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Acceptance Sucks, but with it Comes Serenity.

Accepting something that you don’t like is one of the hardest things in life to do and that is exactly the current situation I find myself in. To make matters worse there are multiple things going on that I need to accept. Being the alcoholic that I am I do a tremendous job of digging my heels in and making not only myself but those round me miserable in times like this. While I’m not proud of this, it is true. As weird as this may sound there is a sick part of me that actually enjoys wallowing in pain and misery. I very much have a martyr complex at times and that’s not good. Feeling bad for myself is not only counter productive but can also put me in harm’s way.


When something happens that I don’t like I try to figure out how I can make the situation to my liking. Sometimes I’m able to change the situation but many times I’m met with resistance. When I encounter this resistance, I get very angry as I’m not able to change it. After fighting against reality, I realize that I must accept the situation in order to move forward without pain.

A recent example of a situation I found unacceptable was my last year’s taxes. Last year a received a small amount of money from a dear friend that passed away. Part of that money I had to pay tax on, and I was irate. How dare I have to pay tax on a gift? Logically I knew that I was in a better position receiving the money and paying tax on it than not receiving it at all. However, that didn’t stop me from becoming angry. My fiancé’ did my taxes for me and I could tell that he was hesitant to inform me what I was going to have to pay. So, there I was being a bitch to the man who was doing his best to help me in the situation I was in. It was not my most shining hour.


Currently I’m dealing with two legal issues that make me fearful and scared for my future. What are these two legal issues you may ask? Did I do something illegal to bring them about? Will I have to pay large fines, or could I end up in jail? The answer is no. These items all have to do with money that I could not get later on in life, and it scares the hell out of me. It scares me partly because I’ve been poor before, and I don’t want to be poor again.

After I left my ex-husband, I moved into an apartment with our two children. I started working at an entry level job making just slightly over minimum wage. If it wasn’t for government assisted childcare and food stamps, I would not have been able to eat. Things were rough financially, and I was living paycheck to paycheck. Over the next few years, I was able to move into better paying positions in the company I worked for, get off government assistance and build a small savings. Being poor isn’t fun but it does teach you a lot about life and survival.


Jar with Coins

I’ve always been frugal but after going through a divorce and raising two small children on my own I’ve become even more frugal. I don’t live paycheck to paycheck anymore, but I also won’t allow myself to spend significant amounts of money. I have to save everything I have because I very much believe that tomorrow it will all be gone. For example, I own a very small percent of stock that I buy through my company’s discounted employee purchase program. The only reason I purchased it is because I’m able to buy it at a discounted rate. To me it’s not “real” money. I become almost infuriated when my dad and fiancé refer to stock as an asset. I’m sure it’s a very pathetic and unintelligent way to look at it but owning stock isn’t real money to me. The reason being is that it takes time to sell, and it can all crash at a moments notice. How soon we forget Black Tuesday when the Stock Market crashed in 1929. That’s less than 100 years ago. More recently in 2008 when people lost everything, they had in the stock market. I don’t have enough in my 401k to retire at 65 or possibly ever and therefore I can’t afford to take any chances.

Which brings us back to my legal issues that are plaguing my thoughts every day. One of them, my fiancé’ has assured me he will do his best to minimize the impact on me, which I appreciate although it does not remove the hardship entirely. The other issue pertains to my parents’ Will. Although I wish their choices were different, I can’t change what they are doing. I have voiced my opinions and although the situation is better than I once thought, it is not ideal.

I know that if left unchecked these two issues could at worst ruin my sobriety and at best ruin a few days of my life. After talking things through with the people in my life and then going to an AA meeting I’m doing ok. I’m not in jeopardy of losing my sobriety, and that I feel good about. But I have lost many hours of serenity this weekend. I haven’t slept and I’ve also been a bitch to people around me which isn’t right. It’s so hard to accept things even though I know that I’ll be more content when I do. I think part of me feels like I’m giving in if I accept the situation. Like I’m weak and not fighting for what I think is right. I’m a fighter by nature. Part of that is good. I fought to get off food stamps, and I fought for sole custody of my children. But I could not fight my alcoholism. To win that battle each day I have to surrender and accept that I cannot control anything.

It’s funny because I accept that I’m powerless over alcohol, that only through my higher power can I be returned to sanity. If I know that a higher power can remove my desire to drink, then why is it so hard for me to let my higher power take over every aspect of my life? As I type this, I know that I have to hand this over and trust it will be ok. If I do that, I will again be freed from the torment I feel now in my current situation. In order to help myself I think I’ll end this post with the third step prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Woman praying on her knees

The 3rd Step Prayer

God, I offer myself to Thee- To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!


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Image by Tim Mossholder

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