Saturday, July 4, 2009

Serenity Tonight

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Diane is driving me mad. I cannot change Diane. Under a sheen of civility, her attitude is increasingly negative and adversarial. I know that on an even deeper level, she is motivated by fear. Fear that she'll look like an incompetent mother when her adult children make poor decisions. Fear of our church changing around her. Fear of the world changing around her. Even though I'm a bridge-builder, a deliberate friend to Diane and her family and her children, I'm still a threat, because I'm the guy who understands computers. I will always be another representative of all that is happening that eats away at her security. I can be kind, inclusive, patient and deferential. I can make jokes that I don't understand it all either. It won't change the fact that Diane is at war with her neighbors, the Beuna Park police, the city council, and the “foreigners” who are filling up her world. I cannot change Diane.

Courage to change the things I can.

God's given me the courage to face my character defects. In a moment of weakness, I typed Elena's name into Facebook and discovered that she does have a profile. I spent 24 hours obsessed with the idea of writing her a quick note. “Your new baby is adorable. Congrats! -Eli.” If you're not an addict, I don't think you can understand the multiple-personality-disorder feeling of hearing the two sides of your brain argue. How could it hurt to write something so light and innocent? How on earth could I even consider opening this door again? And on and on. But this I can change. I immediately talked to a friend in my 12 step study, to my home group, to my wife, to my sponsor. Help me avoid this path. They did, and I have.

And wisdom to know the difference.

I realized Tuesday that I am terrified of approaching six months of sobriety. Terrified of fucking up again and hurting those who love me and have faith in me. My addict was telling me that a relapse was inevitable. My addict was making me feel obsessed with energy drinks to feel slightly buzzy and antihistamines to fall asleep. But instead of crossing the line, and slipping down that slippery slope from pill to pills to PILLS, I asked for help. Again. And the obsession was lifted. Again. And I saw the difference between what I can't change and what I can.

God thank you for serenity, just for tonight.


  1. I left a comment over at the Second Road dear friend. Hoping your 4th is filled with love and peace. (Hugs)Indigo

  2. You should go read MPJ's post, Cyberstalking by Proxy. It's recent; just scroll down.

    Step away from the computer. You do not need Elena to be complete. You are complete unto yourself with your Higher Power on your side.

  3. wow just wanted to say thank you for sharing so intimately. i sometimes think i am the only one in meetings who does, so i come here and see i am not alone. thanks for stopping by i like what i have read so far.

  4. Eli, thanks for stopping by. Glad that you are writing for The Second Road.

  5. I think it is hard when my husband is behaving in a manner I cannot accept. His dark mood swings sometimes pull me in - suffocate me and take me back to where I used to be - not who I know I can be today...

    I read a piece of myself and my relationship in this...

  6. I commented over at TSR too.

    Your honesty is very touching. I can get lost in Facebook for I just don't go there any more.

    God Bless!