Hi. My name is Shannon and I need to feel in control.
I think I’m going to start a new addiction group called NFCA, anyone wish to join? It’s NOT anonymous (because, I mean that gives you the control you crave), you HAVE to do something you never really had in your plans or maybe even desire to do (nothing illegal or immoral), and in order to achieve a milestone of ‘giving up the control’ you will be given a test.
Wait a second! I might be overstepping here…I think there is a group already out there probably much better than anything I could come up with because there is someone all powerful and omnipresent to lean on – it’s called Christianity. What?
Okay so I’m in a strange mood but I couldn’t help myself. Last night as I was leading a group at Wellsprings Village I had someone ask me how I ever got over the teen years when I would drink till I blacked out. I knew there could be women in the group that are recovering alcoholics or even some who were gathering the courage to free themselves from that vice so I needed to tread lightly. In all honesty it was not a question I ever considered before. I drank heavily up till that freshman year in college and when I came back my sophomore year having been through counseling for the second rape and ready to take my perpetrator head on in court I stopped drinking.
I had no need for it anymore. I was no longer hiding the dark secrets that tore me up within. Instead I felt a great desire to be in control of me. I wanted to know what I was saying, thinking, feeling, and until he was either locked up or miles away, I wanted to have my wits about me when he was around. There were months I endured that I had to face my perpetrator face to face, he’d show up where ever I was and either try to talk to me or berate me, calling me names and threatening my life. There was no room for a foggy mind.
What I didn’t realize was that I replaced one means of ‘addiction’ for another. Instead of needing an escape or release I needed control. Gradually it began and it quickly became a monster addiction because the only person I had to care about was me! For a year I didn’t date. I threw myself into school, my job and the sorority I was in. It wasn’t until after meeting Neal that I began to see the struggle of my desire to feel in control and being able to trust someone else whether it was in keeping me safe from harm or even introducing me to simple experiences that never before held my interest. If I drank I didn’t want to have more than one or two because I never wanted to go back to that state of mind.
Many of you know my story and you know that it wasn’t until I had children that I realized how deep my addiction to control had plummeted. Kids are a good wake up call to control freaks. No matter what, you can not do or say anything to make your children fall in line with what makes you feel comfortable in your ‘need to control perfect world’. 😉 Ryan was 2 1/2 and Seth was 1 month old. I lost it and realized the need to control was a noose around my neck not only threatening to hang me but to ruin my children’s world in the process.
This is when I went to my first meeting. On my knees I admitted to the one I was offending the most – God. “I don’t like who I am. I don’t want to be this person any more, Lord. If you have a purpose for me, take my life and do something with it,” I cried out almost thirteen years ago. From that moment forward as I took it moment by moment and tried to do my best I began to ‘make the meetings’ and the requirements took place without much effort. I wanted others to know who I am and who it is that has control of my life. I learned to listen to Him and take on tasks that I never even knew I could do or had ever desired to do, all the while being blessed abundantly by saying ‘yes’, and I am tested almost every day. Sometimes I do well and then there are moments that I might slip but then I get back up and start all over again.
Last night as I explained this to the women we laughed nervously because we all realized how much the ‘need to feel in control’ is just as dangerous as allowing a substance to take our control. It was one of those ‘eye opening’ moments.
Remember, God does not want us to fail. His plans for us are full of HOPE. Don’t wait… attend your first meeting now.