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Archive for June, 2015

Guilt, regret, peace, forgiveness, hope

Yesterday marked a week since my old friend passed away.  In that seven days, I experienced a myriad of emotions that left me exhausted and extremely sad.  The first thing I felt was guilt/regret.  Guilt that I never reached out to mend those fences, regret that I would never get a chance to do so in this lifetime, face to face, physically.  I let the guilt and regret consume me for several days, including the day of her funeral in Indy.  I felt devastated that I would not get the chance to tell her to her face that I love her, forgive her, and hoped she felt the same.  Fear of rejection is a horrific thing to feel and we really need to learn to work through all of that.

I’ve been in recovery for more than a decade and while I’ve struggled every now and then, one thing I’ve always done is work the steps.  I live by those steps in all things I do.  And I forgot Step 9.  I forgot to work Step 9 and I feel guilt over that.  However, forgiving myself is something I must do; otherwise I will be miserable and it will eat me up for years to come.  Step 9 says “Made amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” Whether that amend is positively received or not, the amend must be made to give myself inner peace and forgiveness.

I get this daily email with a reading in it, about recovery and my disease.  It gives me guidance and ideas on how to deal with whatever it is I’m feeling.  Yesterday’s seemed to be fitting since it had been a week since she passed:

June 16 Reflection for the Day
The Ninth Step of the Gamblers Anonymous Program is: “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
To make restitution for the wrongs we’ve done can be extremely difficult,to say the least;if nothing else,it deflates our egos and batters our pride.Yet that in itself is a reward, and such restitution can bring still greater rewards. When we go to a person and say we’re sorry,the reaction is almost invariably positive. Courage is required,to be sure,but the results more than justify the action.

Have I done my best to make all the restitution possible?

Today I Pray
May I count on my Higher Power to stop me if I start to crawl out from under my Ninth Step responsibility.May I feel that blessed,liberating wash of relief that goes with saying,out loud,to someone I have harmed,”I was wrong.I made mistakes.I am honestly sorry.”May I not worry about cracking that brittle,cover-up crust of my ego,because the inside will be ?more mature.
Today I Will Remember
Restitution is blessed.
When I read this email yesterday, I immediately felt a sense of peace and forgiveness towards myself that I had not experience since before finding out she had died.  I’d like to think it was her “sign” to me that all was forgiven and all was okay with us.  I’m sad I’ll never get to see her smile again or physically give her a hug.  But I am at peace, knowing that I have made my amends to her now and that she will be watching over all of us, guiding us to better grammar and smarter choices.
Until we meet again, my old friend, RIP.

Misunderstandings and forgiveness

I was on a break from work yesterday when I opened up Facebook on my phone and got one of the biggest shocks of my life.  Someone I had once considered a great friend had passed away at the age of 40.  It was unexpected from what I’ve gathered.  Many years ago, we had a falling out.  We were both mean and it was ugly.  I remember the details, but I won’t go into them here.  I’m just going to say that I held a grudge for a few years.  Somewhere along the way, I forgave her for her part in it and hoped that she forgave me.  Over the last year or so, I would think about reaching out to her to mend fences and then I’d just chicken out.  I didn’t know how it would be received and I just didn’t want to face rejection, if that’s where it would end up.

It was a clusterfuck of misunderstandings that led to our fall out.  I don’t know exactly when that fall out started, but I know where it ended and it never sat well with me.  My feelings were hurt and I got angry.  My anger and resentments have always been fear or pain based.  And until I worked on that part of myself, I felt anger and resentment towards her.

At one point in time, we were as close as two people could be.  We had so much fun together.  We helped each other, we challenged each other to be better women.  She also flew all the way to Vegas to drive cross country with me when I moved here to Louisville.  How many friends do that?  She was a very large part of why I moved to this region.  She was just a few short hours away in Indy, so I knew we could spend weekends together whenever we wanted to or had time.

And now she’s gone.  I’ve talked to her, I’ve let her know I love her and forgive her and hoped that before she left this world, she forgave me for my part.

I am sad.  I am heartbroken for her husband, best friend and family.  She was so young and so full of life.  Rest in Peace, my old friend.  Until we see each other again.  xoxo