Realizing that I need to acknowledge and accept a co-author in my life’s story.
Recently I have been thinking about the previous ideas I have shared about working to overcome addiction by incorporating the creation of a new life story into a recovery program. In early sobriety this idea was very powerful and helpful. The idea of changing my language about myself and the events that happened in my life, of making myself not a victim in story lines, and of having a goal that wasn’t a negative in language terms (i.e. focusing only on not drinking, not eating, not sexing, etc.) but rather a goal that was about writing a positive story.
As I move further in my recovery this is still a powerful and helpful part of my program. I need to check in daily with the words I am using in the world, the role I am taking in a situation, and the story I am telling myself to ensure I am on my path. However I have a new understanding of the story creation and that is that I needed to allow a co-author into my story. For me, I refer to this author as “my higher power,” “God,” or “Universe.”
In early sobriety I wasn’t in a place to fully hear or see this higher power, so the story rewrite was very much of my own authorship. It was all I could do to recognize my former, addictive story line in order to rewrite it to a story of non-addiction and productiveness. In my initial life story rewrites I was still controlling the goals, outcomes, risks, and other parts of the plot. And this was the right thing, because it kept me focused on my new life and not stuck in my old one.
Recently I realized that one thing I needed to give up in order to achieve a really awesome new life story was my false illusion and need to control the story. I had to drop my understanding of myself as the creator of my life and accept, with humility, that I was a co-author to my story.
Some people in my program fight this loss of control, but for me it was a joy and relief to give up control, because in my reality I was never in control and I knew it. My frustration at my lack of control is what led me to my lies, my manipulations, and my addictions. So to give up control, to not have to make it all work, and to drop that responsibility was freeing. I was more than happy to have someone else join me.
Now my life story is a joint venture where I know that my role is to stay focused on the story I have for my life, to change when I am on the wrong track or taking over the plot, to do the next right thing for the story to develop, and to be open to where my co-author is leading me. It is fun to be in a story where I get to know someone is there with me and to not know how the next page will read or how the book will end.
So as you progress in your recovery I suggest you look at the idea of letting a co-author into your creative process. It is always good to get editorial advice and a second opinion.
Susan Aplin Pogue
began her career in personal development after many years focused on self-development and improvement work. Her experiences led her to discover tools and practices that she was inspired to share with other people through her blog work. Additionally, she has created and facilitated leadership trainings for executive teams in corporate and small businesses. Susan is a public speaker, and has addressed audiences on topics ranging from leadership to time management. Her mission is to share practical and powerful self-management techniques to those in recovery from any aspect of their life that has begun to negatively impact their well-being and quality of life. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Certification in Emergenetics ® , and a Certification in DDI Management Skills ®. Her work draws upon her background in corporate training and human resource departments, as well as her life experiences. Susan’s blog work is published by The Neurosculpting ® Institute. Transform, Inspire, Thrive.