to move on!

Shadow said...

now this is one thing they repeated again and again in rehab. remember the bad times. for if you forget, you'll go back...

clean and crazy said...

you have some wonderful followers here, this is the second blog to post that reading, is it an AA thing? where it talks about spirituality seeing things as they are, i think that is wrong. in NA that is called humility. to see life as it is not to make something worse or better than it really is, that is called humility, which is a spiritual principle like honesty open- mindedness and willingness. to be truly humble would be very spiritual. i remember the past for several reasons, one to share and relate with the newcomer who may feel no one understands them, two to learn where those behaviors and character defects originated from. in the 4th and 5th step i started to see patterns emerge from my past. in the 6th step i found out the names of the character defects, so now i am armed with the knowledge, from my past knowing exactly where each pain started and why i would always sabotage my life, and i am also armed with the knowledge of what my character defects are, i can actually stop myself from acting out because i can see the pattern my behaviors take and because i remember the wreckage of my past and am willing to look past the pain, i can really learn to be a better person today. i think that is why i need to remember the pain, not relive the pain.

and as for daine shuler, i think that accident was very strange, i don't think it makes any sense as an addict/alcoholic, because her autopsy found 6 grams of undigested alcohol in her body, it also showed that she had no liver damage like that of an alcoholic, she wasn't a real drinker. this accident really puzzles me. i pray for peace for the families involved. i love this post by the way, the reading has me perplexed though. i hope i don't sound like i am saying it is wrong, it just isn't what i was taught in NA.

Swatantra said...

Nice picture!!

Dulce said...

I agree with Mom and Cookie. there are things in the past I'd better forget rather than keep in my mind or heart, if they taught me something and I feel mature about it> Great. But if it keeps tormenting me because I Think i did wrong...better fly away> GUILT usually leads to cancer according to L.Hay, and I do believe so.
Yours

Diana said...

We have to learn to forgive ourselves. God has. I truly believe as I've said before, that our guilt is our punishment. Once we've punished ourselves enough it's time to let it go and try to move on and do better. But you are totally correct Sue, we can't completely forget least we repeat our mistakes!
Love Di

Lou said...

I don't want to forget the events of the past, but I have learned to look at them differently. Not with guilt, shame, judgement, or sadness, but acceptance. I guess I'm saying that I'm a lot kinder to myself these days.

Syd said...

My wife doesn't like to talk to me about the past. Maybe because I remember it so well...hers and mine. I go back fleetingly but would rather stay in today.

Linda said...

Sue,
I found that when I say to myself "the stupid things my teen kids do" the Lord is really quick to remind me of the times I did the same thing. So I guess I don't need to dwell on my past mistakes but when I need reminding the Lord is so happy to oblige. lol.

Hugs!

Mama Zen said...

I deliberately picked a card other than the Queen, so, no, he didn't pick my card!

Wish I could see through my own illusions like that!

Madison said...

Remembering helps me to marvel at what God has done.

Cloudia said...

I love the woman I meet here, and I long for her to realize how deserving she is and how far she has come. See it all truly, and you will forgive yourself. You will not have to repeat it all. (Thank God for you and me!)
It all brought you to this place. Yay! You inspire me Susan. You are my Sister. You are beloved of God.

Aloha-

Comfort Spiral

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Remembering is GOOD. I hate to remember some of my past but I know its important to keep from repeating it. Even if I am not an addict...I have plenty of past train wrecks I don't want to repeat.


Did you really do that at your daughter's communion?

claude said...

Oh Sue ! Sorry but my english language is not enough good to explain what I feel after reading this post.
Past is past but you must think about the future.

Just Be Real said...

Susan great post. I have improved so much on my accountability, once I became more "real." Thank you so much for sharing. Blessings!

Paula said...

I have lots of memories I shouldn't forget...the memory of a sinner whose sin cost Christ His very life. Memories of a selfish woman who thought the world revolved around me. Thank you for this post Susan.