The Trouble With Wanting It All, Part 2

by Bill Brenner on October 4, 2010

Overcoming fear and anxiety has been a beautiful thing. But it has not been without trouble along the way. In recent months I’ve taken on too much and I’ve paid a price. I’m entering a new phase of recovery where my ambitions are readjusted so they gibe with reality.

Mood music:


I got into some of this stuff in last week’s “Say Hello to My New Limit” post. But when I wrote that, I was feeling emotionally raw and was going through mood swings. This weekend I’ve had time to put it into perspective.

Here’s what I’m thinking and feeling now:

I have definitely taken on too much lately, partially because of my hunger for new experiences. I want to be of service to people who are going through what I’ve gone through. I want to soak up as much time as I can with people I ignored far too much over the years. And I want to continue to work my security beat hard, because I just won’t have it any other way.

But I need to give the best of that energy to Erin, Sean and Duncan. And that means dialing it back a bit.

My dilemma has been how to do that without retreating from the world again, because I really don’t want to do that. And besides, there’s really no turning back.

So this weekend, I pondered how to achieve the right balance.

First, I should mention that I don’t regret a thing about the last few months. To be a team leader for this weekend’s Cursillo retreat is a huge honor and I know it will only make me a better person. And it’s been worth every minute spent writing the talk I’ll be giving. Traveling around to different security events has also been well worth it, because I’m a true believer that you can’t do this job well unless you get out from behind the desk.

I don’t have to stop doing any of this stuff, nor should I. But I CAN learn to say no once in awhile. Saying no is something I’ve always sucked at and it has almost always gotten me into trouble. I’m realizing that the recent mood swings were partly due to my realization that the next part of recovery must be about learning to say no without going back into full retreat.

Maybe that means passing up a few more security events than I’d like. Maybe it means cutting back on my 12-Step sponsorship of people — continuing to be there for the two sponsees I have but saying no to new requests for now.

The learning curve for this is going to be pretty steep. I admit that I don’t really know where to start.

I’ll figure it out, and at the other end I’ll be better for it.

I hope.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nick October 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

Great post Bill! The trouble with this addict is that everything is “all or nothing”. I either “want it all now” or I retreat and do nothing. One of the most difficult aspects of recovery is learning to achieve a healthy balance. That is why I will be working the 12 steps and seeking to learn this the rest of my life.
God bless!

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