secretary, cleanup, etc.) in my first journey of 1000 miles. I experienced relief and I experienced joy. But it was temporary.
So I worked the 12 steps again. I continued to go to meetings and continued to hold commitments. I also went to therapy a minimum of once a week, tape-recorded all my therapy sessions and listened back to every session at least once. I experienced relief and I experienced joy. Once again it was temporary.
One time, my first therapist became very excited during our session and told me that I had gone farther than most people go in therapy. Here I’d spent all this time yet I knew wasn’t free. Inside myself I knew I’d found some relief, but not freedom.
I took time off from therapy but after two or three years I decided to try again. It’s possible my first therapist lacked experience or training with trauma. It’s also very likely that my communication skills, the pain I felt inside, prevented me from talking about my reality so I could get more help from my first therapist.
At one point my second therapist told me that she had never met anyone who had done so much work on themselves. And yet I still wasn’t done because I still wasn’t free.
So here it is no matter how you do it, freedom from trauma is the journey of 10,000 miles. It’s 1000 miles one step at a time, and then 1000 miles one step at a time, and then 1000 miles one step at a time, and 1000 miles one step at a time… It’s pure determination. Or is it? What is it inside, what is it inside us that drives us to first seek relief and then freedom? What is it inside that drives us to want the answer? What is it inside that creates energy to seek truth from our troubled reality?
Where did the energy come from that inspired me to sell the gun?
Well for me it’s the Universe, you could also say: God, Buddha, Allah, or whatever. One thing I learned in life is that I am not breathing myself – the universe is breathing me.
During my second pass through the 12 steps I began a meditation practice as part of my work on step 11 (Google AA step 11 for more info). Fortunately I discovered an aptitude for meditation. It was quite a challenge to bear discomfort in my body and take on an even greater challenge in quieting the thoughts that were running rampant in my head.
So there I was, without knowing at the time, I had developed a set of tools that would see me through the final exam of my recovery. My tool set included communications skills developed through 12 years of therapy, thoroughly working the 12 steps twice, and learning to quiet my body and mind through meditation.