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A Moment of Clarity


Ever have occurrences and thoughts in your life that seem to come out of nowhere, then reoccur over a period of time?


I have been going through just that over the past few weeks.


In my line of work, I see many people struggling to get a new life and grow in a new direction. To stay on top of things and to keep my mind open, I read a lot and go on a number of web sites on which people are struggling and/or have successfully turned their lives around. In volunteer work, and professionally, I am in constant contact with people who are walking the road or state that they want to move to a new place in their lives.


I was graced with a recovered life. It was a gift, a gift I was able to humbly receive and accept for no reason known to me. I was a person, like millions of others who was depressed, had low self-esteem, was functional but a misfit in many functions and got to a point where I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired, tired of saying I’m sorry and tiered of feeling like a life underachiever.


Recent things that have been reoccurring have made me really think; what was the one thing that turned it around, that made the difference. If sharing this offers others some insight great; but it is important that I remember.


Accepting completely where I was at in my life was important, as was reconnecting to a power greater than myself, having some illogical faith that this power could help and seeking help just based on faith; all of these things were important.


I was told to do a fearless and searching inventory of myself. I was given the Big Book of AA and other AA material to assist, and the suggestions of some good people. I can reflect back and say I did the best I could with what I had, but, quite frankly, did not find clarity on why I was the way I was. I did get a better understanding of my flaws and things I had done to hurt others. I did not need to do an inventory to know I was carrying a lot of garbage, guilt and shame. I had lived with these feelings for years.


One day a professional who was a part of my life offered me a very lengthy questionnaire which guided me and gave me the structure to take a look at my life from earliest memories to current times. I was told not to over think (a bad habit of mine) but to just answer the questions very thoughtfully and in order.


I truly wanted to know why I had got to what I now call my bottom. I knew that things had started a long way back.


I worked diligently on this project; like the life or death it was. I wrote and I wrote, not looking back, but focusing on the question at hand. At times, I had to stop, because I had to look at areas of my life that evoke very deep emotions. I noted these emotions. Finally, I got to the end and put my “biography” away for a few days and allowed the emotions to settle.


I took the completed document back out and read it as objectively as I could, as if were the story of someone I knew about but not in detail. It was not a literary masterpiece, yet I wasn’t reading it to grade it or give style points.


I wanted to find an answer-WHY AM I?


It happened. A true moment of clarity, a real Ah Ha moment. There was a day when I was between three and four years old, a day my life changed forever. I was ripped from a very secure world to what to me was a far less secure world. I started to act out to get attention. Some of this acting out was cutesy, a lot was destructive. I went from a world where I belonged and fit to a world where I was second best, not quite good enough.


A pattern began that was to evolve downward for over forty years. A life of great highs and great lows. The life that made me who I am.


I, for the first time, understood the “WHY” and it was a huge relief and a point that allowed me to truly accept and begin the process of recovering a life with real meaning. I was set free.


So many I have seen struggle lately, in my opinion, play around the edges. There is no one way to recovering a life you really want. There are ways to insure failure, and those of us in active recovery who are witnesses watch it happen. No real acceptance, no real action. A charade to fool self and others. The percentage of those who don’t get turned around is staggering, and the focus of my life today is to use my experience and training to make a small difference.


Those who have recovered all have some things generally in common.


They have sought help. They have fully accepted what has happened. They’ve committed to a taken action. They, in there own way, give a bit of what they have got back to society to get more of what they were “gifted”. They have set some life goals, and not lost focus on the basic goals. They have recovered a life. Some hit a point that they are fully content with, others make life recovery a life time search, but they all enjoy a large amount of hope and serenity.


A few months back, I faced the toughest question I think I have ever had to deal with. A young boy phoned me and asked, “Can you get my Daddy sober?”It floored me, and I had to answer no, but told him he could help his Dad get sober by telling Dad that it meant a lot to him, and I told that lad I would also be there to help Dad as Dad did what Dad had to do. I have recently watched, witnessed and read about a lot of slipping and sliding and read pros and cons on the best way to turn things around.


The answer for me was straight forward. A moment of clarity that came as a result of the hard work that I was asked to do. Understanding the why and accepting the who and a lifetime of continuous recovery work. It is a gift I was humble enough to receive, and a gift that is available to those who truly accept and take action.


If this sparks some thoughts, I love to read your response, or contact me directly at I wish that you find YOUR DREAM and your WHY!


-- keithb

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