Ten days in now, and the Great Flu of 2017 is finally releasing me from it gnarly grips. I have never experienced this type of bodily sickness before in my life. The typical flu symptoms of course- coughing, sneezing, congestion were aplenty. But, the part that really dug in was the pure, unadulterated exhaustion. The “I cannot get out of bed” kind. And so in the bed I stayed. And stayed, and stayed.
For people that know me, I am an action girl. Constantly on the go, excited about work and life, always looking for new ideas and challenges both personally and professionally. But for the last ten days plus, all of that energy came to a screeching halt and it was just me, Kleenex, Netflix and lots of water. Oh and my thoughts, many, many thoughts…and this is where it got scary.
I have often heard in 12 Step meetings about the “alcoholic mind.” The Big Book tells us that the sick alcoholic “cannot differentiate the truth from the false“. And, I’m sure that prior to recovery, and since, I have had many, many moments of unclear or even insane thinking. Yet, me, myself and I, mostly alone for 10 days gave me a real opportunity to examine how my thought life can become so skewed.
Here are a few humdingers–
I have no friends, I am fat, I am lazy, I am not wanted or needed at my office, I am never going to recover from this illness, I probably have cancer, I won’t be able to go to Australia– the list goes on and on…
I wonder- Why is it that the mind is such a terrible foe? Why is it that the ego turned inward is bent on destruction? Why do I suffer from such extreme self-centeredness? And is why even the right question to ponder here?
One thing I know for sure. Shining light on the darkness, any darkness, is the only way out. So I picked up that 10,000 lb telephone and began to do what I have been taught, and have seen through my own experience, is the only way out. I called some trusted folks in my recovery network and got real honest and real vulnerable, real quick. Once my thoughts were straightened out (thanks friends!) with the voice(s) of truth, I then did what my spiritual muscle memory reflexively instructed. I called still others, but this time seeing how I could be helpful to them instead. Why? Because others-centeredness is ALWAYS the antidote to self-centeredness after all. As my amazing spiritual mentor tells me, it’s not that we think too much or too little of ourselves, it’s that we think too often of ourselves. Simple, yet so powerful and so true.
Here is my experience- If you want to recover from alcoholism, you must be willing to follow direction. If you want to recover from the flu, you must be willing to follow direction. But while you recover from the flu, don’t forget you’re still an alcoholic. And, act accordingly.
Be well all! And for goodness sakes, wash your hands and take your vitamins!
As for me, I was back to work on Monday! TYG!
Peace and Light 💖🙏
Marsha Stone, CEO